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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Oh Deer

Well the weather has double crossed me again. Yesterday the forecast was for a good stretch of nice sunny and dry weather. Perfect for haying so I headed out to the hundred acre woods with the haybine and spent the afternoon and part of the evening cutting various patches of hay. The grass was getting damp even as the sun dropped near the horizon. Later in the evening it started to thunder and lightning and sometime in the night I heard the sound of falling rain. Not a lot but not a good thing for the quality of the hay I cut. It looks a little unsettled for the next day or so. Hope I can get some drying weather so I can bale the hay now without losing too much quality.
On the good side, the new sickles and guards improved the cutting ability of the old haybine. Although I didn't finish, I think there should be plenty of hay to get the cattle through the winter,.
Crops looking great with the oats headed out now too. The bloom is off my canola and I see I have as much if not more of the asters yellow disease as anyone else has. If the "sky is falling" crowd is right there is going to be a big yield loss in canola due to this. I can't see it myself but I guess time will tell.
The flax is looking good but I have not seen much bloom yet for some reason. Seems like it should be by now.
This little buck was caught on the trail cam in my yard this week in several poses.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Days of Summer

Keeping busy on the farm is never hard to do. The above photo shows just one of the little jobs. Moving a grain bin from one side of the farm to another in hopes of replacing the wooden floor.
Most of the grain is now sold thanks to good prices and a grain vac to take the work out of loading grain in a steel bin on a stifling hot day. Last year's flax still sits waiting on me to make up my mind. I'll need the space (assuming this crop makes it) by harvest time but til then I am watching prices as I think there is potential for it to increase. Although 13.20 per bushel is still a mighty good price. Maybe I am just greedy but I don't see much flax planted this year and there should not be an over supply to push the price lower.
Heavy rains, threat of hail and tornados every few days keep it interesting. The extreme heat has let up which is a relief. A new disease (to me), has hit canola fields in Sask. Aster yellows and if it is as bad as some say, we will not have a big canola crop this year. I see signs of it in mine but the crop still looks good. Nothing we can do about it.
Flax, not quite flowering yet but looking good and clean. That group 2 herbicide I used on wheat for herbicide resistant wild oats seems to have done a great job. Cleanest field I have seen in a while . Oats just headed out and looking better than last year.
New potatos from the garden taste great and I guess the old ones in the bin from last year will be left for the cats.
Theres still acres of hay I could cut and probably will cut some of it just to make sure I have more than enough to get through winter. I've put some money into new parts on the haybine  which should inprove cutting performance. Its a learning experience.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Cockshutt 40 and Haybine.

Got a little break from the heat the past couple of days. Those 80+ degree temps were a bit much at times. Than an inch of rain brought us back down to the high 60s today which is easier on the crop and me.
Wouldn't you know I would be loading grain on the hottest days of the year. One of the hottest places to work is inside a steel bin on a hot summer day. I'd likely never have survived shovelling those few thousand bushels but the grain vac sure saves some labour.
Of course canola price dropped the day I sold mine but has since increased. No big surprise there. Oats at $3 a bushel looked pretty good a couple of weeks ago when I locked the price in but this drought in the U.S. corn belt is really starting to push grain prices up.
Haying going well and the 35 year old haybine is doing a good job. Should be even better when I add the few hundred dollars of new iron parts to the cutterbar.
The old Cockshutt 40 works well on the haybine but for any serious amount of cutting I will go with the comfort of the air conditioned cab of the 2090 Case and stay out of the grass pollen that causes a lot of optical and nasal distress.
The inch of rain this week will do some good. I was lucky to get my hay baled without a drop of rain on it though.
Our living skies were filled with the sounds of spray planes recently as insecticide and fungicide rained down on the fields. Others sprayed with high clearance sprayers in hopes of maximizing their profits by eliminating every insect and fungus that might be present in the field. I'll take my chances and sacrifice a little yield in exchange for one less carcinogenic chemical to handle.
Heres another local farm blog some might find of interest.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

How I Waste Some Time

I guess some would consider it a waste of time but I put a lot of effort into parking as much of my machinery as I can indoors. Not that any of it is particularly modern or expensive but I like to keep it looking good and away from the devastating effects of sun and rain on paint and rubber.
Having limited space means everything needs to be parked pretty close together. Seldom used vehicles need to borrow a battery from a "runner" . In fact I think I used that same battery to start 3 vehicles that day.
Plus, it is an excuse to take the "toys" out for a bit of exercise. Neat to hear the sound of the old John Deere 2 cylinder . It was my Uncle's tractor and this marks just about to the day, ten years since he died.
In other news, haying has begun for me. I cut a few patches of grass and baled it with the square baler. Needed a few small squares to replenish the supply in the hayloft. The rest I will do with the round baler as it is a lot less labour intensive.
More grass to cut but lucky I waited til last night's big rain was over. An inch and a quarter on top of hay swaths is not a good thing. Hopefully we get a week of mostly dry weather now.