The Useful Duck!

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Saturday, February 7, 2009

I planted my 40 acres

I actually planted the 40 acres of oats which was my goal. I started in mud but the sun came out and soon it all dried off. Had a few plugged seed tubes and the drive wheel on the drill slipped so I had trouble getting the desired seed rate. Then i busted my GPS computer screen so it was just one of those typical days for me.
You can see my mess of wires. Have a calc-an-acre which gives me acres, acres/hr, mph, hrs, and distance. Has two total acre counters. I reset on counter each time I fill the drill and reset the other each time I change fields. That way I keep track of area and also can compare acres to bags of seed put in the drill.
Then I have the Loupe drill monitor. It gives me seeds per acre, distance per seed or seeds per distance, acres, mph, beeps if one of the rows plugs up, low seed rate, or too high a seed rate. Too high a seed rate alarm goes off if I forget to close clean out door on a row. I could only afford to do 8 rows. Cost something like $1200. Works really well at low speed. It is pretty hard to count 1.4 million seeds per acre. The reading on the monitor does not always match when you are trying to set the drill based on seeds per bushel but it gets you pretty close.
If you can see it the monitor reads, "should be seeding," Not sitting and taking a picture.
The little screen at the bottom is a backup camera I bought on sale at Shucks. I have it pointed at he seed level indicator on the drill. My fertilizer tank blocks my view from the cab. Pretty handy!
I was trying to boost my seed rate to 120 lbs.
Now I do love my Great Plains drill but it is pretty ridiculous that they don't have a more precise means to set the drill. The drill adjustment lever is the exact same design as the one on my 1950's Minneapolis-Moline drill. On the Moline you could at least move the lever as it had two levers to control a 10 foot drill. (Each box had a seperate drive) The Great Plains has one drive for a 15 foot drill and you basically can't move the lever with a full box of seed. You can turn the drive wheel backwards and release the sension of the seed cups sometimes. Today i got a hammer and punch and pounded the whole stinking drive shaft over to open it up. $42,000 for a stinking drill and you have to use a hammer and punch to set the stupid thing. I'm glad Roy Applequist is not staying up late at night worrying if someone is having trouble with his drill design. $42,000 for a stinking drill and Great Plains won't even do the basic metal prep to keep it paint attached to the metal.
Of course with a John Deere drill I probably couldn't have planted as it would have plugged up with mud. Big green boat anchors. That is all they are good for. Sometimes I think that.

So here is the view out my front window. This is a photo from a couple days ago. Didn't down load photos from todays planting. Here is my GPS screen before I busted it. Blue lines are where I planted. Circles are where I turned around at the end of the field. Finally got it to not paint the ends when the drill is out of the ground.
I hate Windows the most of all. Today i somehow got the task bar across half the screen. Then I got the stupid computer to log in as adminsitrator insead of user and I lost all my iTunes files. I was trying to get rid of the stupid task bar and find my self help books on anger management when I hit a bump while perhaps over applying the stylus to the screen and I busted the screen digitizer. So, now I can see where I'm going but I can't actually do anything without a keyboard and mouse. I would really like to take this little tablet out to the woodpile and apply a splitting maul to the screen perhaps that would get rid of the task bar. Then i think I would like to take what remains and apply it to Bill Gates neither end, Sam Adams style... Unbelievable that Windows became the world's operating system.
This is what it looks like out the window at night in the rain. Red area is the headlands. I like the GPS for finishing up the field as any skips show up. Takes guesswork out of the headlands when I don't always turn as good as I could. Needed it tonight as after dark I had a very hard time telling where I had planted. It worked pretty well but was unable to save my field records without a keyboard. Will have to find a new screen on ebay.
GPS was working good today. Computer works a lot better in administrator mode. i think it freed up some memory. Hate to admit but I think I had too large a desktop picture.
It was of my daughter in the snow. Very sweet.

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