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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Road test camera mount

I am too lazy to come up with a real blog post today so here is the next best thing. I bought a suction camera mount for my digital so I can shoot video "hands free". Makes for a nice steady video and safer too. For all the complaining I do about distracted drivers talking and texting on cell phones while driving I thought I better not let myself fall into the same "distracted" category.Some are complaining we will have a brown christmas with no snow for the first time in years. Actually we last had one in 1997. As seen in this video from yesterday , we have just about the right amount of snow, at least in my part of Sask. Everything is white but roads are good and no deep snow to push or shovel. The temps are about 20 degrees above normal but thats not hard to take.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Driving the B110.

Just another one of the rusty old trucks in my shed. I thought it needed a little exercise before winter sets in. You may want to fast forward through some as I did not do much editing on this one. The old IH has been on the farm since 1973 and has a bit of history to it. When I drive it I sometimes think about this old tune by  Waylon and Willie  I don't pick guitars but I do drive old trucks.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Les Goff WWII

I see it has been 3 years since my last (and first) entry of my Dad's WWII story here so maybe its about time for the next installment. If you missed the first one you can review it here
This photo is one of the guys my Dad was with for a while in the 18th battery , 2nd anti-tank division. "Snuffy Schafford" was the name my Dad knew him by. Here Snuffy is sitting on the front fender of one of their gun tower trucks.

......There were six of us gunners so we soon had the gun turned around. The driver managed to get the tow truck turned around and we made our way back. It didn’t seem very far. It was a bit moonlight so we could make out some objects along the way, some knocked out tanks. Both German and British. Then we turned up a narrow road with quite a lot of trees and hedges. We came to the place we were to exchange with the British gun crew, take out their gun and crew with our tow truck and put in place our gun. Same location alongside a very large tree and more hedge. All was going fairly good and we didn’t lose any time making the switch when suddenly there came that howling sound of mortars. It was the first time I had heard anything like it. Instinct took over and I dived for what looked like a trench between the gun trail. It turned out to be what I thought it was but there was a couple of the British gun crew still in it. I landed on top of them.

6.Luckily it was below ground level so that’s pretty safe unless you get a direct hit. When the dust settled I got out to see what had happened expecting to see some great holes in the ground but there was no sign of anything like that. They make terrific blast and shrapnel . In this incident the British officer was killed. We didn’t lose anybody at this first introduction to “ moaning minnies.” They are fired from either six or twelve barreled apparatus. Known as Nebelwerfers they can bring them down quite accurately with devastating and harassing effect. Jack Faibish , our Sergeant in charge of the gun and myself took over the trench beside the gun with our ammo piled at the back of us, not realizing the effect of a hit or near miss by small arms or mortar.

7.You are never told much about your location , who was to your left , right or rear. I soon came to the conclusion that our gun was pointing to the rear which bothered me as all the firing was coming from behind us. Mostly machine gun and mortar. There would be a lull and then they would start blasting away again. I didn’t know where the rest of the crew were but assumed they were close by. It was not safe to move around after dark so we laid low . A half ton was left near us in case we had to leave in a hurry.. We soon found out it was a lost cause as by morning it was completely out of commission. It was our first casualty.

8.Come first light of morning there was a lot of motor noise about two or three hundred yards behind us and the sound of tank tracks. Jack tells me to get on the gun. We are not sure who they are, however I must follow orders unless I recognize it to be friendly. I was given the range which I put on then ordered to fire when ready. I went through the necessary sequence and pressed the foot pedal trigger. Nothing happened. I then realized I had not removed the safety catch. I said, “damn, I forgot the safety catch” . Jack shouted “Hold it, I think they might be our tanks”. So we sat for two or three minutes, studied them as they were amongst some trees. It was hard to identify. At this time of year it becomes light very fast and early. These tanks appeared to be British Crusader type tanks. That was the one and only time I neglected to remove the safety catch. It took a while to get over thinking what the results would have been if it had not been for the safety catch. I can’t remember if we said much about it after. When you are taken into position after dark you are pretty much in the dark as to what is happening all around you.

9.We stayed in this position for ten days. The temperature was around 80 degrees F , it was pretty hot. The stink was pretty high from the dead animals and men in the area. These were left until the battle moved on as it is impossible to bury anything due to the shelling. You didn’t go far from your hole in the ground. The second day we were there, Jerry dropped a big shell right along side our gun. There was quite a bulge came in our trench. A tire on the gun was flattened and several holes through the heavy gun trail plus some of our ammo cases. Luckily no ammo burst or flared up. There was a big hole in the ground which proved to be quite handy as a biffy. Those trips were made in record time as you never knew how much time you had.

10.After a day or so I discovered Sgt. Pete Barret of Indian Head with his crew were not far from us. During some shelling Pete’s ammo was hit and went on fire and  due to fire or exploding shells, Pete was wounded. Its funny but I can not remember sleeping at that position. If I did I think it must have been by day. I do remember sharing a trench with one of the other gunners one night. We would take turns as every one did two hours watching, listening mostly as you couldn’t see much. This character was quite nervous and when he was supposed to be on watch, every few minutes he would say to me, “Goff, I hear something”. I was somewhat relieved when after three days this man and two others were taken out and back to headquarters. Jack told them to have their kit and rifle and be ready when the ration jeep came about dusk and unloaded and beat a hasty retreat. Those three men didn’t waste any time getting on board. For one it was his first time out of the trench. He left everything behind. It was at this same place I lost some of my equipment due to mortar fire. My rifle and mess tins and various odds and ends of army issue I had put out of my trench for some reason. After a mortar shower that I knew was very close I found the butt of my rifle was gone. My mess tins had holes in them. I think I lost my shaving gear which I didn’t need anyhow as we didn’t shave for ten days at which time was the least of our worries. We had shaved our heads prior to going to France so we were pretty dirty and crumby looking after ten days. This was the place where my boots stayed on continually for ten days except to change socks.....................to be continued.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Benefits of Blogging

Yes, sometimes there are beneficial side effects to this waste of time called blogging. One of my blog postings way back a while was  called Charles and Kate along with a nice studio portrait they had taken of themselves back in England before they came to Canada in 1910. Seeing as Charles had the unique name of "Hobetzeder" I used it as one of the labels or search tags thinking it might bring some interesting feedback. Sure enough I eventually had a couple of contacts from people who were distant relatives of Charles (and me) and wanted to share a little more information about the family history. Finally someone to share this wealth of old photos and letters I have accumulated over the years.
Charles , or Karl as he was known in his homeland of Austria received and saved many postcards and letters in the 1920s from old friends and family back in Austria. Of course all written in german and I could not read much more than "leiber Karl".
Now I am busily scanning the old letters , photos and postcards to send back to the fellow in Austria who contacted me initially. He translates them into english for me, lucky he is fluent in both german and english.
This postcard from 1907 shows Karl (middle row, second from the left) standing beside his friend Sebastian who sent many of the letters and postcards.
Translation of the text on the back..........
"I hope you are fine, healthy and contented with your life. In my life nothing has changed, it's always the same.

