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Friday, June 30, 2017

Spraying to Haying

I finally got finished (for now) spraying crops and unhitched Monday morning. Removed the duals from the 2090 and should have probably hitched up to the haybine and cut hay. But I don't usually start til into July. It is a little shorter crop this year since  we have had so little rain. A big change from the past decade when I was always complaining about too much rain.
Luckily the crops are hanging on using subsoil moisture. And it has been mostly below normal temperatures which does not  stress the crops so badly. Those forecasts of a hot and  dry summer were a bit out but its not too  late to come  true. Heat predicted for next week.
According to photo records we are little behind last year as the canola was blooming yellow by this date. I'm not seeing much for flowers yet but any day now.
Wheat prices have taken a real nice jump. They will likely increase quite a bit more now since I just sold the last of mine a couple of days ago. Too bad canola is not doing the same but maybe its just a matter of time if we don't get rain.
Heading home on the grid road in the land of living skies. 

Friday, June 23, 2017

Need More Global Warming?

Is this the climate change/global warming they are talking about? June 23 and my furnace is running! The temp was down to 62 which is downright uncomfortable for sitting around the house any time. Outdoors we struggled up over the 50 degree mark finally (about 10C for you metric converts) but with the wild wind blowing day and  night that is cold  too. I kept  warm hilling  potatoes  and sawing dead tree limbs part of the day while  wearing coveralls and a  heavy jacket. Not what you expect for June in Sask. I can remember June days when it was literally too hot to work out in  the direct sunlight. I'd try to get  jobs done in the early part of the day before it got too hot. Maybe I need to drive more and produce more CO2?
On the positive side the mosquitoes are not a  problem while this wind blows. Unfortunately it is also too windy to spray crops. Meanwhile the weeds keep growing and the crop gets bigger, more prone  to tire damage during  spraying. Maybe tomorrow.
Saw the first potato bloom yesterday. And the first potato bug today.
Nice straight rows planted by GPS (Goffs Positioning System)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Spray? No Way!

So far I've had one good crop spraying day this week (yesterday). Other days were threatening rain or too windy. I did work monday evening, when the wind dropped but I had to run right up past sundown to finish the field. The crop was getting so wet even at sundown that the tires were building up mud so hopefully the herbicide will work on the weeds. Same thing next morning when I got out early to empty out the last ten acres worth in the tank. Crop wetter than if it had rained so we will see how that works. The rest of the day was near perfect conditions and I finished the wheat.
Roundup ready canola is more than ready for it's second spraying as soon as conditions permit. The plants are getting so big I will do some damage with the tires just by pulling the sprayer but there is so much volunteer flax coming up that I really need to get it done. Or else it will be a "dual crop" of canola and flax.
I watched this one working in the wind this morning before it got up to ridiculous speeds. They say wind gusts hit over 70 km per hour by mid day.
Hoping for a quiet morning tomorrow.
video

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Happy Father's Day

We seem to hear a lot more about Father's day now than when I was a kid. I don't recall anyone making a big deal out of it way back then. My dad's comment was always, "every day is father's day".
This photo from 1961 is one of my earliest memories of him. We would get off the school bus and if dad was out in the field working we might be sent out with lunch for him. A syrup pail hanging on the handlebars of the bike with coffee and home made cookies was the way I remember it. Mike the dog would follow along too of course.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Boating On Former Farmland

In case you miss it on facebook, here is my latest youtube video. It was a cool Sunday afternoon but the sun came out for some impressive sky views. We truly are the land of living skies. The land under this lake used to produce a lot of grain before nature claimed it back with high water levels over the past decade or so. No fish here that we know of but maybe its time to introduce some?




Monday, June 12, 2017

Messing About in Boats

That line from the Wind in The Willows by Kenneth Graeme came to mind yesterday as we were out in a boat. Just a 14 foot but it held six of us comfortably and stable. 4 rowers kept busy for the best part of an hour and we pretty much made the rounds of the "lake".
This lake was formerly farm land that produced crops. But for the past ten years or more a lot of it has been under water due to high rainfall and low evaporation levels.
You can see the same area in this video from September of  1997 when we were harvesting oats.
I think that combine would be over half submerged in that spot if it was parked there now. I could not reach the bottom of the lake with my 7 foot "selfie stick" so it is pretty deep. Not a good place for a guy that can't swim and floats like a rock. Hence the life jackets.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Courage of The Early Morning

That is the title of a book by Billy Bishop , the flying ace of World War one. I must have read it years ago and the title stuck in my mind and usually I'm reminded of it on the rare occasion I actually do get up early in the morning. Once I'm up I enjoy it though. On a day like yesterday when there was fog in the hollow indicating a fine day to follow, without the annoying and soul destroying winds that plague us all to frequently, it was worth getting up at 5:00 am.
It was because of those wild winds, which made it inadvisable , or just plain crazy , to try and spray crops. Some mornings it was even windy by sunrise. Not June 7 though. I got in a good day of crop spraying. Put over 30 road miles on the tractor running back and forth for tanks of water/glyphosate, and probably more miles than that in the field. And only a gentle breeze at most.
No time to stop and take photos as I'm always under pressure spraying crops but I did take this quick shot over the steering wheel while driving by the "big slough" over on Winstanley Grove. So named back in the days when most sloughs dried up except this one.
You can see the rows of canola plants looking good. Looks like canola planted on summerfallow is superior to what I planted on flax stubble this year. In the years when it rains every other day the canola will germinate quick. But in this , the first dry spring we have had in years, any seed planted in dry soil is taking a long time to germinate (waiting on rain).

Monday, June 5, 2017

Lucky Again

At least for the short term. I finally went last night to check the first field of canola I seeded. I expected to see a big bare patch that would need re-seeding with something.I had made a mistake setting the sprockets on the air seeder and the canola seed ran out way faster than it was supposed to. Luckily I stopped to check after 20 acres expecting to still have enough to do another ten acres. The tank was empty!! And  I did not know for how long it ran that way so no way to go back and re-seed at that time.
Looking last evening I could only see a small triangle of unseeded ground. Not worth a 12 mile round trip with the air seeder.
Lucky too that the canola is actually emerging considering how little rain we have had. Driest May in 45 years they say. This field (on summerfallow) is doing pretty well for emergence compared to the other field planted on flax stubble. That one is a lot drier and some of the canola seed is just waiting for rain to germinate. That makes for an uneven crop.
Its been said that we are only ever two weeks away from a drought in the growing season in Sask. Hard to believe after the past en years of mud and excess rain but I guess it had to happen.
Also see me rambling on about seeding, weather, etc. in this latest video.