I'm on Twitter

https://twitter.com/B110

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Cold

No, not the weather, just  a lousy head cold that hit me a couple of days ago.  I've had worse but its still miserable enough. Glad it waited til I finished the grain trucking. Although I 've got a bin of canola I need to transfer this week, weather permitting. I'll try not to think about that $1.50 or so per bushel I have lost on it since this time last year. Thanks to the political problems with China
So heres the latest video showing my Rube Goldberg repair on the rear axle of the 52 Merc. Its a nice new bearing but the problem was the housing that the bearing sits in had a bit of wear so the bearing was not tight in it. I used my old standby, J.B. Weld to build up the worn area. A different formulation this time. It did not look too inspiring as I applied it and bolted it all together. But I guess time will tell how well it worked. Its entirely possible the new bearing might have worked just fine without any assistance from me.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Wheat Cleaning

A good day's work getting the wheat hauled to the cleaning plant. Still a month to go til it goes in the ground but its good to know the job is done. Weather was nice and the ground mostly dry. The one stretch of mud was not a big problem and won't be a big deal to smooth out with the blade once it dries out some.

The new residents of the hundred acre woods came out to watch me work. The bison herd has been there a bit over a week and seem to be enjoying their new home. They are the first livestock on that farm since my uncle went out of cattle over 20 years ago.






Monday, March 25, 2019

Hauling Wheat March 2019

I'm not normally a morning person but I've been up well before the sun the past 3 days. Wheat contract needed to be filled now that the terminal finally had rail cars but we had to do it "on the frost" to avoid tearing up my yard and driveway while it was thawed. Saturday morning was a false alarm as it barely froze the surface overnight but Sunday was a go. 18F overnight and the mud was hard as concrete. So even a loaded semi did not leave a track.

This morning was the same and with an extra truck on the job it was all done by dinner before the ground turned to mud.




Saturday, March 23, 2019

Bison In The Hundred Acre Woods

Fence went up last November in preparation and this week in March the bison herd arrived. The hundred acre woods now has a small herd of bison roaming in it. Probably for the first time in 150 years. My grandfather and uncles would be amazed to see them on the land they used to farm. I only gave up about 20 acres of farmland. The rest was poplar woods and uncultivated grassland but that gives the herd about 80 acres to live on. Hopefully the rain falls and the grass grows to keep them fed.
Just a quick drive by photo as I passed the farm yesterday. Hopefully more and better pictures to follow.

Monday, March 11, 2019

A Little Late

Late to install the snow blower on the 11th of March but I figured it would be easier to park back in it's storage corner of the shed if it was connected to the tractor. So its on and I'm ready now in case we get a late winter snowstorm. Always a possibility here.

Its finally warmed up after a record cold February and beginning of March. We nearly hit the thawing mark today.
Its been a low snow winter adding to the concerns we are in a continuing dry spell. Somehow we grew an excellent crop last year on the minimal amounts of rain we got. I can't see it happening two years in a row.
Our most profitable crop, canola, has taken a serious hit thanks to China rejecting imports from Richardson Grain. Politics. Using the farmer as bargaining chips as usual. That represented about 40 percent of our export market. Prices had been mediocre prior to that and took a drop after the news hit. So its 1990s prices for our canola. Yet the seed companies are expecting us to pay 4 times what we paid for seed in the 1990s.
Got the 4 yearling calves hauled out last week so cattle feeding is a little slower here now with only 4 cows and the bull  left. They seem a little quiet and depressed. Missing the young ones I guess.
The recent warm weather gave me the opportunity to take the drone up for a short flight over the yard. And of course I shot a bit of video.



Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Cattle

Not sure what to title this one. I'd been dreading and stressing about this day for weeks. A mix of sadness and relief that the yearlings went away on the cattle trailer this morning. Glad to see those two little horn headed yearling bulls go as they were getting to be a problem. The two heifers, I could have kept as replacements at least one anyway. I kind of regret letting the best one go.  Maybe next year.
It went surprisingly well. I was out at the shelter in the dark shortly after 6:00 am. Could not sleep anyway so might as well get to work. Luckily it had warmed up to -5F or so and the relentless wind had dropped.
I got lucky, the four I wanted were still in the shelter/confinement area. Wearing my trusty headlight and throwing down some hay to occupy them, I was able to pull the steel gates in place to pen them up. Then wait til the extra cow and bull were ready to walk out and let them out of the gate. So far-so good. Now to clear the snow away so the truck and cattle trailer can get around. The 2090 started fine seeing as the block heater had been plugged in almost 24 hours. My half mile riveway was heavy going with hard packed snow drifts but they reluctantly yielded to the mighty 8 foot Cancade dozer blade. The yard took a little longer as I needed to clear a big "turn around area" for the truck and trailer. That goes slow with an angle blade pushing less than 8 feet. But not bad work with the heater blowing warm air and CBC radio to entertain and inform me what is happening in the rest of the world.
The trucker showed up in good time considering I was ready about 3 hours before the appointed time. No great drama or excitement with the loading. Only one of the four remaining cows seems to be concerned about her missing calf but its for the best he is gone. The last thing that old decrepit cow needed was to keep feeding a big calf. Now she can concentrate on getting herself back in good shape maybe.
No video from today. I just could not bother with a camera this time. Later in the afternoon these cats were sure enjoying the sun on the sheltered side of the barn so I took this shot.

Friday, March 1, 2019

March In Like a Lion

Once again the first of March has rolled around and we get to decide whether it is "in like a Lion" or a lamb. I was leaning toward the lamb this morning but by noon we had reduced visibility and cold NW wind. The temp had climbed to at least +10F but then started dropping making it decidedly uncomfortable.

Still, since I had planned a trip to town and the Blazer had been heating up with the block heater for a few hours ready to go, I figured give it a try. I soon decided it wasn't worth all the spinning and reversing it was going to take, even with 4 winter tires chewing up the snow. I was able to reverse back to the yard and call it off. Nothing I needed that badly in town that can't wait for another day or two. Looks like I might finally have to use a tractor on the driveway.