Some better news from home, at least my sister is a bit better. I fear mother won’t ever recover her health again.
A sad thing, but that’s life.
Best wishes from all who are familiar with you.

Have you got the specialist journal, I've sent? – Please write back very soon. Greetings from my grandmum.
She hasn’t sent back my photo of you either. Elias wrote a letter to you.
Best wishes to you.
Your faithful friend

Sebastian Mair"

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Remembering WWII on November 11

I posted a couple of entries re: Remembrance Day over at Nevardblog so thought I might add a little something here from WWII in memory of my Dad, Les Goff. Thats him in the photo relaxing with some of his buddies in the 18th battery 2nd anti-tank division of the Canadian Army. The photo was taken just after the end of the war near Oldenburg , Germany. No doubt they were feeling pretty good knowing that they had survived the past few years of fighting and would now soon be headed home.
Dad had volunteered in the fall of 1940 and started his basic training in April of 1941. I guess after living through the depression years of the 1930s with plenty of hard work and nothing to show for it, the army looked pretty good. 3 meals a day and a dollar a day sure beat farming.
Took his first boat ride crossing the Atlantic in 7 days and then spent a good long while with more training and exercises preparing to go in as reinforcements. He got to know the south coast of England very well in that time. He missed out on D-Day, June 6, 1944, arriving in Bayeux, France in July of the same year. From there on things got serious. Plenty of live ammunition and explosives came his way and the dead bodies of animals and humans became a common sight as they moved on through France, Belgium and Holland. Luckily Dad wrote down a lot of details of these experiences in later years.
He made it back home to Sask. in November of 1945 to try farming again. Government grants through the veteran land act were available but it seemed that you had to know the right people and politicians to get anywhere . Dad never got any help from them and had to get by on his own . He did ok.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Multi tasking distractions, etc.

I guess I should'nt multi task but I do. Trouble is I get distracted by things and end up wasting more time than I saved by "multi-tasking".
Yesterday for example. Getting a jump on predicted winter snowfall for the weekend I got busy installing the blade on the tractor. It went well. I threw the jackall onto the hitch of the tractor to head back to the shed and call it a day. Driving past the old rotting stack of bales it occurred to me that this would be a good chance to push those bales out into the field for burning now that I had the blade on the big tractor. Turns out the pile was a bit too big even for this tractor and I was only able to demolish and re-arrange the pile before running out of traction. So head for home but first better take a quick run through the field to clean the muck off the tires so it didn't fall off in the shed. While making this "quick run" I noticed the big rock I had dug out the other day and hey, no time like the present to push this rock off the field into the slough. And speaking of sloughs, this might be the last chance this fall to burn off the dead grass in it. Having done all that I proceeded back to the yard at high speed shaking off more mud from the tires. All the time forgetting about the jackall that I had been carrying precariously on the rear hitch of the tractor. Until I went to unload it in the shed. Surprise, no jackall.
So by tractor lights I re-traced all my tracks looking for the lost jackall in the field. No luck. My only conclusion is that it must have fallen off while pushing the rotting bale stack and is now buried somewhere in this pile. The only way to find it will be to grab a pitchfork and go to work tearing apart the pile in hopes of hearing the welcome sound of metal fork tines on steel jackall without having to go through the entire pile. And now it is snowing.
Since I am going to have to handle all this material anyway I might as well take the old IH gravel truck out there and throw the bales onto it to haul away.Sort of kill two birds with one stone. Thats if I don't get side-tracked on the way out to the truck.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Autumn and Smoke

Actually the movie was called "Summer and Smoke" but this is October 21 as I was making smoke today. The weather has been nice the past while and I'm catching up on a lot of jobs I didn't think I would get the chance to. Like piling and burning this flax straw. One less job to do next spring. I also got all the hay bales (71) hauled home, putting well over 60 miles on the little Massey in the process. Funny how a 60 mile trip sounds like a lot on a tractor but when you divide it up into 7 separate ten miles journeys it is no big deal.
Watching the smoke and flames and the few remaining autumn leaves it brought to mind one of the few things I remember from school days. An old poem Indian_Summer-by-William_Wilfred_Campbell, "along the line of smokey hills the crimson forest stands, and all the day the blue jay calls throughout the autumn lands". No Blue Jays calling today and precious few crimson leaves left on the trees. And I guess those "hills" are none too impressive. But there sure was smoke.
As I walked the fields with a pitchfork carrying piles of burning straw I also thought of my Uncles who walked these fields before me. They'd have been right out there helping out too I imagine if they were still living. And at quitting time invite me in for a cup of coffee to sit beside the old wood stove and talk a while, maybe watch the news and weather on tv.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Family Herald

The  old Family Herald magazine is a relic from over 50 years ago. One of the few farm publications my parents subscribed to. As a kid I was mostly interested in the cover photo and the comic section. The magazine had some good columnists and commentators, I guess they would be bloggers today .
Farming articles seemed to be a little more concentrated on the eastern style of farming, not the big wheat farms and cattle ranches we had out in the west.
Ads were prolific , annoying at the time but today they are some of the more interesting parts of the magazine.
A friend donated these to me recently, knowing my appreciation for old magazines and papers. No doubt he knew they would be going to a good home and not the incinerator barrel.
I guess it says something about me, the fact that I am more interested in farming magazines from 50+ years ago than today's glossy chemical company inspired offerings.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Friday, October 7, 2011

Baling with the Massey.

