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Saturday, March 28, 2009

The first late night of the Season!

Spring is here! I worked till almost midnight. I've been trying to beat the rain with my planting. I have been taking on just about anything that comes my way as I'm pretty much hurting for cash. I just finished a 55 acre job. I did 35 acres yesterday afternoon and was home by 7 p.m.
The rest of the job took me from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. It was a series of 4 acre fields. The narrow wedges made when center pivots intersect. Pie shaped wedges take the longest and use up the most acres of any sort of field.
While working on the small fields I ran into a neighbor who I have planted for before. He had a ten acre section on the river bottom where I had planted yesterday. As I was eventually ending up a few miles down river I agreed to plant for him. I thought I could just skirt the edges of the neighbor's fields and thus avoid driving down the highway.
That was not the case. I had to fill with fertilizer out of the first farmers tank as he got a little extra and decided to sell it to the second farmer. Of course I was able to first totally overfill the tank blowing liquid fertilizer all over the drill and some on me. Then for the final fillup I couldn't get the pump on the tank to start so I had to pump the tank empty with the centrifugal pump on the drill. I just barely got my 200 gallons.
The 10 acre field ended up being 25 acres. I planted in between blocks of harvested trees in a nursery, a 10 acre wheat field with think stubble above my knees, and 2 more sections of nursery ground. I wish I had a photo of my GPS screen. It was a serpentine course that is for sure.
I had to completely rely on the GPS as it soon got dark on me. I also used my foam marker just to keep the GPS honest. The fields were just big enough and square enough to make pretty good time and I finished 25 acres by 11:30 p.m.
I will have to come back and look at it after the wheat sprouts. May be some interesting patterns. Too many trees cause my older antenna to loose satellites. This makes the little tractor on the screen jump all over the place. I also seemed to be off a little on one side when I would go around the field clockwise. Not sure what that was. Generally I could see enough of the drill track to know I was on course. The GPS was still essential as the GPS got me close enough to know that the mark was the drill track and not some random mark in the stubble.
Problem seems to be that folks who have spent $2400 on a Raven Invisio have the same problems as I do with my under $1,000 setup. Plus, I have been forced to learn a lot more about GPS so I can solve my on problems.
Pretty amazing to think that my dad used to farm with horses.


  1. Well at least you are ahead of me. Lots of talk about notill markers and I would like to be rid of them. Midnight oil won't be burned here for planting for a couple of weeks yet. This rain settled everyone down over here and we will really be chomping at Grandpa's bit at the next sight of clear weather.

  2. Oh well, it is raining here as well now...


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