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Sunday, May 19, 2019

Harrowing Macdonald Hills Farm

Got done early this afternoon and seeing as it is Sunday, and the May long weekend I figured I'd take some time to put a video together showing what I was doing today. Popular myths will have you believe that Saskatchewan is all flat as a table. So as I was working at the farm in the Macdonald Hills area I figured I'd use that in the title of the video. Hills are hard to portray in the two dimensiional world of photos and video but trust me, they are hills. You can hear the tractor engine working a little harder on the steep one.

Another in the seeming endless days of sun, wind, and no rain. Plenty of dust all around me and it would have been cold sitting on an open tractor. If I had to do this job out on an open tractor I'd be retiring pretty quick. Today I just turned on the AC as needed and worked in dust free comfort listening to CBC propaganda and talk shows.




































Saturday, May 18, 2019

Plant Preview 2019

Time sure flies lately. I think I've been in the tractor(s) every day the past couple of weeks. Between anhydrousing, seeding, picking  rocks and harrowing, and no "rainy day breaks" it keeps me busy. Not to mention a few minor breakdowns that used up a lot of time. I mean 3 days to plant a 120 acre field is a bit much. I could have done that in a day even with the old 22 foot Seedrites in a good day. Flat tractor tire, blown hydraulic hoses and intermittent electric clutch failures on the air seeder kept things interesting. Plenty of video shot either in the cab or outside but no time to do much editing. And I refuse to upload raw, unedited video to youtube.

Still no rain and it gets drier every day. Well we did get that little spit on Wednesday that laid the dust and messed up the cab windows but it didn't do a thing for soil moisture. Lots of money going into the ground in hopes of rain.




Thursday, May 9, 2019

First Day Seeding 2019

I finally started seeding some wheat today. The day was warm compared to what we have been getting lately so it was a little more inspiring to put seed and fertilizer in the ground. Lots of dust off the dry surface but there is some moisture down in the seeding level so it should germinate. But after that we are going to need rain and quite a bit.

The getting ready took most of the day. Loading fertilizer and seed on the truck. Then filling the air seeder. Calibrating the air seeder. Took 3 attempts before I hit the right rate on fertilizer. I'm cutting back a bit on wheat seed but still giving it a good shot of granular fertilizer.

Today's forecast for scattered showers was wrong as usual. No doubt tomorrow's forecast of general rain will also amount to nothing significant either.












Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Newer Coopers For The Merc

I should be out seeding the crop. Maybe. Its been so unseasonably cold and miserable that I can't get inspired to actually do that yet. The meltdown in grain prices due to this political standoff with China makes summerfallow look like the best crop option for 2019. Putting seed and expensive fertilizer into cold ground might not  be the best option just yet as I doubt anything will grow til it warms up some. So I'm getting some routine  maintenance and inspections done  on  the machinery while  the weather makes up it's mind.  Keeping warm working in the shop installing a "new to me" pair of tires on the back of the Mercury. They are looking good. Time for a test drive. Soon.
















Saturday, May 4, 2019

Cold But Scenic

If it was in the old days of riding open tractors I'd be sitting here in the house trying to thaw out. That strong NW wind and temps around 50 would chill you to the bone after a few hours on an open tractor.  I know from experience and don't miss those days. Sitting in the scenic greenhouse of the old Magnum today was quite comfortable. I got tired of waiting on rain (or snow) to alleviate the dry conditions and started on applying anhydrous today.
I don't remember when anhydrous has ever been this expensive, pushing the $1000 per tonne mark. Or when I've put it on in such dry conditions either. But I'm giving it a good shot and hoping we get enough rain to grow some wheat on that ground.
Its a nice change being able to drive without concern of mud and getting stuck. Working through sloughs that have not been worked in years or maybe ever seeded.
Even with  late start and not really pushing too hard I finished the field by 9:00 with 112 acres done. That 1985 Peterbilt pulling the anhydrous refill tank would fit right in with my old machinery.
I'm currently uploading a video of some of today's work to youtube and its taking forever. Oh well, gives me time to catch up on washing dishes and checking email.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Slow Spring

Slow progress on the spring warm up here. True, we had temps in the 70s back on Good Friday but then we have also had overnight temps well below freezing. Days when I need to wear parka and toque working out in the yard. Furnace still runs every day at some point just to keep the house at a reasonably comfortable temp.
So no great incentive to get out in the fields putting expensive inputs to the cold ground. On the positive side at least not many weeds are growing. We missed out on the snow that fell in some parts giving much needed moisture.
Yesterday was nice enough to get out on the open tractor and clean up the worst rocks on a small 60 acre field. Started out with the parka but soon had to remove it. (And yes, I need a new parka). No wind made all the difference. Quiet days seem rare here lately and are a welcome respite from the wind.
So I recorded some of the rock picking fun. Similar to the way I was introduced to it some 50 years ago. Back then we not only had to load the rocks by hand but also had to unload them by hand. I think of that every time I'm near those old rock piles built by hand years ago.