Beautiful fall weather continues and I keep finding things that need to be done before winter. Like baling some oat straw with the Massey baler earlier this week. It worked perfectly, which is not always the case with balers. Never missed a knot or broke a shear pin and it produced good solid bales. I wouldn't want to handle as many in a day now as I did 40 years ago when I was just getting into serious farm work but I don't mind a few for a change.
Over an inch of rain last night has given me a chance to catch up on a few "rainy day jobs" that were overdue. I actually made a dent in the huge pile of paperwork that needs to be entered into the farm accounts. Not my favourite job but a necessary one.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Harvest 2011 in the bin

Its done, the 2011 crop is in the bin. Except for the bushels I spilled on the ground and wasted through various accidents and my own stupidity. I sometimes think I wasted more grain then my grandfathers grew on this farm.
The final day was a bit of a stress test with a minor breakdown on the combine that involved no expense other than running miles back and forth down rough and dusty gravel roads with the grain truck to weld a hitch extension. Threatening unsettled weather put me a bit on edge too. I really wanted to get finished and get the machinery home under cover before rain hit. Hopes of that happening sunk quickly as the tractor sunk into the mud in mid afternoon. They say a short cut is not always a short cut and its true.
I had cut through this "dry" creek with the swather a few days earlier while cutting the flax. Figured the combine and tractor would make it through with an empty hopper. Not true. The combine started to sink pulling the tractor sideways. Without the rear dual wheels on the tractor, forward motion suddenly changed to downward movement and I quit before things got really mired. Thank goodness for cell phones and my nephew being home to bring a tractor to help. Even with the big new 50 foot nylon tow rope it was all the smaller tractor could handle to get the big guy out of the mud.
That pushed my finish time well into the late night hours. The weather gave me a break as the wind stayed up keeping the flax dry enough to go through the combine without plugging. That John Deere pull type has an insatiable appetite for grain swaths and I sure appreciated it. No regrets there.
The double swath feature on the swather is a mixed blessing. Two swaths laid together to make 40 feet per pass is a real time saver when it works. It takes perfect driving of the combine though to get it into the combine pickup. A few inches too far either way and swath starts pushing ahead  of the outside edge of the pickup creating a "snowball effect" in which flax is pushed and rolled up into an ever increasing pile . When that finally enters the header it is a real shock to the feeder system. I heard a few complaints from the slip clutches but it powered the slug through every time.
I did get out a few times to push swath into the header by hand in the tractor lights. All the time thinking about all the horror stories of farmers caught in combine augers and being permanently injured or worse.
The crop results were mixed. Wheat pretty good but downgraded due to ergot. Canola was great on one field, disaster on another due to combined effects of a missed herbicide application and then hail on the swath.
Oats pretty good, way better than last year.
Flax looked great all season but did not yield well.
Now to tackle the endless list of things needing to be done before winter. I know I won't finish it but will try to figure out the top priority items and get them done.

Monday, September 26, 2011

7721 Preview

Its late. After a long day of harvest and all the assorted other jobs that go with it, I am only going to post a short preview of what I eventually will put up on youtube . Call this one a "trailer".
Harvest is going well although I seem to be slightly behind the average in spite of my best efforts. Weather has been phenomenal with above average temperature drying out the grain. 86 degrees on the weekend. Air conditioning by day, heater by night. Northern lights shining bright when I quit tonight. Good sign? Bad? I don't know but I need another week or so of good weather to get done. The field of flax looks great but proved almost impossible to cut with the swather on the weekend so I put another $600 worth of iron into the cutter bar and hopefully that will make it cut the wiry stuff.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Wheat at Winstanley

What a depressing, cloudy, unsettled day it was. But this video I shot yesterday was just the opposite. Sunshine and wind, not a cloud in the sky and a big field of wheat just waiting for me to cut down. Which I soon did. It was a good 12 hour day in the combine with no breakdowns, hardly any holdups, so I was able to finish the field. Hot enough for air conditioning in the afternoon but needed the heater after sundown.
Today the weather turned against me. No real rain, just threatening enough that I did not want to drive the combine 5 miles from home only to be shut down by the rain that appeared imminent all afternoon.
On the positive side, it was a chance to catch up on some maintenance on the combine. Plus , I am nearly half finished harvest and with a little luck, it will all get done before winter.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Canola Harvest Sept 2011

Its late at the end of another long harvest day so I can't get too creative or verbose in this posting. I will let the video tell the story. In brief, we have had a week of well above normal temperatures which has given me a good start on harvest. I've harvested a field of canola which was better than expected. Started a field of wheat which is not as good as it appeared. At least the machinery is rolling along with no major complaints. The 40 year old truck and 22 year old combine continue to do the jobs they were designed for without complaint.
The beautiful harvest weather might just come to an end tonight. Clouds, high winds and lightning off in the distant sky are not looking too hopeful.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Tagging Turkey Vultures.

Something a little different today. These birds are kind of repulsive but do play an important role in cleaning up our environment of road kill and other assorted dead animals. The young bird's defense mechanism is to vomit on you. And considering that they eat carrion you can imagine the smell. Reminds me of the old saying, "enough to drive a buzzard off a gut wagon".
These two were hatched this summer in an old bin on one of the farms I work, the "hundred acre woods". A Sask . naturalist has been tagging these type of birds for years and was interested in tagging these .
The two young people that came to tag the vultures today were impressive in their knowledge and dedication to what they do.
In other news, weather is great, crops are advancing and I am finished swathing canola as of today. The "new to me" John Deere swather was a real treat to operate. Crop ranges from very good to very poor.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sask. Summer

Its been a fairly typical, mostly nice summer so far. Some bad hail and wind storms have hit some farms in the area causing crop and property damage. Crops are looking pretty great considering the poor start we got.
My flax fields are cleaner than usual, more good luck than good management I suspect.
Gradually getting most of the bins emptied of last year's grain in preparation for the soon to be new harvest.
In other news I have bought a John Deere swather, sold an IH swather and bought a well used New Holland haybine. The haybine is a bit of a "fixer upper" but as long as I don't charge myself anything for labour I will come out positive I think.
What else goes with sunny summer days in Sask. but antique car shows. Being self employed I allowed myself some time off yesterday and today to support the local "museum day" and see the antique car club vehicles out on display. I even parked the old 64 Chevy II near the rest of the antiques. Seriously, some of the "antique cars" were newer than what I was driving. As usual I could not resist shooting a little video to add to youtube.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Hay In A Day

A "hay in a day machine". That line ran through my head today as I baled hay with the New Holland round baler. NH used that line on some of their balers in the sixties and seventies. Not sure what they were meaning but I felt like I was doing that today. It was only Saturday I cut the hay and by today the grass was dry enough to rake and bale. Pretty quick but I guess that 90 degree heat and wind is good for something. This evening I rolled up 22 more hay bales for next winter.

