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Friday, May 27, 2011

Rainy Day Break

Woke up to the relaxing sound of rain on the roof. Although I'd really like to be out there finishing the already late planting process, I guess it won't happen today. The setbacks of slow anhydrous deliveries cost me a few days. Combined with having to burn last years flax straw (should have been done last fall)and the fields being too wet to get out there before mid May, its now impossible to catch up the lost time.
Some of the fields were so lumpy and rutted from all the excess moisture required pre-working which costs me more time (and money).
Soil conditions have really improved and dried up. Weed growth is heavy and fast. I know I will need to be spraying before I am even finished seeding.Is it any wonder that spring goes by in a blur for me?
And roads are another big headache. Trips to town are like the Baja 1000 off road endurance race. Really rough  Bouncing through the horrendous sinkholes and swerving around others is no fun when you are in a hurry to get where you are going and back to work. In the 25 years I have  owned and driven My 81 GMC  I have never given it such abuse before. Better off driving in the ditch. Although it is interesing watching the semis swerving around the highway holes when I'm working close enough to the road to watch.
Still, we have no tornadoes, earthquakes, fires, and the water levels are dropping so I won't complain too much. The rainy day gives me a chance to catch up on some other long neglected jobs but lets hope its only one day.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Seeding Begins



This is where I spend most of my daylight hours lately. Its late but still within the normal planting window of opportunity.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Checkmate?

Its been years since I played Chess and I've forgotten almost everything I knew about it, except for the fact I hated the game. As I recall the term "checkmate" basically meant you were beat no matter which way you turned. The term came to mind today re: my spring planting.
I can't get anywhere it seems. Weather is co-operating and the ground dries up enough that I can apply anhydrous. Unfortunately I am "rationed" to one tank a day since my supplier has major problems with equipment, short of drivers, moon phase, etc. I have literally spent hours sitting in the tractor at a standstill waiting for delivery, or even a phone call to put me out of my misery so I can unhitch and head for home in the tractor. No problem, another 5 mile drive in a big slow tractor at today's cheap diesel fuel prices. Why should that upset me? Watching the neighbours at work planting their crops while I stand still..... I am "only" a couple of weeks behind normal progress.
I don't have the competition's phone number and doubt they would deliver anyway until I went to see them and sign a credit agreement (lose another half day). I am already two weeks behind normal so whats another day?
I could start seeding on the summerfallowed fields but don't have my granular fertilizer in the yard yet and won't for a couple more days. Maybe I should just go ahead and plant without it. I held off ordering fertilizer this wet spring as I didn't know how many acres would even be workable. Didn't want to get stuck with a partial bin of unused fertilizer that is non returnable and does not always store well. Plus, the roads are atrocious in places and heavy trucks might have problems on them.
And speaking of roads, there are at least 60 acres I can't even get to since the road is impassable due to water damage. The field is cut in half by a small creek (impassable) so I can see the land a hundred feet across from me but no way to get to it. The municipality is hard at work repairing the high priority roads and this back road is way down on the list. I tried to do something myself but gave up after nearly getting stuck in the ditch with the old Massey while trying to scoop up some fill dirt with the front end loader.
Today rain showers are in the forecast and I have heard no word from Viterra so say if my NH3 tank is full and ready to go. Maybe I will hitch up to the big field cultivator and try a little pre-work on the fields where the weeds are growing the worst. Better than standing still and frustrating I guess.
I took this shot yesterday driving home in mid afternoon when I should have been working. Wild winds and angry waves on the water.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

May 13 NH3


Finally getting in a little field work. The ground is actually drying up good in places although there is still a lot of good land under water. Carrying a big tow rope with me as insurance. against getting stuck.
I must have set a record for the longest wait ever for a refill of anhydrous. About 24 hours from the time I requested it. Problems at Viterra so consequently , I only got a couple of hours worth done today. Just one more setback in an already late spring planting season.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Making a Little Smoke

We had a few inspiring sunny warm days recently that got me out into the field. Not anhydrousing or planting as I would normally be doing at this time of year, but burning last years flax straw. At least it is a start in the right direction on a job that has to be done. Better than sitting and waiting for the ground to dry out.
Actually the field has improved considerably in the past week. The high and dry patches are good but sometimes require quite a detour to get to them around the water and mud areas. Biggest problem right now is the roads are in no shape to carry heavy trucks with fertilizer and seed. Many roads are closed waiting for washed out culverts to be replaced while others are passable but with soft spots just waiting to swallow a heavy truck. My own yard has a few of those plus the quonset has water coming out of the ground. Yes, machinery parked safely indoors is now standing in a few inches of water. Even if I was ready to seed crops I can't hope to get a load of fertilizer hauled in here in these conditions. When will it be ready? I really don't know.
Today with clouds, strong winds and 40 degree temperature it is not looking great. The rain in the forecast might just pass south of me if I'm lucky. Whatever the weather does it still is a pretty sure thing that less than the usual amount of acres will be planted here this year. Still it is not as bad as those that live on low land near the rivers and flooded areas. At least we have hope.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Friendly Calf.



Hopefully a picture is worth a thousand words . I don't have time to write that many words this morning.