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Monday, June 30, 2014

Unbelievable!

That is the word I have used the most this past while. Although I usually add  "unf======ing believable" lately every time I go out and check on the latest rain and water damage. I empty the rain gauge every morning and try to record it as there is no way I will remember it. Just one day after another of rain and they all blend into a blur.  I am getting away easy compared to some. My house is relatively dry unlike those in town who are spending most of their time moving stuff out of their basements and pumping water.
High water in Sask.
My driveway was still passable last night with both culverts running full capacity but half a mile north or south and the main roads are under running water so I won't know if they are still passable until I get out on the atv to check. Even the highway to the east has water running over it although no damage yet.
Crop damage is inevitable and has sort of taken a back seat now as we look at the more immediate concerns.
Crop spraying for weeds? I won't even take a guess when (if) that will even happen now. Those last fields may have to grow "organic" in the parts that survive the flooding. Luckily I am not locked into any contracts for this year's crops. It will be enough of a challenge just to fill the delivery contracts for last year's grain assuming it stores safe in the bins with all this rain. Trucking has been an issue all spring and I keep thinking the roads will improve as spring turns to summer. In fact things have gone downhill there too.
It is making snow, cold weather and frozen ground look rather attractive right now.
Yes, I did move that water pump.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Forgetful But Lucky

Sometimes I forget things. For example a couple of months ago I "borrowed" a small clamp off the fuel filter on the 59 IH pickup to use on the new fuel line and valve I was installing on the Massey tractor. There were none to be found anywhere else and it was a long way to town for new clamps. I had good intentions of buying new clamps and re installing them on the truck. But we know all about good intentions.
Fast forward to today and I am working on the truck. Since the incessant rains make it impossible to get in the fields and spray crops I am doing what I can. After a few seconds of cranking I suddenly notice flames from the engine compartment which was cause for great concern since the truck was securely parked in the big shed surrounded by other farm equipment. If the fire got ahead of me it could spread to the whole shed and the rest of the machinery. Nothing appeared to be burning, just flames coming off the shiny painted inner fender well.
At least half an hour away from the closest V.F.D. so that is no option. Maybe hook up a tractor and chain to drag the truck out and let it burn? No, that might take too long. Got a thousand gallons of water in the tank on the other truck not far away but could I carry a pail of water fast enough to put the fire out? Back the water truck close enough to run water from the hose on the fire maybe? No, still too slow. I grabbed a piece of carpet and smothered the flames, which by this time seemed to be decreasing on their own.
Turned out I had left the fuel line disconnected from the filter so that the pump was spraying fuel out onto the spark plug wires. There must have been just enough of a spark leak in the wires to ignite the gas. Lucky that today's gas is not quite as explosive as it used to be. Otherwise there might have been a "big bang". The truck ran fine after  I found a clamp and re-connected the gas line.
In other news, its raining again. Although that is not really news here anymore. Rain seems to be a constant thing lately. Another 8 tenths this afternoon and it ain't over yet.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

June 19 Way Too Wet



Yes, I am complaining about too much rain again. The farmers on agriville were commenting on the fact that "rain takes grain" and after checking my fields this morning I can agree that the rain is gradually taking our hopes of a good crop away. Drowned out areas are everywhere. Cereal crops are turning yellow from too much water. Canola is turning purple. I did get the canola sprayed for the second , and final, application today. It needed it and with the forecast of more days of rain I guess today was my last chance. Hopefully the rain that hit just after I  finished will not wash off the herbicide before it works.

Driving through the mud and water I am doing a lot of crop damage but a crop infested with weeds is not a good option either.

Rising water levels are making ever more difficult getting into the grain bins at the yard in the "hundred acre woods." We can drive through the water across the trails with small vehicles and equipment but forget about loaded trucks. I need a load of gravel in there to level up the bins now that they are installed on their new floors as of a few days ago.

With a rainy weekend forecasted I'm not sure just how we will accomplish this but....

And what is it with these horrendous little biting flies that we are besieged with lately? I don't recall ever seeing so many of them before. I even wore earplugs to keep them out of my ears today. Blackflies ?


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Once again, rain!

Nothing new here. Just rain every day this week it seems. The ducks and beavers are happy. Crops are growing pretty good, as are the weeds since it is impossible to get into the fields with a sprayer. I am well on the way to matching last year's "15 inches of rain in 30 days" figure. Maybe I will have "organic" crops this year. No herbicide applied to them. Unfortunately that would mean likely half the yield and weed infested fields and not able to sell the grain for organic prices. You need to be an "accredited" organic farmer for that and it takes several years.
Meanwhile, rubber boots are the footwear of necessity here, preferably ones that don't leak. To see sunshine and hay making in process you can look at the Lazy Farmer's blog.

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Walt Disney Moment


Checking out the latest photos on the trail cam and some made me think of the Walt Disney movies where all species seem to get along and be friends. No fighting or killing. This rather large raccoon is eating a bit of wheat that was swept out of the truck box recently. The doe came along to get her share. As well the magpie was right in there. I saw no sign of competition or aggression. I guess if it comes down to the last few kernels of wheat we might see a fight.
At least they won't be fighting over who is greater, Allah or God. I have not watched this supposedly graphic and violent video yet.
http://weaselzippers.us/189767-isis-video-we-will-conquer-jerusalem-we-will-conquer-rome-hostility-and-hatred-until-you-believe-in-allah-alone/
 Not sure if I will. The damp and rainy weather preventing me from crop spraying is depressing enough without watching something like this.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Lilac Time


Yes, its that time of year again and I've been meaning to take a picture but never seem to take the time to stop. This morning I did. It isn't Kew Gardens and its plenty far from London but here is the blooming lilac bush on display at "The Poplars", the Ernest Nevard homestead. I wonder if Ernest and Mary were thinking of the lilacs at Kew Gardens when they planted these lilacs so many years ago on their homestead in a wild and distant land, far from where they grew up in the U.K. Maybe this was a little reminder of where they came from.
As usual I was racing against inclement weather trying to get crop spraying done. With threatening rain and rising wind (both bad news for spraying herbicides) I still stopped for just a minute to take this shot with the lilacs in the background of the tractor and sprayer.
3 hours and 90 acres later the sprayer tank was empty and I was on the way home in strong winds but still no rain.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Sunny Skies and Shiny Trucks

Another "lazy " blog post. Rather than come up with some creative comments I am just posting the link to my latest youtube video featuring a closer look at the International Loadstar that has been moving grain on and off this farm for the past 30 years.Thought I better shoot some video of it while it was clean.
Otherwise I am still the hamster on the treadmill. Managed to get the last field planted a few days ago and found that the canola was up and needed spraying for weeds right away. The chem fallow also needed spraying yesterday. It is almost unbelievable how things have grown with all this rain . Grain needs to be moved and rain falls every other day. It is wetter in the fields now than it was a month ago. There is discussion over on agriville about which is worse, flooding or drought. Consensus seems to be whichever one you have right now is the worst. The only drought I have ever experienced was 1988, Otherwise it has been adequate to excessive moisture the rest of the time.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Rain On The Window Pane

The rain today puts me in mind of this "Lazy Farmer" story. I should be sitting in my rocking chair as I type this I guess. But then I am not quite yet the lazy farmer. Trying but too many things to do before I get around to it.