I had used Dave's Massey 1085 tractor to run the ancient New Holland mower. A bit of overkill maybe but the power steering and cab were the big benefits of that tractor. As good as the old 730 Case is, it's manual steering with the weight of the dozer blade added is terrible heavy steering. I think even the "incredible Hulk" would fall to his knees in exhaustion after steering that tractor around a hayfield for a half hour.

I took this picture, rear view of the Massey, with the mower barely visible above the nice crop of brome grass. The grass/hay was, like me, a little past it's prime but still not bad. A few wild flowers thrown in the mix for flavour and I think the cows will be happy to eat it this winter. Opening up those bales next January when winter holds us in it's icy grip, it will be a little reminder of a time when warm summer breezes blew and wild flowers bloomed on the prairie.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Summer Heat

Seems not long ago we were complaining about the late, cold spring. Today is a real old fashioned summer day with temp near 90 and humidity up to the uncomfortable level. Sitting in the cool basement for a break I thought this cartoon from the "Lazy Farmer " series was appropriate.
I don't know if I'll survive to see the age of eighty-five. And Mirandy won't come through for me because she don't exist, by gee!
Actually haying went pretty well so far. Baling yesterday in the comfort of the cool , dust free cab was quite enjoyable. Some nice hay that had hardly any rain on it. I even shot a little video for youtube when I get it edited and uploaded.  Cutting the hay was a bit of an endurance test with mosquitos and pollen driving me to the limits by the time I quit.
I'm caught up in baling but there is more I could cut. Just have to decide how much more I might need to get the cattle through the winter.
This heat is bad news for the canola crop as the blossoms are really dropping off. It seems to have been a short blooming season anyway. Maybe due to the shallow root system that developed as a result of seeding in the mud.
Of course this weather can bring up summer thunder storms and the threat of the "big white combine" (hail storms) that can wipe out a crop in minutes.
My flax is looking good with the first blue flowers showing up these last few mornings. I don't see a lot of flax seeded locally so maybe I will have a scarce commodity if I'm able to produce a crop of it. Prices are good right now.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Moving Canola July 11.

Heres a little video of what I did yesterday. Known in the industry as "turning grain", I moved some of last years canola from several smaller bins into a bigger hopper bin. It was a good day for it although I made some mistakes with the camera taking interesting pictures of the ground as I walked instead of what I intended. The canola dust bothered me a little but not nearly as much as the grass pollen did today as I sat out in the mosquito-ridden hell that is Saskatchewan outdoors this summer.
The open station IH swather offers no protection from the weather , bugs or grass pollen. I used to laugh at people who talked about "hay fever" until the past few years when I have become much more intolerant of grass pollen.
Its like a bad head cold. Between the sneezing , runny nose, itching eyes and wrists (that could have been mosquito bites) I was about at the limit of my endurance.
This swather does not do well in certain types of grass. The knife builds up with material and begins to hammer out a warning that , if not heeded, could lead to expensive destruction of the knife drive gearbox. Slow down! Although at times I was hardly moving at all. A sitting duck for the hungry mosquitos. It was a good windy day that would normally keep the mosquitos and pollen dispersed and offer some relief. Unfortunately there is so much bush on Nevardland where I was cutting that a lot of the time I hardly knew the wind was blowing.
By 7:30 I had enough and drove up onto the transporter to enter the welcome confines of the cab of the Case tractor and drive home in relative comfort.
There is quite a bit more hay I could cut there but I've already cut more than enough to keep my small herd fed for the winter so I will not be in a hurry to go back and cut the rest.
Easterly winds blowing and clouds in the west hint at rain in the near future. Not a good thing for drying hay but I can't control the weather.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Modern Problems

Ok, I guess not modern my some standards, but to me a 1997 vehicle is "modern". My Chevy Blazer , normally ultra reliable, has failed me. It has taken a notion to stalling in traffic at low speeds and only reluctantly re-starting. Like so many newer vehicles the engine is nearly inaccessible to service or diagnose, not that there is much I could fix even if I could get at it.
A mass of electronics, sensors and computer controlled junk. After searching the net I see that this is not an uncommon problem on these vehicles. Unfortunately I have not found a clear and definite diagnosis. It looks like I will need professional (expensive) help on this one.
For the short term I guess I will get back to basics when life was simpler and license this old 64 Chev.
In other farm news, between rains I have managed to cut and bale a little hay for winter feed, shingled the leaky roof on the fuel shed, finish weed spraying, and get at least one summerfallow field worked into good condition. The rest awaits. Grain hauling deadlines approach and keep getting set back every time it rains and makes the grain bins inaccessible. Summer is racing by just as fast as spring did. The heat is on, 80 degrees one or two days. That is about too much for me. Early potatoes are blooming and looking great. Still a couple of rows I should hill but the aforementioned heat and of course mosquitos are making that job a little unattractive at present.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

I Made It Rain!

Well I actually managed to finish crop spraying today without the rain spoiling my plans. The wind got a little extreme but I was so close to finished that I pressed on and got it done. Unfortunately ran out of herbicide mix with a few acres left to go. Didn't feel like driving back nine miles to mix up another batch for a few acres today in the heat and humidity.
Then I made it rain. Seems I only have to hitch the tractor onto the hay baler and the clouds roll in. I thought I'd get this bit of hay around the yard rolled up in bales before it got soaked but there was so many green patches in the swath that I had to quit. Green hay in a bale is not a good thing. Leads to mold and spoilage which is good for neither man nor beast.
Anyway,the hay that remains in the swaths now is thoroughly soaked with this evening's thunderstorms and violent light show
A rainy year will grow a lot of hay but it becomes a real challenge to get that hay put up in good quality between rains.

