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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cockshutts at work.



My day so far. This part went fairly well. I'm putting in time catching up on yard jobs while waiting for the fields to dry enough to try and get back to crop spraying. As bad as it is here, I really can't complain much compared to the people to the south of us in  North Dakota where a lot of our water is headed.
The wet conditions here make the country green and old machinery shine. The cloud formations create some amazing sky pictures when the sun finally comes out.
Markets and falling grain prices continue to defy logic as reports keep indicating that there are far fewer acres planted than normal and there won't be any excess grain to trade.
More rain last night has pushed crop spraying back a little more and turned some of the road into a rutted quagmire where only 4 wheel drive vehicles dare to venture.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

More Chicken Stuff


On this first day of summer here is a video of some new Bantam chicks at the food dish along with a cat or two. Its interesting how they can eat side by side, those chicks would make an easy meal for the cat but they never try it. No doubt the memory of being attacked by angry mother hens keep the cats resistant to the temptation.
Weekend rains have raised the water table in the south and contributed to .....
More flooding in Sask.
We thought last year was bad but its looking like 2011 is going to be a repeat, maybe worse. Some of the roads are a real adventure to drive now. Hauling grain or any other heavy loads is not an option. Still some people will tell you that we are never more than two weeks away from a drought in Sask. Thats hard to believe now.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Another Lazy Farmer

I've been meaning to post a few more of the "Lazy Farmer" cartoons but lately have not had the time. Seeing as this is a rainy day I thought this one was appropriate. He makes a lot of sense about the rain clouds. Once the rain starts to fall, the suspense is over. I don't have to stand out in the yard scanning the sky to try and decide if I dare dump the couple of thousand dollars worth of herbicide into the sprayer tank in hopes the rain will hold off long enough for me to spray it out on the crop . About 3 hours. Yes, when its raining I can park the machinery and concentrate on other necessities of life. The weeds will keep on growing but theres nothing I can do about it , for now anyway.
I like the philosophy of this old lazy farmer but never seem to get around to putting it into practice. Too many things need doing and time passes quicker with every year so I can hardly keep up. Although I am planning to adopt his laid back lifestyle once I get a little more caught up in my work.
Disclaimer.......any resemblance between this cartoon lazy farmer and The Real Lazy Farmer  is purely co-incidental and in name only.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Are We Really Better than Animals?

I have to wonder after listening to and watching the disgusting display of post game riots following last night's Stanley Cup hockey game in Vancouver. Not a big sports fan here but in the tractor all day with the radio going its impossible not to hear whats happening. The news went to live coverage of the riots in the streets after Canada lost to Boston. Burning police cars and smashing store windows , then looting and destroying the business.
As is often the case, alcohol fueled most of the event even though liqour stores were closed in the hours before the game started. It didn't help apparently.
Plenty of injuries, tear gas and rubber bullets by the time the streets eventually cleared. Now for the clean up. Vancouver has earned a lot of world wide publicity over this event but not the kind they would like I'm sure.
 Post-game insanity
I had to stop watching eventually . Seeing the smiling grinning faces of the hooligans as they destroyed property and taunted the police was just too much to take. This was animal behaviour and they need to be treated as such. Plenty of pictures and videos were taken of the event so hopefully the perpetrators will be harshly dealt with.
In other news, long days in the field are slowly getting me caught up with work. Flowers are blooming and crops are growing. Weeds too so I am hoping to spray a few acres today before the rain hits tomorrow.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Repairing the JD


This looked like a huge repair job yesterday after the front axle collapsed. I was actually starting to look at replacine the whole machine but figured that would be taking the easy way out. After almost 20 years I know this machine inside and out and it probably knows it's way around the yard better than I do so I went ahead and tackled the job.
It turned out to be easier than I expected. Easy, weldable metal and a bonus, I now know how to remove and replace the front axle of the tractor.

Is There A Limit?

,,,to my stupidity? I doubt it some days. Hitching up to the sprayer the other day getting it ready to go and I could not get the hydraulic drive pump to turn. Tried various ideas and came to the conclusion it had seized up over winter, although its not an old pump. It was a long and difficult task disconnecting to various hoses and fittings so that I could get at the impeller with a socket to turn it. After fighting mosquitos and other hindrances I found that the impeller was free and easy turning.
Re-assembled the whole thing and tried again, still nothing. Patience long gone I somehow stumbled onto the realization that I had the hydraulic hoses plugged into the opposite circuit to the lever I had been working. An easy fix but I can't believe I could overlook the most basic possibility.Just too stupid.
Managed to get a field of canola sprayed, without GPS. The $3000 guidance system has become nothing more than a decoration as it quit working last week. No local places work on them and mailing it to the next province does not look like a good option right now with our Canada Post strike going on.
Guess I will have to depend on my aging eyes to tell where to drive in the field.
Grass continues to grow out of control in my yard as I have had not had time to spend on the lawn tractor. Yesterday evening with high hopes I made a start cutting but after a short time the front axle collapsed on the faithful old John Deere 111. Its looking like a big dis-assembly and welding job so I guess the grass will grow a while longer.
At least spring seeding is done and early crops are up and looking good. Fields have dried up considerably from the muddy mess we started with a month ago.

Friday, June 3, 2011

This Weather

Its driving me crazy.. Late as it is I should be out planting oats today but the weather can't make up its mind if its going to really rain or just mist and drizzle all day. Do I head out for the other farm 9 miles away with a full air seeder to get caught in rain on the way there, find its too wet to seed anyway? Its the kind of rain that if I was already in the field I would keep working through the light showers but hate to start out on a long journey as uncertain as it looks.
Maybe its for the best. I'm hearing that the cold wet conditions are not good for the seed thats already in the ground. Not germinating, plant disease, etc. If it wasn't already June 3 I'd wait a bit but this is really late to be planting even oats. Farming is always a gamble, but this year maybe bigger than ever. Maybe I"m losing my memory but in 40 years of farming I don't recall such an exasperating spring before.
Unhappy Farmers
I took this picture on a rare sunny morning earlier this week. What is so rare as a sunny day in June in Saskatchewan?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Olle Hemmingssons trio



My favourite video of all time on youtube. I could (and sometimes do) listen to/watch this one every day. Something about the rythmic tractor beat in the background is just so mesmerizing.