The Useful Duck!

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Monday, January 19, 2009


Here we go. It is the first Sunny Day in January and the neighbor is ready to plant Oats! My neighbor likes to plant his oats early. That is where I come in as I have the no-till drill that he likes. He called me Saturday and said he wanted to start Monday. I was thinking about the new tires I bought for the drill and not thinking about cleaning out the tractor cab or changing the oil or if I had the right orifice plates for the fertilizer rate he wanted to put on.
When I decided to put liquid fertilizer on my drill I of course had to do something different than anyone else. This was under the pretext of saving money but really I just thought the blue screw together fittings looked really cool. Plus, they were free!

The way this all happened was that my cousin had bought a used International drill with a Blumhardt fertilizer setup. Blumhardt booms are made of individual little sections which screw together. Pretty cool idea really. My uncle was once a dealer and he gave me most of his new old stock. Cousin with the International drill is not the son of the Uncle with the Blumhart fittings. Cousin is kind of a far off cousin, like third or fourth or something...
Anyway free sprayer fittings, well, not so much free as my cousin said I could borrow them and he didn't want to sell them to me. So he said I could use them and he might some day decide to put fertilizer on his drill again. This is not real likely as the pump and all the hoses are pretty much shot.. But, It could happen!
Anyway, here is a nice picture of the colorful Blumharts fittings. Woop! Whoop! As Mayor Budd Clark used to say.

Most of the booms set up around here were not set up for 10gallons per acre at 6 mph so finding the right orifice plates was a bit of a chore. The spray bar on my drill was of course used and had sat outside for years. The plastic was a bit stiff and the temperature today was a bit nippy. Finally I just dumped everything in a bucket of hot water. Then my Uncle pointed out a NOS Blumhart kit. So I just exchanged the red orifice plates for purple and screwed them in, only to discover I was short by three. Then my neighbor brought me a nearly new (well 20 year old but it's been in the shed for a while) 24 row spray bar with the deluxe 10lb anti-drip set up. Wow! Now I'm really stylin!
Then the fellow I'm planting for called and said he had decided NOT to apply liquid fertilizer. He filled up his tank at the Co-op and then thought he would as the price. $6 per gallon for 10-34 so @ 10gal per acre it would be $60 bucks an acre for only 10lbs of N. So he pumped it back out again. Of course I decided to work on the liquid fertilizer first...

After servicing the drill I headed to the field, sometime after noon. Three triangular shaped fields. First thing that went wrong is my population monitor quit. I spent an hour on the phone with Loupe ( ) only to discover there was a connector inside the frame of the drill which had pulled apart. In the process of discovering this I lost all my special settings in the drill monitor. Of course the Oats I was planting turned out to have a different bushel weight than the last batch of Oats I planted and since I had lost my monitor calibration I manage to plant 10 acres at 135lbs per acre instead of 110lbs and so I ran out of seed at 20 acres with five left to go. I planted till 6:30 p.m. but decided to quit when I realized I was planting through water. Not such a good sign this time of year...

Photo is out my windshield. I'm planting cayuse oats into dead fescue sod. Goal is 110 lbs acre with 1" planting depth. Looks like it is doing a good job.
Next photo is what it looks like out the window when the sun goes down. The point of the photo was to show my low budget GPS at work. FarmerGPS is a program that runs on a PC. The red arrows seen at the bottom of the screen in the dark photo are screaming at me to turn left. The purple lines show where I have been. Somewhere I have a close up.

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