Friday, July 1, 2011

July 1 Canada Day

I'm old enough to remember when July 1 was still called "Dominion Day".
I spent it as I often do, working a field of summerfallow. Hadn't noticed how striking the big white clouds in the blue sky were until I put this picture on screen. I'd likely been too busy watching the grass and trees to see how much they were moving. Trying to judge if the wind was dropping enough for me to go to work on the job I really needed to do, spraying flax for weeds. Between high wind, high humidity and threatening clouds I have had no luck spraying for days now. I don't recall ever spraying for weeds this late but thats the kind of year its been, everything just a little late.

I did get an early start on haying, cutting some with the swather this week. Its faster than using the old 7 foot mower but the big swaths usually take a long time to dry and need turning with the rake to speed up the process. I really need a hay conditioner but hesitate to spend the money on my small "hobby" herd of cattle. I turned the swaths this afternoon. That usually brings on the rain.

We have had a bit of a break in the rainy weather and fields are drying up. Roads slowly improving and getting repaired although a few trips through with the gravel trucks soon rut them up again. Not sure how I am going to get the grain out of one farm as both trails are under water last time I checked. I really don't want to have to try and pull a loaded semi of grain out of the mud. I'm sure the trucker doesn't either.

Last night there was a bright display of northern lights (aurora borealis), the first I have seen in a long time.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cockshutts at work.

My day so far. This part went fairly well. I'm putting in time catching up on yard jobs while waiting for the fields to dry enough to try and get back to crop spraying. As bad as it is here, I really can't complain much compared to the people to the south of us in  North Dakota where a lot of our water is headed.
The wet conditions here make the country green and old machinery shine. The cloud formations create some amazing sky pictures when the sun finally comes out.
Markets and falling grain prices continue to defy logic as reports keep indicating that there are far fewer acres planted than normal and there won't be any excess grain to trade.
More rain last night has pushed crop spraying back a little more and turned some of the road into a rutted quagmire where only 4 wheel drive vehicles dare to venture.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

More Chicken Stuff

On this first day of summer here is a video of some new Bantam chicks at the food dish along with a cat or two. Its interesting how they can eat side by side, those chicks would make an easy meal for the cat but they never try it. No doubt the memory of being attacked by angry mother hens keep the cats resistant to the temptation.
Weekend rains have raised the water table in the south and contributed to .....
More flooding in Sask.
We thought last year was bad but its looking like 2011 is going to be a repeat, maybe worse. Some of the roads are a real adventure to drive now. Hauling grain or any other heavy loads is not an option. Still some people will tell you that we are never more than two weeks away from a drought in Sask. Thats hard to believe now.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Another Lazy Farmer

I've been meaning to post a few more of the "Lazy Farmer" cartoons but lately have not had the time. Seeing as this is a rainy day I thought this one was appropriate. He makes a lot of sense about the rain clouds. Once the rain starts to fall, the suspense is over. I don't have to stand out in the yard scanning the sky to try and decide if I dare dump the couple of thousand dollars worth of herbicide into the sprayer tank in hopes the rain will hold off long enough for me to spray it out on the crop . About 3 hours. Yes, when its raining I can park the machinery and concentrate on other necessities of life. The weeds will keep on growing but theres nothing I can do about it , for now anyway.
I like the philosophy of this old lazy farmer but never seem to get around to putting it into practice. Too many things need doing and time passes quicker with every year so I can hardly keep up. Although I am planning to adopt his laid back lifestyle once I get a little more caught up in my work.
Disclaimer.......any resemblance between this cartoon lazy farmer and The Real Lazy Farmer  is purely co-incidental and in name only.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Are We Really Better than Animals?

I have to wonder after listening to and watching the disgusting display of post game riots following last night's Stanley Cup hockey game in Vancouver. Not a big sports fan here but in the tractor all day with the radio going its impossible not to hear whats happening. The news went to live coverage of the riots in the streets after Canada lost to Boston. Burning police cars and smashing store windows , then looting and destroying the business.
As is often the case, alcohol fueled most of the event even though liqour stores were closed in the hours before the game started. It didn't help apparently.
Plenty of injuries, tear gas and rubber bullets by the time the streets eventually cleared. Now for the clean up. Vancouver has earned a lot of world wide publicity over this event but not the kind they would like I'm sure.
 Post-game insanity
I had to stop watching eventually . Seeing the smiling grinning faces of the hooligans as they destroyed property and taunted the police was just too much to take. This was animal behaviour and they need to be treated as such. Plenty of pictures and videos were taken of the event so hopefully the perpetrators will be harshly dealt with.
In other news, long days in the field are slowly getting me caught up with work. Flowers are blooming and crops are growing. Weeds too so I am hoping to spray a few acres today before the rain hits tomorrow.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Repairing the JD

This looked like a huge repair job yesterday after the front axle collapsed. I was actually starting to look at replacine the whole machine but figured that would be taking the easy way out. After almost 20 years I know this machine inside and out and it probably knows it's way around the yard better than I do so I went ahead and tackled the job.
It turned out to be easier than I expected. Easy, weldable metal and a bonus, I now know how to remove and replace the front axle of the tractor.

Is There A Limit?

,,,to my stupidity? I doubt it some days. Hitching up to the sprayer the other day getting it ready to go and I could not get the hydraulic drive pump to turn. Tried various ideas and came to the conclusion it had seized up over winter, although its not an old pump. It was a long and difficult task disconnecting to various hoses and fittings so that I could get at the impeller with a socket to turn it. After fighting mosquitos and other hindrances I found that the impeller was free and easy turning.
Re-assembled the whole thing and tried again, still nothing. Patience long gone I somehow stumbled onto the realization that I had the hydraulic hoses plugged into the opposite circuit to the lever I had been working. An easy fix but I can't believe I could overlook the most basic possibility.Just too stupid.
Managed to get a field of canola sprayed, without GPS. The $3000 guidance system has become nothing more than a decoration as it quit working last week. No local places work on them and mailing it to the next province does not look like a good option right now with our Canada Post strike going on.
Guess I will have to depend on my aging eyes to tell where to drive in the field.
Grass continues to grow out of control in my yard as I have had not had time to spend on the lawn tractor. Yesterday evening with high hopes I made a start cutting but after a short time the front axle collapsed on the faithful old John Deere 111. Its looking like a big dis-assembly and welding job so I guess the grass will grow a while longer.
At least spring seeding is done and early crops are up and looking good. Fields have dried up considerably from the muddy mess we started with a month ago.

