The Useful Duck!

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Monday, November 16, 2009

First stuck of the season!

I went to look at a field today. It was one which has been worrying me for some time. The fellow works for me some times and is trying to get started farming. I thought I would be there two weeks ago but it has been raining. In the mean time, all sorts of weeds have been growing-and he didn't get them killed. I called the fellow he has been driving tractor for to see if he would be willing to spray it. I just said, look the kid is not getting it done. What do we do? Do we let him learn the hard way or do we get it done for him? I really don't know the answer.  It is kind of a tough call. While I am his friend he also has to understand that I had 500 acres to plant before I got within five miles of his farm. Then another 200 acres on the wrong side of the narrow bridge across the Yamhil river that runs through the middle of town. So, getting to him is not that easy. I didn't even get my hay field planted. I didn't get my field sprayed. I'm in trouble as well. So, basically you have to look out for yourself.
He is supposed to have killed his 60 acres. But, he didn't hire the sprayer. So the field has three inches of growth. It is wet. I don't think wheat is going to work. There is too much competition for annual ryegrass. I hate to plant before the chemical is on.
Plus I got stuck with my pickup. We were trying to GPS the field. I felt it pull down and a floored it. It got me pretty far out there. Had to pull it out backwards...

You can see by the photos what kind of weather we are having. We were sitting there discussing what to do and I checked the weather on my phone. We are supposed to get three inches of rain in the next 96 hours.
I still have fall fertilizer to spread. We kind of put it of thinking our hired man would come back. It is a kind of no-brainer sort of job, if he can understand the GPS. Everything just keeps getting wetter and wetter.
I have been waiting for a break in the rain to finish planting wheat. I thought I had close to 1000lbs left in the power bin on the truck. I finally got a chance to plant today. I peeked under the tarp. There was perhaps 300lbs. My drill counter showed 2 acres when I got done. I ran the GPS around the section I planted. It was all short rows in one corner of a field. The GPS said 1.2 acres. Why didn't I look under that tarp when I finished the field? I know I had to get to the next field but 1.2 acres is like a half hour job. I hate it when I do something stupid like that.


  1. Yow. Hope you have lotsa coffee and a warm place to put your feet. Which doesn't help at all to get stuff done.

    Been a miserable season here too. Beans are finally out, but there many thousands of acres of corn still in the field. It is starting to pick up mold. Elevators are turning away corn because of mold, and because they are just clean out of drying capacity. Even the ethanol plants who were supposed to save the rural economy while they promoted monoculture strip mining of our beautiful black soil are turning away grain because of the mold. Seems it shows up in the mash left over from ethanol production and then they can't sell it for animal feed. Pigs won't eat it and if they do it causes them to throw their litters. The golden goose ethanol industry is on such a tight margin they have to worry when they can't sell off their waste.

    Whatever weather you're having is going to show up here in some version in two or three days. Last round of rain is sliding just south of us, we're looking forward to the next...

  2. The problem is that I really need those extra 200 acres I'm not getting planted...
    People here are talking about corn! If only I had a husking bed for the unifarmor!
    Most of my circle of friends have been trying to work with crop rotations and maintaining residue. Some folks got quite an education with monocropping grass seed. The big guys are still pretty much into mining the soil. I'm sure when they decide to change they will have invented conservation tillage. Have already seen it with one of the fellows who gets a lot of print here. He farms enough ground he can do what ever he wants. Log a stream bank in one spot but leave grassy waterways in another. Then he gets conservation farmer of the year.
    I think the most hands on learning is done by folks who don't say anything but just do it.
    It is kind of funny though, we are seeing people learn how to grow wheat again now that the grass seed market has crashed. The old wheat/clover rotation was not such a bad idea. Shame no one remembers how to actually farm anymore...


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