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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Raising Smoke and Dust

I have done a little of that this week. Actually making a little dust as the field surface dries out behind the anhydrous cultivator. The smoke is from burning flax straw. Seems that every time I drag an implement through a flax field it pulls up more straw that needs piling and burning. It takes time and energy. I even resorted to "old technology", the pitch fork, to finish up some of the burning.
Taken earlier this week.
Finished the anhydrous job with only 2 flat tires on the cultivator. Seed cleaning is really holding me up. The flax seed should have been cleaned and ready to go over a month ago but I guess it has been a busy spring at the cleaning plant. With a little luck I will have the job done today and maybe make a start on seeding the first field.

4 comments:

  1. Flax straw is quite the problem. We baled our last year and burned it in a pile. This year the seed company claims to have someone who will buy it for roughage. I have yet to see this...
    Baling adds cost to the production but flax makes a good rotation to get rid of some serious weed issues and it seems to no-till pretty well.
    I see I am raising little piles of flax straw behind the no-till drill now this year. No-tilling oats into flax stubble. It is not really a problem.
    In theory we could open burn our flax straw but I think the city folk would soon start to object.

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  2. Most soils are in such dire need of organic matter that I cringe to think of burning crop residue. However, I honestly can't think of any viable alternative for your situation.

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  3. Is there no market for bales? Perhaps frerroconcrete & straw walls for buildings? Export to Mexico for adobe might have worked years ago, but they are all here now. :-) Seems like a waste to have to remove and burn it.

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  4. Yes, I do not generally burn crop residue but flax straw is like no straw you have ever seen. Close to indestructible. The more you handle it and chew it up, the tougher it gets. Re: markets for straw, there is sometimes a limited demand for it but distance and fuel cost is a big factor if you have to ship the bales any distance.

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