Friday, June 3, 2011

This Weather

Its driving me crazy.. Late as it is I should be out planting oats today but the weather can't make up its mind if its going to really rain or just mist and drizzle all day. Do I head out for the other farm 9 miles away with a full air seeder to get caught in rain on the way there, find its too wet to seed anyway? Its the kind of rain that if I was already in the field I would keep working through the light showers but hate to start out on a long journey as uncertain as it looks.
Maybe its for the best. I'm hearing that the cold wet conditions are not good for the seed thats already in the ground. Not germinating, plant disease, etc. If it wasn't already June 3 I'd wait a bit but this is really late to be planting even oats. Farming is always a gamble, but this year maybe bigger than ever. Maybe I"m losing my memory but in 40 years of farming I don't recall such an exasperating spring before.
Unhappy Farmers
I took this picture on a rare sunny morning earlier this week. What is so rare as a sunny day in June in Saskatchewan?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Olle Hemmingssons trio

My favourite video of all time on youtube. I could (and sometimes do) listen to/watch this one every day. Something about the rythmic tractor beat in the background is just so mesmerizing.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Rainy Day Break

Woke up to the relaxing sound of rain on the roof. Although I'd really like to be out there finishing the already late planting process, I guess it won't happen today. The setbacks of slow anhydrous deliveries cost me a few days. Combined with having to burn last years flax straw (should have been done last fall)and the fields being too wet to get out there before mid May, its now impossible to catch up the lost time.
Some of the fields were so lumpy and rutted from all the excess moisture required pre-working which costs me more time (and money).
Soil conditions have really improved and dried up. Weed growth is heavy and fast. I know I will need to be spraying before I am even finished seeding.Is it any wonder that spring goes by in a blur for me?
And roads are another big headache. Trips to town are like the Baja 1000 off road endurance race. Really rough  Bouncing through the horrendous sinkholes and swerving around others is no fun when you are in a hurry to get where you are going and back to work. In the 25 years I have  owned and driven My 81 GMC  I have never given it such abuse before. Better off driving in the ditch. Although it is interesing watching the semis swerving around the highway holes when I'm working close enough to the road to watch.
Still, we have no tornadoes, earthquakes, fires, and the water levels are dropping so I won't complain too much. The rainy day gives me a chance to catch up on some other long neglected jobs but lets hope its only one day.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Seeding Begins

This is where I spend most of my daylight hours lately. Its late but still within the normal planting window of opportunity.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Its been years since I played Chess and I've forgotten almost everything I knew about it, except for the fact I hated the game. As I recall the term "checkmate" basically meant you were beat no matter which way you turned. The term came to mind today re: my spring planting.
I can't get anywhere it seems. Weather is co-operating and the ground dries up enough that I can apply anhydrous. Unfortunately I am "rationed" to one tank a day since my supplier has major problems with equipment, short of drivers, moon phase, etc. I have literally spent hours sitting in the tractor at a standstill waiting for delivery, or even a phone call to put me out of my misery so I can unhitch and head for home in the tractor. No problem, another 5 mile drive in a big slow tractor at today's cheap diesel fuel prices. Why should that upset me? Watching the neighbours at work planting their crops while I stand still..... I am "only" a couple of weeks behind normal progress.
I don't have the competition's phone number and doubt they would deliver anyway until I went to see them and sign a credit agreement (lose another half day). I am already two weeks behind normal so whats another day?
I could start seeding on the summerfallowed fields but don't have my granular fertilizer in the yard yet and won't for a couple more days. Maybe I should just go ahead and plant without it. I held off ordering fertilizer this wet spring as I didn't know how many acres would even be workable. Didn't want to get stuck with a partial bin of unused fertilizer that is non returnable and does not always store well. Plus, the roads are atrocious in places and heavy trucks might have problems on them.
And speaking of roads, there are at least 60 acres I can't even get to since the road is impassable due to water damage. The field is cut in half by a small creek (impassable) so I can see the land a hundred feet across from me but no way to get to it. The municipality is hard at work repairing the high priority roads and this back road is way down on the list. I tried to do something myself but gave up after nearly getting stuck in the ditch with the old Massey while trying to scoop up some fill dirt with the front end loader.
Today rain showers are in the forecast and I have heard no word from Viterra so say if my NH3 tank is full and ready to go. Maybe I will hitch up to the big field cultivator and try a little pre-work on the fields where the weeds are growing the worst. Better than standing still and frustrating I guess.
I took this shot yesterday driving home in mid afternoon when I should have been working. Wild winds and angry waves on the water.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

May 13 NH3

Finally getting in a little field work. The ground is actually drying up good in places although there is still a lot of good land under water. Carrying a big tow rope with me as insurance. against getting stuck.
I must have set a record for the longest wait ever for a refill of anhydrous. About 24 hours from the time I requested it. Problems at Viterra so consequently , I only got a couple of hours worth done today. Just one more setback in an already late spring planting season.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Making a Little Smoke

We had a few inspiring sunny warm days recently that got me out into the field. Not anhydrousing or planting as I would normally be doing at this time of year, but burning last years flax straw. At least it is a start in the right direction on a job that has to be done. Better than sitting and waiting for the ground to dry out.
Actually the field has improved considerably in the past week. The high and dry patches are good but sometimes require quite a detour to get to them around the water and mud areas. Biggest problem right now is the roads are in no shape to carry heavy trucks with fertilizer and seed. Many roads are closed waiting for washed out culverts to be replaced while others are passable but with soft spots just waiting to swallow a heavy truck. My own yard has a few of those plus the quonset has water coming out of the ground. Yes, machinery parked safely indoors is now standing in a few inches of water. Even if I was ready to seed crops I can't hope to get a load of fertilizer hauled in here in these conditions. When will it be ready? I really don't know.
Today with clouds, strong winds and 40 degree temperature it is not looking great. The rain in the forecast might just pass south of me if I'm lucky. Whatever the weather does it still is a pretty sure thing that less than the usual amount of acres will be planted here this year. Still it is not as bad as those that live on low land near the rivers and flooded areas. At least we have hope.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Friendly Calf.

