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Roosty6 @B110

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Thanks A Lot Cargill

You have increased our "carbon footprint" (if you buy the whole carbon myth) considerably and unnecessarily. That load of oats you rejected and sent back to us yesterday was only 1.2 points above dry and could not find some way to blend it in to a train load of oats?
So the oats got a 75 mile ride and are back in the yard for now. 50 plus miles on my truck moving grain vac, auger and people back and forth between farms. 20 miles on the tractor (at 15 mph) plus whatever fuel it burned running the vac and auger.
I know my time is not worth much but wear and tear on machinery plus fuel used costs money. And the grain is already too cheap.
This grain is contracted and as much as I'd like to, we can't just walk away from the deal once your name is signed on the dotted line.
Anyway, not a total loss as I got the long slow drive on the tractor with plenty of time to enjoy the scenic cloudy, damp skies and drizzle. Canola swaths lying in the fields along the way. Moisture levels bouncing back and forth from tough to damp to off the scale.
Harvest month 4 begins next week. When will it end?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Hope Deferred (Again)

I know I"ve used that biblical quotation before here. Most likely a reference to bad weather at harvest time. It was one that great Uncle Arthur used on occasion. He was a great one for quotations for most occasions. Many from the bible, some from Shakespeare, some unknown.
This one comes to mind most days lately as the predominantly cloudy and damp weather continues to put harvest on hold.
We did get a rare sunny afternoon today after the fog cleared. Last night's light rain cancelled out any drying that happened in the fields.
Stats are still putting harvest at the 80% complete mark which is well behind the normal for this time of year.
I saw several fields of flax today in my travels. Some still standing and some swathed. Still looking good, just too wet to combine. The standing canola appeared to have some empty pods, likely threshed out by wind or the wet snowfall we had.
Took this photo out the window driving by a field of flax today.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Waste Mart

Although I doubt Walmart is the only guilty one here, it is the one that came up in this news story Here! I have to just shake my head when I think how we work to produce this stuff and try to make a living doing it, only to hear that a lot of it is thrown out ending up in landfills producing methane. Which, by the way, contributes to greenhouse gas almost as bad as carbon dioxide apparently. What next? A methane tax on top of the (proposed) carbon tax?
In other news, there is none. Wet weather continues with zero harvest progress for the month of October. No real good weather forecast either. At this stage we need days of good drying weather but every day gets shorter.
Maybe history will repeat as in 2009 when we were shut down by early snow but harvest resumed in November when we got some rare nice weather.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Carbon Tax

Very interesting open letter here written by a Sask. farmer stating how the govt. proposed carbon tax will affect us. I've seen the comments somewhere that businesses will handle it by simply passing on the extra expense to their customers. I guess that works ok for all the businesses that we have to buy our farm supplies from. But how do we , the farmers pass that extra cost on to our customers? I'm sure if I mention it to Cargill or Viterra that I need a few extra cents per bushel to cover the cost of the additional tax I"m paying they will just laugh. Historically we have been price takers, not price makers.
Anyway, its not carved in stone yet and our provincial government is fighting for us with this petition  to sign.
No real news on the harvest front. Sunshine has been almost non existent the month of October. Hardly a day with the humidity below 70 percent and up around 90 overnight. There is just so much moisture in the climate that our short days can't dry it up before the next rain or snow shower.
Got the last of the hay bales hauled home from the hundred acre woods on the weekend on one of the rare sunny and almost warm days we have had this month. The next day it rained.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Road Testing The 52 Merc (again)

For those not already tired of seeing this rusty old car tearing up and down the gravel road, here is the latest video from the fall of 2016. Some nice sunny days and autumn leaves. Plus the awesome sounds of an unrestricted flathead V8 exhaust.

We have finally figured out the carburetor problem. A simple adjustment and now the old Holley can breathe deep and put out some real horsepower.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Moisture Testing Grain

I shot this video a couple of weeks or so ago but it could have been today. Only difference is that today is colder and there are no leaves left on the trees. The month of October has been zero progress for harvesting here and much of Western Canada from what I read. Its not too late yet. The weather could improve. The glass is half full, not empty.

