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Sunday, March 21, 2021

Planting in March

Facebook is a blessing and a curse.

I love reading about WWII airplanes, White tractors, Moline tractors, the occasional AC tractor, pictures of stuck tractors, Dynaco tube stereos, and people who make fun of Democrats. 

Last week a memory picture popped up and I was planting the same field on the same day as I had planted several years ago. Pretty neat to see what you did last year. But then the ten years ago picture pops up and I am just depressed.

I have been no-till planting. It took in an inordinate amount of time to get ready. 

Eight years ago Uncle Harold would not order me Pioneer quick couplers with the built in valve to bleed off pressure so you can unhook under load. He said $175 was too much money. So I rebuilt my old ones. 

They failed just as I wanted to go to work. I bought new ones for $350. 

I no-tilled Radish Monday. Radish is used as a cover crop in the Midwest. The radish roots displace packed soil and add organic matter. I also planted clover as a companion crop. Red clover seems to do well with Radish. After the radish is combined for seed the clover should last two more years.

My friend who is currently obsessed with honey bees says the bees don't do well with Red clover as the bloom is too deep and their proboscis  doesn't reach the nectar. I did not know this.

The radish is planted at 7lbs per acre on 15 inch spacing. The seeds are bigger than clover. Similar in size to Millet but round.  My wife built me little dividers for the drill as I have to block off every other row. This is a continual battle. How do I block off rows but still get the seed to flow evenly? I have made cardboard dividers and duct taped to the drill box. The duct tape is a pain to remove. 

I got started Monday after work. I had problems setting the drill. The seed rate was too low. This usually means there something wrong in the drive and the shaft is skipping. I found nothing wrong. 

The next problem was low power to the fertilizer rate controller. Then a hydraulic hose failed. 

I requested the next day off of work.

Tuesday was a beautiful day. I ran a new wire direct from the battery to the fertilizer controller. I found my  Seed-Meter and set the drill properly. 

I had my wife's dog Goldie with me. She wants to be a farm dog so badly. She is a rat terrier and loves to chase rats, mice, and squirrels. She also loves to ride in the tractor.

Unfortunately she decided to lay between the drill openers and the rear mounted harrow. I had let her run loose as I was getting in and out of the cab a lot. But, when I was working on computer issues and was stopped but did not get out of the cab she apparently made her ill fated choice.

I soon realized she was missing. I checked the brush along the river. I drove around and called her. I first suspected a Billy Coyote. He is a rascal. Finally I drove the two miles back to the house. Goldie was on the porch covered in mud and shaking. I found a pretty bad scratch on your tummy. I cleaned it and put Hemp Tonic on it.

She seemed fine. A little sore but she is a little dog who ran 2 miles. But, when my wife got home. Goldie could hardly move. The scratch was dirty and she wouldn't let us near it.

So, I took her to the vet the next morning. It was an hour wait. The vet thought she looked like she was in a lot of pain and wanted to keep her on antibiotics and pain meds. I pointed out that she had in fact, ran two miles home in panic. The vet thought that explained the symptoms and sent her home. No stitches. All is well...

And now I have exceeded my allowed blogging time and my wife says we are going to church! Have a nice day. I was going to complain anyway... 


  1. Out in the field already? Now I am depressed. Actually no. I'm in no hurry to start putting mega money into the ground when the drought continues and no sign of an end. Canola prices have never been higher but then neither have crop input prices. Hope your dog does ok.

  2. As you know, too many dogs don't know danger. I'm glad she survived. I hope your equipment problems work themselves out. Good to know you're still "percolating," as my great aunt used to say.

  3. Glad you are still farming. I like to eat and someone has to do the dirty work.

    Grace and peace

  4. I've been a beekeeper for fifty-five years (good grief). In regards to red clover, yes and no. White/Dutch is preferred but what's really nice is alfalfa but farmers like to mow the blossoms. My farmhouse tenant did not keep a tidy barn and complained about rats. We discussed barn hygiene and I said I'd put out rat poison in bait boxes. Her semi-wild dog tore open the bait boxes. The smaller dog ate the rat poison. The next day she asked to borrow a shovel but did not clean the barn.

    Facebook is distracting. It's kept me from writing/reading better 'stuff' and am currently going cold turkey. Good to see your post. I appreciate hard work and effort and broken/failing equipment and tools.


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