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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Planting Progress


Seeding moves along steadily on the farm. Until today. The intermittent showers of the morning turned to steady, at times heavy rain. By noon the air seeder was digging up drier soil than what was on the surface so decided to call it quits. Kind of ok to have a short break after the past couple of weeks of non stop tractor work. We have had some incredible warm, almost record breaking temps which really dried up the surface of fields and started everything growing.
I'm way ahead of the provincial average, which is about 38% complete last time I heard. I'm about 90% finished. With the rain we have had today and whats forecast for the next day or so I don't think I'll get the crops all in the ground by the 24th. Thats always been a sort of target date for finishing seeding crops here.
The John Deere anhydrous cultivator worked well and survived some of my incredible rocky ground without breakdown. A leaking exhaust manifold on the tractor caused some concern til we discovered what it was and decided I could go on working with it as is for now. For about the second time in the 14 years I've owned this Magnum tractor I got it stuck bad enough that I had to unhitch the anhydrous cultivator to get out of the mud. With the aid of a huge nylon tow rope borrowed from a neighbour I was able to extricate it from the mud with no harm done, other than time lost and frustration at the incredibly wet ground on this particular field.
This picture of the old Loadstar unloading fertilizer into the air seeder was taken one morning a week ago. Less than a half hour later the truck was stuck in the mud on a wet hillside. Sometimes trying to take a shortcut is just a waste of time and effort and I should have known better.
My "garden patch" sits un-worked growing weeds as I have had no time to do anything with it. Seeding crops takes top priority right now so the garden vegetables will just have to wait a few more days. My "lawn" remains untouched with the mower yet this spring and it is looking more like a hayfield every day. Might get a chance to cut it before the fields dry up enough to get back in the tractor. If not, no big deal. I don't think the neighbours will complain.

3 comments:

  1. It would seem that early planting might make an earlier harvest. Would that affect the prices to the good or the bad side? I know with truck gardening, the first of anything brings a better price, but I thought the market might be unsettled on larger volume crops until that year's crops get moving en masse.

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  2. Gorges, its more about crop maturity before frost hits in late August or early September. The sooner we get the seed in the ground and growing, the better the chances are of it reaching maturity before frost hits. Frozen grain is worth a lot less than unfrozen. A hard frost in August can turn a bumper crop into feed or worse.

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