Hopefully a picture is worth a thousand words . I don't have time to write that many words this morning.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Lazy Farmer

Its amazing the things I have saved over the years. Back in the 60s one of the "big 2" farm weekly newspapers was the Winnipeg Free Press. As a kid, the humour and comic sections were my main interests . For a few years they ran this series of pictures and verse about a fictional "lazy farmer" that I must have felt worth saving. I don't know too many lazy farmers in real life although sometimes I think deep down maybe I am one myself. Only my fear of failure and what the neighbours might think keeps me working enough to make a living.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

No Crop In 2011?

Might this be the first year in 40 that I don't plant a crop? No, I'm not quite retiring yet but this flooding situation is almost a forced sabbatical from crop farming. After seeing this aerial photo and others of my farm, taken yesterday,I can see just how much worse the situation is. The little patches of bare ground are the high spots that will likely dry out and be workable in a little while. But the problem will be getting to them with heavy machinery through low, wet land that is just waiting to swallow a tractor and air seeder. Its not too late to plant, in fact I rarely do in April. But I'm normally out there raising a little dust by this time other years. This spring it will be a late start (whenever it happens), trying to catch up on field work that couldn't be finished last fall. Pre-working fields to try and eliminate the combine ruts, piling and burning flax straw, applying anhydrous and maybe then trying to plant something, if its not too late by that time.
Maybe time to just sit back and watch the weeds grow around the water holes.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spring On The Prairies

Wow,Sask. has too much water. I shot this video April 12, the warmest day yet, near 50 degrees. Snow was melting faster than it could flow through culverts and roads were being washed over. Currently I am flooded on all 4 directions (roads) although two of them are passable by driving through the water. A cold night has slowed down the melt and give the buildup a chance to drain some. Still lots of snow to go so its not over yet. Most rivers and lakes have not hit crest levels yet. There is not water storage left on our fields as all the sloughs are full and running over, eventually draining into the Qu'appelle basin. Spring on the prairies.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Moving Grain April 9

Spring slowly approaches here in Sask but the snow is slowly melting producing lots of mud and water. A beautiful sunny day seemed like a good opportunity to move some grain from one bin to the next just to make sure it was in good condition . Using the "auger train" method saves moving a loaded grain truck around a muddy yard and doing even more damage. Several other tractors were involved in the preparation for this event but only the old 830 Case made it to video.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Multiple Cold Starts.

Re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. You may have heard this old expression
of futility. Going through the motions of a task that will have little effect
on the outcome. Thats what was going through my head today as I spent most of it
moving machinery and vehicles out of the shed to get at a wagon load of seed
wheat saved from last year. I needed the wagon so was going to unload into the
bin of new cleaned wheat. It took most of the day but went well. The futility
part is that our ongoing excess moisture situation might just make it impossible
to get that seed into the ground within the normal window of opportunity and
produce a crop.
The old saying goes that when Easter is late, spring is also late. Not a good
scene for this year. Only a little snow melting going on compared to a normal spring
when we might be almost snow-free by this time.
Well, those old engines needed a little exercise I guess so it was not a waste of

Thursday, March 31, 2011

March Out Like The Lamb

I guess I really need call display on my cell phone. Cell time is very expensive here so most of the time mine is turned off unless

I am expecting an important call. Cleaning up a bin of wheat this morning to go to the cleaning plant, so turn on the cell just in

case they call me regarding cleaning. Just as I finished shoveling 165 bushels of wheat and climb out of the bin, the cell rings.

Throw of the heavy mitts, pull off the dust mask, drop the phone in the snow as I hurry to answer and find a nice lady from

Statistics Canada wondering if this would be a good time to answer a survey on grain , acres seeded and other interesting such things.

It was tempting to tell her just how inconvenient a time it was but I kept it civil but brief.

Anyway, at least March went out like the proverbial lamb, as the attached video will show.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring Blizzard

Well here we are on the second official day of spring and it is blowing a blizzard. Snow blowing and pushing is going to be high on the list of things to do tomorrow. A little annoying since it should just be melting in the sun by now, not burning up expensive fuel to move it. I walked part ways out the driveway. Just going by feel, there is up to a foot of snow in places. 4 wheel drive and new winter tires just might get me through it. The 3 to 4 foot deep drifts in the yard are going to be a bit harder to handle as I am running out of places to pile snow. This makes almost 5 months of winter now and its getting a bit too much. Like the old timers used to say, "we get nine months of winter and 3 months of poor sleighing".

Monday, March 21, 2011

JD Tractor Video

A bit of Saskatchewan farming from about 22 years ago. Not my machinery or music but I like it. Astute viewers may notice my old 81 GMC pickup in the background. I needed to see some sunshine and dusty soil on this dull cloudy morning as we are between snow storms. First day of spring? Not in Sask.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Trucking Flax

It does'nt look much like spring in this video but the calendar says so. Plus it was a little above freezing the day I shot this video (March 17) so not a bad day to truck a load of flax to the cleaning plant in preparation for spring seeding. Roads are still solid but once it warms up it could be soft conditions for a while and heavy going. When all this snow melts there will be so much water in the fields that we wonder if it will even be possible to plant a crop this year. Still, I guess we have to plan and prepare for business as usual , even though the seed might stay in the bin til next year.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

March 12 Snow Blowing

The calendar says March but yesterday's strong winds blew my driveway full of snow again worse than January. At least I had a nice sunny morning to work at clearing it. Maybe for the last time this winter?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sod Breaking in Sask.

Something a little different this time. A John Deere 4440 pulling a breaking disk turning the sod in an old farm yard. First time this prairie had been broken. It grew some good crops in the following years.
I video taped this on a fine April day in 1993.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Lipton Parade 95.

Summer time parade in small town Sask. A nice change from the -30 C wind chill we are having today.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Flax 1999

A home video from 1999 showing how we harvested flax. My Dad driving his favourite old tractor at the end piling the straw for burning.