This vid shows the process of testing the moisture in the grain we harvest. It likely won't be of great interest to many but you never know. The rest of the harvest videos seemed to go over pretty well and I picked up a few new subscribers.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Last Day of Harvest 16

September 30 was my last day of harvest 2016. Not finished but everything except flax which was not ready at the time. A couple of days later it started raining, then snowing, and its been all downhill ever since. I heard a figure quoted today that there remains 4 million acres of canola that farmers have not been able to harvest in Western Canada. That is a lot of money left in the field.
There is still some hope that at least some of that crop will get harvested this fall. Not likely dry though.
My flax maybe stands a better chance as it is still standing. Or at least most of it was last time I drove by. That may have changed though since the last six inches of wet snow.
With daytime "highs" in the 30s it is a slow process waiting for the snow to melt into the mud. Every day gets a little bit shorter, the sun a little less powerful this time of year.
This was a nice day when I shot this video of the last canola field.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Harvest 2016 Part 4

The latest installment of harvest 2016. The upside of this miserable wet weather is that I have time to edit and upload more video off the cab camera on the off chance that anybody else is interested in watching me run the combine.

The recent snow is slowly melting which looks like an improvement anyway. Today was almost a drying day for a change but more showers are forecast for tonight. So its two steps forward and two steps back. Keep that up for long and real winter is here before we know it.

I got inspired to dig a few more potatoes out of the wet ground today. 9 pails worth. It is the only harvesting I can do at this point.

Here is a photo of the snow on canola swaths yesterday afternoon , October 7.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

October Winter

Sitting here in full winter regalia and furnace running to keep the house warm. Outside the temp is just below freezing and the ground is white with new snow. And its only October 5. Last I heard harvest was around 75% complete for the province. I'm a little better than that with only a field of flax left standing.

Its not the first time harvest has been put on hold due to snow. Looking back to 1969 there was hardly an acre of crop harvested here through the month of October. It was into November before the weather relented a little and the combines hit the fields again. The grain never did dry but it was cold enough to bin it til spring and get it dried then. Frozen ground thawing in the mid day sun made it interesting for the old Massey Harris combine trying to climb the hills. Mud built up on the tires of the tractor pulling the hopper wagon. Grain so damp it would not unload easily out of the wagon. Working into the evening and darkness on open combines was miserable and  cold but that late in the season everybody knew there was no time to waste.
My dad finished up in the early morning hours of November 11 that year. A neighbour brought in a newer, bigger combine to help and dad ran that. Although he still sat up high and exposed to all the wind, cold and dust. Must have nearly froze.
At least this time I'll ride in comfort.
Dad. 1979.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Back In The Oat Field 2016

Part 4 of harvest 2016. Got a few more acres done between rains. Managed to  keep working til 3:00 am without getting lost, falling asleep or driving over anything I shouldn't. Then it rained. After that it dried up for a few more days before the next rain, and the cycle continues. Currently sitting here at near 3 inches of rain with it likely turning to snow by morning.  I guess the flax will stand through it. And if I'm being optimistic, I might even harvest it this fall before real winter sets in.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Its Been a Month

Since I started harvest I mean. And it might be over. Light rain this morning and it continues. Forecast is for more most of the week and the S word is even mentioned. I'm lucky to be as far along as I am , having only 120 acres of flax still standing. Ready or not, I don't know as I have not had a chance to check it lately. I suspect there will still be enough green (flax or weeds) in it that I can't cut and pickup the same day but who knows. Laying a swath now with more rain, or worse, forecast is not a good plan. Swaths take a long time to dry once we are into October.
I took this picture a few days ago unloading wheat into the truck. Have to admit we had some very nice harvest weather while waiting for the grain to dry. Lucky I did not wait for it.