It has been pointed out to me that I should not let work get in the way of posting to the Lazy Farmer blog, after all, it is in fact called, "The Lazy Farmer."
I do feel bad about letting down my 37.5 loyal and faithful readers and so here is what has been happening in my life.
Our swamp of a farm is slowly drying out and I am planting it five acres at a time. This view represents quite a step for us. We have moved from 12ft equipment way up to 16 feet. The neighbor farmer passed away and I made what I thought was quite a low offer on a harrow, cultipacker, and double corrugated roller. My offer was accepted and I said thank you very much!
I've wanted a double corrugated roller for several years. Ever since the babbit bearings wore out on the McCormick Deering model we were using before.
The double corrugated roller features two rollers mounted in tandem. The rear roller is smaller than the front roller and is off set so the point of the rear roller breaks up the ridge of the front roller. It leaves a corrugated finish on the field. Those grooves left in the soil then help preserve moisture. It works really well on our river bottom soils for reasons that I am sure Ed Winkle could tell you in detail.
I should have been planting but I got caught up to my little helper who wasn't coming in till 9 a.m.
I've been no-tilling flax. I'm a little hesitant to continue with straight no-till after May 1st. We tend to go from wet to dry fairly fast. Bare ground with high clay content tends to crack badly dry out so when you no-till with no ground cover you can loose your soil moisture very quickly.
So we worked the bare ground lightly before using the no-till drill.
This is an example of what I've been no-tilling into. You can see the line where it was too wet to plant.
Flax is a nice rotation for us as it allows for weed control Proso Millet, Rat tail Fescue, annual blue grass and other weeds that plague our corn and annual ryegrass rotations on really wet ground. It makes me a little nervous to plant after May 1st but it is hard to know what to plant this late in the year.
I found it interesting to see that the flax is not a product of the USA. I am sort of hoping the Agri-Tec seed salesman looks like this but I doubt it...
Later I planted oats and fescue. Two rows oats and one row fescue. This is not always a good idea. The fescue is seed crop for next year. The oats may steal all the moisture and the fescue may fail. Usually, you spring plant the fescue alone and expect a crop the next year. With the higher rent we are now forced to pay it is hard to lose a year of production and so we planted the oats.
After planting the oats I moved several miles down the road to plant more oats for my neighbor. He had made one pass with a disk and so I needed to beat the scheduled downpours at the end of the week. The Great Plains no-till drill does do a pretty nice job as a secondary tillage tool but it does slow you down a bit. I got there at 5 p.m. and finished the 35 acres by 10 p.m.
Saturday I planted another 30 acres of triticale. It drizzled on and off for most of the day but the dirt was still crumbling behind the drill so I kept going.
Today my daughter and I attended our former church. Dad is at the Valley View retirement center where we used to help with church services. It was a good service. The pastor had a good sermon about "hope," and there was an interesting discussion about wisdom and world views in Sunday School class. I really like the old folks that attend the chapel and the service is usually pretty simple but I find it enjoyable.
Dad was not at Church. We went up to see him and he said he missed the bus. He was eating his lunch and I felt really awkward standing around. I was going to eat with him but he is not going to the dining room and I didn't know how the whole dinner thing works. I have never been very good about having a conversation with my father. I was going to go back later but I started helping my wife with the kitchen and didn't.
Valley View retirement center is a pretty good place. The staff really seem to care about the residents and the residents are generally happy. He seems to be really well cared for. I think it would be a good place for him to stay. I just need to figure out what to say and do when I go visit him.