Friday, February 25, 2011

More Interesting Times

Listening to or watching the news lately I am constantly reminded of the old Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times". We are certainly doing that now. Middle east instability has driven our canola and other grains prices down and our fuel prices up in the past week and worse is yet to come according to some analysts.
Highest snowfall levels in 40 some years on top of the muddiest field conditions ever last fall are going to make it a "high fuel use" spring if we are able to get into the saturated fields.
The grain saved in our bins waiting for the anticapated higher prices has now dropped in value significantly. I'm not going to try and figure how much,don't really want to know.
Meanwhile we are 20 degrees below "normal " temperatures here today and most of the week. Thats -35F this morning which really takes away my enthusiasm for working on machinery out in the unheated sheds.
Back in high school years ago a teacher had a theory about the constant turmoil in the middle east could be related to their high temperatures being closer to the equator. He may have something there. I would think that if they had to deal with snow, and life threatening wind chill factors they might have less unrest and fighting. I really would like to send some of this weather over there.
On the upside, I've finally broken down and spent the money on 4 new winter tires for my Blazer. All the good things they say about 4 winter tires is true. Handling and traction on ice are way way better.
Plus,installing winter tires at this time of year will probably cause all the snow to disappear next week.
Its a hard winter on deer too.

White tails

Friday, February 11, 2011

Anna and Milovan - St. James Infirmary Blues

Just a version of an old classic that I really liked. Amazing the things you find on youtube.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Groundhog Day

February 2, Groundhog day. Supposedly the day when the groundhog emerges from his hibernation to see if he casts a shadow thus predicting how soon we can expect spring. I've never given it much credibility especially since we don't have groundhogs in Sask. Any ground dwelling creatures that do live here are deep underground (and snow) until spring truly arrives.
Its not just groundhog day, Feb 2 was my great Uncle Alf's birthday. I guess he would have been about 140 years old today but he died in January of 42. I've blogged details about him here before. He homesteaded here in Sask. in April of 1903 and farmed the rest of his life, nearly 40 years. It sounds like a long time but actually I've been farming the same land for as long myself.
Heres a short video I shot this winter driving across Alf's homestead quarter on my way to town on my winter road
Alf never got to town very often in the winter, understandable considering a 12 mile trip with horses and sleigh in these conditions. I have it a little more comfortable with a heated 4 wheel drive vehicle to get me there and back but still only get to town once a week.
This was a birthday card that Alf received from one of his sister's that still lived in England.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Sunny Day in January

A rare warm day in January, good opportunity to haul a tank of water. We've had so much cloudy, cold weather that when the sun comes out and the temp hits 20 degrees it seems like spring.
I fired up the "Oldsmobile truck" and headed out for the community well . About an eight and a half mile trip on good roads so I recorded some of the sights and sounds along the way. Water Hauling

As I crossed the mighty Jumping Deer creek I thought of how my grandfather had to haul water from just a little ways downstream from where I was crossing, During the winters of the 1930s sometimes the wells at home would run dry and there was no water for the house or cattle. So with a wooden tank on sleighs pulled by a team of horses he would make the approximate 3 mile trip to the creek to dip water out of a hole in the ice to fill the tank. Slow hard work and cold riding. Get home and dump the water into the now dry well at the farm and hope it lasted a few days.
The irony of this situation was that 3 years after my grandfather died, an excellent supply of water was found just a few feet from the house, only 40 feet below the surface. Too late to benefit him but his son and grandsons certainly appreciated it.
Nowadays I only have to haul drinking water as the well water is too high in minerals for human consumption. The cattle have no complaints though.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Remembering 2002

Grain Annex Move
Cold, frosty day here in Sask. Time to do a little more video transfer to digital before I head out to feed cattle. This video I taped February 28 of 2002 showing the biggest building move that I have ever seen. This grain annex was built about 1975 and saw a lot of grain put through before the elevator closed down. All the other grain elevators in town were demolished but this one was sold to a buyer about 3 towns west so a massive move was in order. It took a lot of skilful planning and time to get this huge building up on wheels and then moving without tipping over. Obviously winter time with it's frozen solid ground was an advantage for solid footing. They used an elaborate setup of hydraulic controlled wheels to maintain the level of the building while moving over uneven ground and it worked well.
At -3 degrees F it was cold for man and machinery as you can see by the heavy exhaust clouds from all the vehicles. I did most of my taping from inside my vehicle with the heater running. They parked the annex for the night as it was too late to head out on the highway at 5:00 pm this time of year.
Stay tuned. Day two of the move is in the works.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Watching Movies and Youtube

Am I getting old or what? I recall my parents, grandparents complaining about loud noise when we were kids. Never seemed to be a problem for me in those days. Now, sometimes the world is just too noisy.
What brought these thoughts on was watching a recent (2010) movie last night, "The Book of Eli". A pretty good movie overall except for the annoying (to me anyway) feature that it seems most of today's movies have of varying sound levels. The dialogue can be so low with people almost whispering at levels that just wouldn't work in everyday conversation in the real world. So we crank up the volume to hear them better and suddenly some special effect or event comes crashing through the speakers that would nearly wake the dead. You don't dare fall asleep during a quiet spell of these movies or you risk being jarred into a state of startled wakefulness that is not only disturbing , but annoying too.
Turn the volume down and suddenly we need to become lip readers again to understand what the actors are saying.
While I may have some age related hearing loss after 40 years around farm equipment I don't usually have a problem hearing normal conversation.
Funny how that doesn't seem to be a problem on youtube videos. Set the volume and its usually sufficient for whatever is happening on the screen. And speaking of youtube, I've been watching a series of interesting farmer-created home videos at
farmin in Montana
Just a farmer with a webcam recording daily events on and off the farm but its strangely addictive and he has a lot of subscribers already. I wonder if they are the type of videos the lazy farmer would make if he was into that type of thing?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year

Well, made it through Christmas and New years. No resolutions here though. Just keep on doing whatever seems to be working. We got lucky with weather over the holidays. No storms or bad roads although a little frosty. Actually had water dripping through my ceiling one cold morning. Turned out there is enough heat escaping through the ceiling and roof to melt the snow which then freezes at the lower edge of the roof backing up the water which then leaks under the metal sheets. I had to climb up on the roof and shovel about a ton of deep snow off to solve the problem.
I broke the bale spear on my front end loader lifting a hay bale today. Weak metal I guess as I doubt that the hydraulics on a 47 year old tractor lifting small round bales should over-stress a spear thats designed to lift any average round bale. I improvised with the remaining stub spears and a chain to get the hay bales out. Another project for the repair shop I guess.
This post was mainly intended to test if I can post those fancy blue links like the lazy farmer
Ok, I think I have it figured.
Dressed for winter, I spent an afternoon putting oats through the old hammer mill for cattle feed last week.