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Friday, December 3, 2010

Slugs and baiting and mud and what to you say to people who are almost dead

Today I spread slug bait. The Pacific Northwest has been invaded by a multitude of the slimy little creatures from all over the world. Many of them have moved to our farm.
I have been waiting for the rain to let up so I can spread slug bait for a month now. I usually apply it when I plant so that the slugs eat the bait before the plant sprouts. However, we worked a lot of ground instead of no-tilling and I was hoping to avoid the slug problem. A lot of the wheat I spread slug bait on today has almost big enough to out grow the slug pressures. The annual doesn't look like it has a bag slug problem but I thought I'd just throw away $500 so I spread bait on everything that was short and I could find slugs.
Ironically our other major pest seems to be doing a very good job at eating the slugs. Geese are flocking to the fields where the worst slug problems were. However, they also eat the wheat and sometimes the annual ryegrass.

I have two photos. The first is of the slug baiting machine parked in a wheat field that is totally overrun with annual ryegrass. The annual ryegrass fields that I planted are not this thick. It has been scheduled for spraying for a while and they claim they can control the annual. I doubt it.

The next photo is of wheat that I no-tilled into a sweet corn field. It is pretty much bare dirt. I planted it at an angle and if you look the right direction you can see rows. I spread slugbait as there were slugs but there were also many goose turds so it is probably a lost cause.

Then I managed to hit a mud puddle at a high rate of speed which drenched me with very cold water so I went home for lunch. After lunch I needed two more $95 bags of slug bait and to get the kids from school so I also went to see an older gentleman who just had a relapse of cancer. Two weeks ago he was walking around fine and today he is in a hospital bed in his home waiting to die. Very depressing. He invented a really cool hay tedder that lifts and gently fluffs the hay instead of throwing it around. His family is all gathering. I never know what to say.
I think I'd rather get hit by a bus and get it all over with at once.


  1. " I never know what to say."

    I don't think there's anything we CAN say at such times that will make any difference. Just "being there" says more than anything.

  2. I usually try to find a line of questioning that they enjoy pursuing. Sometimes people enjoy talking about childhood relationships they had with dogs, sometimes they appreciate someone expressing interest in how some particular thing was done sixty years ago. Anything to give them a break from their present circumstance. Especially if grounds can be found for a bit of humor.

  3. Those danged Canadian geese , I know them well and have had acres of crops cleaned off around some of the bigger bodies of water on the farm over the years. Seems like their only predator is on two legs with a shotgun and they are few and far between.
    Agreed on the bus, its a shock but in the long run probably easier on the family than a long drawn out demise.

  4. Well.............You didn't get stuck?


    Not much you can say. They will take comfort in the fact that you care.


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