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Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Harrowing Time

The weather continues it's best efforts to drive me insane. Damp and misty this morning but barely wet enough to be a problem . By the time I drove to the end of the driveway there was moisture on the windshield so I stopped, waited, finally headed back to the yard to do something while the weather made up its mind. I don't mind being shut down by real rain but this indecisive weather that keeps me on the edge of doing something is far more annoying. I finally did harrow pack for a couple of hours til the sun came out. Then came home and went to finish seeding flax and then harrow the field to try and pull out some of the wild oats I missed. Can't help feeling that whatever I do on this field I am just re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Flax is a poor competitor with weeds and this field is contaminated with wild oats that are resistant to the common herbicides. The only option I have is a soil incorporated spray that needs to be applied now before the crop comes up.
Unfortunately it is raining now and forecast to be wet for the next few days so between that and the incessant wind I may not get the chance to spray. Consequently the field will be a weed patch in places. I could re-plant later but it is getting late for wheat. I have plenty of oats seed but obviously that is not an option. There is no herbicide known to man or giant chemical company that will eliminate wild oats from a crop of tame oats.
And in other interesting news I have been mentioned on the latest page of
the lazy farmer blog which should bring me great recognition and prestige.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Long Week


I can hardly believe it is only a week since I started seeding. I'm down to the last 80 acres or so. I would have been closer but got shut down by the first rain of spring this afternoon. Not enough to do much good but enough to mess up the tractor windows and poor weed killing conditions. It takes a little co-operation from the weather to kill weeds with tillage. Although there has not been one day since Saturday that it was quiet enough to spray and kill the weeds with glyphosate (in my opinion). The field I am currently working on has the heaviest growth of wild oats I can ever remember seeing. Tillage is not going to get them all so I might just do a "burn off" with the sprayer if conditions permit. Maybe it is a disaster waiting to happen. These wild oats I am trying to kill are resistant to the common group of herbicides and there is only one kind I can use on this crop (flax). Plus I have only a short window of opportunity to get the herbicide on before the crop comes up (if I haven't buried the seed so deep that it never emerges). Always at the mercy of the weather in this business.
I shot quite a bit of boring , repititious video with the Gopro camera while working but after considerable editing I have the readers digest condensed version available at youtube for those who just can't get enough "tractoring".

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Dust In The Wind and other meanderings

Thats the song that came to mind looking at this picture from today. The rocks are so thick in some parts of this field that I need the rock picker following the air seeder as in this photo . Well ok, not quite, it just happened we were close together at that point in the field and I took a quick photo.

That relentless wind of the past few days just won't quit. Field surface is getting dry and I stir up quite a dust with the air seeder planting canola. The price of said seed is a bit astounding .. If anybody had told me years ago that I could lift over $500 worth of canola seed without extreme exertion I would have never believed it. $7000 worth of seed in the back of a thousand dollar pickup, amazing.
Oh well, making a little progress even though I seem to be a ten oclock scholar most days not getting the seeder in the ground til way late in the morning. Seems I spend as much time getting ready to work as actually seeding. Fuel to haul, seed and fertilizer to load and haul miles between farms eats up a lot of time. A couple of my weedy fields I actually try and avert my gaze as I have to pass by them as I know the weeds will get to grow a little higher before I can get to them.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Funny how life on the farm goes from laid back and relaxed to running in circles trying to do too many things at once. That is where I have been the past few days. I came close to not applying any anhydrous fertilizer at all when company "number 1" assured me that they had nothing for me and I should have booked my fertilizer needs back in the middle of winter. Luckily company "number 2" was a little more encouraging and soon found me a tank and some anhydrous to fill it with.
I made good time when rolling but was limited or rationed to one tank a day due to short supply and high demand for anhydrous and truck drivers to deliver it. Still managed to get nearly 400 acres done.
Since my plans are always subject to daily change I did not anhydrous the final field. As of yesterday I had no wheat or flax seed and wondering what I was going to plant. I'd about given up the idea of flax and was preparing to start calling suppliers for more canola seed to substitute. Then I got really lucky when the seed plant had a cancellation and an opening to clean flax right here and now. Needless to say my plans changed again and I had the truck loaded and on the road to the plant shortly.
And those roads get more interesting each day as the frost is coming out and soft spots develop. Even the empty truck leaves ruts in places. Over 200 bushels is pushing it but I risked it on the final load of cleaned flax and made it home without incident.
In this photo my 42 year old IH truck is being loaded by a nice shiny new Brandt grain conveyor. I am watching with some concern as the weight of the grain makes the left rear duals sink into the spongy ground of the yard. In the background the 3 huge windmills  are cranking out watts to help power the seed plant.
The old IH made it through the spongy ground without burnt clutch or twisted axles. The last snowbanks have finally melted and the sun shines so all is well for now.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Time Well Wasted

Time well wasted.There is an old saying goes something like "time you enjoy wasting is not really wasted. I suppose riding atvs and moving antique cars might be considered a waste of time by some but I did enjoy it today.
http://youtu.be/Uno-NWC--xU