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Friday, June 7, 2013

Anniversary of D Day (and a good day to spray)

Yesterday,, June 6th was the anniversary of D Day when the allied forces hit the beaches of Normandy in 1944. My dad missed out on that by about a month. Long time readers of this blog (are there any?) might recall reading an excerpt from dad's Memories of WWII that I published here back in 08.
As the title to this post indicates, today, June 7 was a great for crop spraying. About the best I have seen in long time. Not too hot, windy or wet. When conditions are that good I really need to take advantage. In spite of a late start I did get a couple of hundred acres sprayed. Finished up the chem fallow and about 130 acres of canola sprayed. Not bad considering I had a good 20 miles of road transport (at 13 mph) plus the usual time spent pumping water and mixing chemical. Say what you will about Monsanto's GM canola but it sure makes weed control a breeze. Cheap effective herbicide (roundup) and a very wide window of application takes a lot of the stress out of spraying crops.
More by luck than good management I managed to finish up with just enough chemical on the chem fallow. The sprayer tank ran empty within a minute of finishing the field.
How I wish I had spent a day this spring harrowing, piling and burning the residual flax straw on the canola field. It is unbelieveble how hard those lumps of straw can be. The roughly 15,000 pound tractor bounces over those straw lumps like a cork on the ocean and the driver (me) does likewise. It makes for a tiring day and a resolution to not let this happen again next year.
The canola is emerging as good as any year I can ever remember in spite of the rather dry conditions.

This photo from a couple of days ago was taken as I had just finished a 40 acre chem fallow field. It is pure luck that this picture survived. It was on the card inside the camera that got lost in a stubble field today. I was going to take a picture at "The Poplars" of the lilacs that were blooming and discovered the pocket I always carry the little Canon Elph in was empty. Guess I forgot to snap the pocket closed and the camera fell out. That could have ruined a perfect day. My best guess was that it had fallen out when I crawled under the sprayer to drain the tank after finishing chem fallow. After a bit of walking around sure enough, the little black rectangle was laying there on the straw. The transport wheels of the sprayer had just missed running over it.
Storm clouds gathered in the west and the wind increased as I finished up the last 40 acres of canola. Might get a break from spraying tomorrow.


  1. The straw burning seems like such a waste of organic material, but I don't know what else you can do with something like that.

  2. Very true Gorges. If I had a straw burning furnace I guess I could heat my home all winter with flax straw. Luckily it is only flax straw that I have to burn off the fields. Other crops do not have such stubborn, almost indestructible residue.