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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Farm management again

I am sure my loyal readers are waiting with baited breath to hear the conclusion of yet another whine about my lack of management skills. I admit that this is Whine country. You see the logo everywhere, purple with little grapes. I think the color is more of a maroon which is kind of appropriate, but I digress...
I got my helper to take fertilizer box back and put on a pallet of ryegrass seed. We then moved the drill though town with him flagging for me.
The fog actually got worse.

He started working ground and I planted. It was bare dirt so it was a little sticky.
I do have very good scrapers on my Great Plains drill.
I thought I had 300 gallons of fertilizer left.
I thought I had 25 acres to plant.
I thought I set the drill correctly.
In reality I had 225 gallons of fertilizer and I forgot the special stuff to put with it to increase the soil fungi. It was home in a the shed. It is expensive stuff. Perhaps I blocked it from my mind. Kind of like replacing the tires on my wife's car...
In reality I had 35 acres to plant.
In reality I looked at my notes wrong and set the drill for 13 lbs instead of 20. This was not so bad, but what it meant is that a month ago when I thought I was planting at 15lbs I was really planting at 9lbs. (I think) Who knows, the rate changes if it is really damp. Anyway, the monitor showed 22 seeds per foot and 1.1 million seeds per acre and I figure that is a heck of a lot of annual ryegrass. Especially since I don't think the sensors can actually count that many small seeds falling past the little electric eye.
I got the 20 acre field planted. It worked very well. The sun came out and the dirt dried out. I did have to go at 4 mph as I kept catching up to the disk and roller so it went slow.
Then I got a call from a lady that gets hay from me. She said she had found some 16mm movies from the development of the Superfortress at Boeing in the 1940's. I've been after those movies for two years. She thinks I give her a good deal on the hay because of her over abundance of secondary sex characteristics and her tendency to wear inappropriate clothing to pick up hay, but it is really the 16mm movies. The other stuff is kind of like a train wreck, you can't look away, but yet you can't look and it makes me slightly uncomfortable.
But, I digress.
I went home to load the hay.
She arrived with a box full of old slides. She said the movies must have been taken to Colorado by her ex. I looked at the box. There were some BW negatives on rolls. I unrolled one. There was a lady with a bottle of whiskey and an army man naked in a bathtub. I am not sure what I have. I think if I can figure out what I did with my BW darkroom supplies I could sell gay porn on ebay... That would probably queer any chances I have of running for president...
My brother showed up and went to combine buckwheat. I forgot to tell him the combine pickup was bent.
He called me.
Instead of going to plant I went to help him. It was no use. The drive shaft for the belt pickup was bent where it goes into the flange that drives the long roller that turns the top belt. It was not a field repair.
I went to plant.
My next customer called me and said it was raining so hard he almost couldn't get out of the field with his drill and tractor.
I said, "oh fiddle-sticks."
I started on the steep hill over looking town. On the second round it started pouring. On the third round I hit a bump and control box for the drill and foam marker and GPS interface box and crap out of the ash tray and my coffee cup fell on top of me due to the steepness of the hill. I hung up the phone.
It was dark and steep and after a while I could see where I had planted. The GPS doesn't work well on steep hills, it was too wet for the mechanical markers, the foam marker was making runny foam and it was pouring down rain. I put the 2-155 in 4wd.
I finally resorted to going back and forth and just steering by the gps and an occasional glimpse of foam at the end of the field.
I never spun out and didn't slide sideways down the hill so I guess all is good. No alarms went off so no plugged seed tubes.
I finished that field. I still have five acres to go. I wish I had not put so much seed in the drill. I hate digging it out with a five gallon bucket.
This morning the sun is shining. There is not at much fog. It may be too wet to plant.
Five stinking acres to plant.
Perhaps I'll try the special soil additive on the last five acres.

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