The Useful Duck!

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Fall planting season photos

Mayor Bloomberg and I blame global warming. Floods and droughts and famine and pestilence. All due to global warming. The abomination of the infernal combustion engine and the fires of Mordor.
I kind of figured that after 100 plus days of no rain, it would rain. It just won't stop.
I am on a 150 acre no-tilling job. It is on a former Christmas Tree farm. Meaning hills that are really too steep for most of the local farmers. But I always find the clever ones who have a plan that no one else has yet to figure out.
And so I am no-tilling hard red wheat into a heavy red clay soil on steep rolling hills. No-tilling into bent grass, moss, and wild carrot sod.
Here is a photo...

I must say I am fairly impressed with the Great Plains 1500 no-till grain drill. I seem to be able to plant into just about anything. The sheer volume of mud has gotten to be a bit of a problem. It does tend to plug up the press wheels every hour or so.
This is a photo of the presswheels when thy are still turning. They are not even plugged up yet.
Above is a view out my windshield on Friday afternoon. The sun came out and the field was almost dry enough to actually plant without plugging up. Then there was a cloudburst. The hood is actually white from the sleet.
Below is a screen view of my GPS. I use FarmerGPS which is a program which runs on a tablet PC. Gives me a low cost alternative to the $2,000 Raven system everyone else uses. Plus, the customer service is pretty excellent.
When I dropped my Tablet at the beginning of the week when I slipped on the step and fell out of the tractor cab, I emailed FarmerGPS for a new unlock code for my backup computer. I not only got the code but when I discovered my backup computer wouldn't run the newest version because the graphics card couldn't handle 3-D, they emailed me a previous version of the program that would work. It arrived overnight in my email. It was very helpful.
Below is a screen view of what I have been doing this week. The different colors are the different days I worked. It has been pretty slow going.

But, tomorrow is the start of a new week and I am sure all will be grand...


  1. Just think, it all started with a pointed stick.

  2. I don't know which is more depressing, your mud or my snow. At least I have an excuse not to go out and work now. Oh right, snow plowing.

    1. It brings one back to the Lazy Farmer and his rocking chair. If I could just learn to smoke a pipe.

  3. Am I to understand that "no-tilling" takes care of the issue of soil blowing away? Will it work with most crops or is it limited to certain types of wheat?

    Grace and peace.

  4. No-tilling or direct seeding eliminates tillage. The planter puts the seed directly into the ground. There is some tillage done by the planter but it is only directly in line with the seed.
    So it takes care of wind and water erosion in soil and 8 trips across the field with tillage equipment.
    Most seeds can be no-tilled. Tiny seeds are harder to do just because you need more control on planting depth and seed to soil contact. So you wouldn't plant a small seed like clover into heavy sod like you can do with wheat or oats.
    You are supposed to plan a year or so in advance for your crops and not just no-till wheat into knee high what ever was on the field before you rented it.
    it is best to take care of your soil pH and plan for weed control before you no-till. But, if the neighbor has a drill that will plant into anything, including mud, people tend to give it a try late in the season.

    1. But when it's dry enough to no-till easily aren't you too busy harvesting and stacking hay to plant?
      Also, Can't some seeds just be broadcast onto the sod & let the rain wash it down to the soil to germinate? Or is life just not that accommodating.


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