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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Cold Start Loading Oats

I took advantage of the relatively mild weather yesterday to put a load of oats through the hammer mill for cattle feed. I had enough to last a few more weeks but knowing that it could be 40 below by then I figured this was a good option.

The old Wisconsin auger engine was a little reluctant to start without a little pre-heating, but then it is almost as old as me. I'd forgotten just how low the oats were in the bin. As it turned out I was able to load all that was in the bin onto the hopper wagon. Of course every bushel had to be shoveled but no big deal as the old six inch auger idled down is slow enough even for me to keep up to. A seven inch auger will work two men to death on shovels though. Speed costs.

Later in the afternoon I got to pail all those oats through the hammer mill. The old IH mill won't take it too fast though so I was barely working hard enough to keep warm. Managed to finish up just before dark after 3 hours on the mill. It was a good full throttle workout for the Cockshutt 50 tractor and that is the only exercise it gets these days.

The sound of the tractor and mill must have attracted the cattle to come home from the oat stubble field. So of course I gave them a sample of the new chop which they seemed to appreciate. They have been spending most of their time out in the oat field these past two weeks not even coming home for water. That will help shorten the winter feeding period .

Shoveling Oats

Friday, November 22, 2019

Rusty Buckets On The Merc

I was just thinking about how we used to get around all through a Saskatchewan winter in a two wheel  drive car. No four wheel drive pickups with traction control and anti lock brakes. Just a little good driving skill and a shovel in the trunk for when your luck ran out. I can't recall my dad ever having to pull the old Merc out of a snowbank with a tractor but maybe my memory is failing.

No steel belted studded winter radial tires. Just the same old ground grip tires that had been on the car all summer. It was too costly to have an extra set of rims or tires for winter.

New plastic frost shields installed on the inside of the windows to keep at least a partial view through the frosted glass. Times have changed.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Crop Checking Nov 17

We don't normally have crops to check on in the middle of November but that is how bizarre this year has been. This wheat won't likely get harvested til next spring now that it is snowed under and no decent drying weather to help out. Its already graded feed due to mildew, sprouts, fusarium, etc. and whatever else the grain buyers can find. So it can't grade any lower by laying out all winter. Might lose a little weight but at least (hopefully) it will be dry. I'd hate to have the wheat sitting in a bin at almost 19% moisture and have to worry about it heating all winter.

Deer and moose trails are obvious in the photos. They will have plenty to eat. Hopefully the hunters will stay on the trail I cut through the middle of the field.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Nov 14 working with 2140

This milder weather gave me a chance to get a few jobs done including winterizing the diesel fuel in two tractors. Picking up a couple of un=tied oat straw bales and hauling home for bedding in the cattle shelter. As well as cutting down some big dead trees that were going to fall on the fence line the next time the wind blows.
Still snow everywhere and I don't expect to get back to harvesting until next spring even if we do get a little melting in the next day or so.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Cooling Canola

I combined this canola almost a month ago, testing dry, but I was concerned it might not be cooling down safely. Decided to take a load out today to get a better look and temperature test. Turned out to be ok. It was a nice day compared to some we have had although the temp never got above 15F.

Friday, November 1, 2019

November Cold Starts

It looks like winter is here to stay so, even though there is still crop to harvest, I'm putting the headers and combine away for winter. Did a quick partial clean up and parked everything back in place. Now if the snow goes away unexpectedly I can still pull it all back out and combine.