Thursday, May 7, 2009

Chemical pick up day

The preparations for seeding continued on the farm today. I got stuck into a few more maintenance jobs, and Dad finished cleaning down his header. It's almost a race to get everything done now, cause as soon as it's done we can get started. But it's happening slower than I would like. 1 of the big hold ups at the moment is the repairs to the cracks in the semi-tipper. I'm waiting on that to be done so I can go and collect fertilizer that needs to be planted with the seed to feed the crop as it grows. It doesn't look like I'm going to have my tipper back now in time to get any fertilizer before Monday. I'll probably get it back tomorrow but wont be able to book in in time to collect fertilizer. And I'm sure the plant wont be open on the weekend. There's a good chance I'll have enough to keep me busy until then anyway, but don't worry, there isn't that much more to do.

First job I did this morning was to head into town and pick up all the chemical I'd need for weed control during seeding. After the agronomist came around yesterday I calculated what we'd need of each chemical, and took into account what we already had on hand, and made a little shopping list. It took two trips into town actually to get it all, and here's the pick-up of the first load. (Actually the ute was loaded too, but I didn't show that).

And there we are, the whole lot unloaded, with the 110ltr envirodrums outside and all the 20ltr drums, and ammonium sulphate 25kg bags, inside. I would give you a list of everything I bought, but I don't have a copy with me... and I cant remember. But amongst them are:

  • Powermax, which is glysophate for knockdown weed kill,
  • Ox240 or oxyflurafen 240 - helps with the knockdown
  • Paraquat - a 2nd knockdown herbicide used as a"double knock" to stop resistant rye grass
  • Trifluralin
  • Logran
  • little bit of boxer gold
  • strada - I'm not sure what that does, but it's funny how we listen to what our agronomist says, and just do it.
  • and I told you I couldn't remember everything I got.

Amongst other jobs I attended to today was a quick service to the John Deere 4440. That included an oil change and oil filter change.

    There's the new oil filter. You can see on there how I've scratched the date and the engine hours on there so I'll now when it's due for it's next service. I also need to grease the... well everything that need greasing on it, but that will happen tomorrow. I still have to do that on the John Deere 8200 as well. I did adjust the stop cable on the 4440 as well. That's kinda just above the filter. It is in the photo, but if you don't know what it looks like you may not recognise it. Anyway the clamp holding it at the fuel pump end (the back of the fuel pump is in the picture just in front of the oil filter). So it didn't work. It's supposed to stop the engine when you pull the stop button in the cab. So I fixed it. Pulled the cable into position and tightened up the clamp, believe me there was no way it was going to move now. Only problem was it worked too well. I could barely get the tractor to even run. Pulled it in too tight. So I let it back again and re tightened. It still didn't work quite right, so after a little bit more fiddling I decided that it's a real touchy little cable that has to be in just the right position. And you'll be happy to know that I did eventually find that perfect position. It'll work just fine now... until the first time we need to use it.

    And there's the 2 Johny's side by side, just waiting to be all greased up and then they'll be ready for action.

    Back last year sometime I managed to break the bottom elbow, and the anti-vortex in the bottom of the Granni pot on the boom spray. Here's another moment where I wished I'd taken a picture... it would be much easier to describe that way. Firstly I'll let you know that the Granni pot is a mixing pot mounted to the side of the boom spray and all the chemical is loaded into the main boom tank using the granni pot. It works using vacuum pressure generated by water flowing through a venturi, and it's a strong enough vacuum to draw chemical out of envirodrums. Chemical in smaller drums, such as 20ltr can also be measured into the granni pot, then drawn into the main tank. It can also be used to dissolve granular chemicals that need to be dissolved. So as you can imagine an essential part for the operation of the boom spray.

    Well when I broke it last year (by leaving it in the folded down position while spraying - it lasts alot longer when you remember to put it up) and replace the essential parts, but at the time I couldn't get a "lifting stirrup", but I could survive without that. So I put it together and I was up and going again. The new lifting stirrup (the old one got lost somewhere in the paddock where the thing broke - I drove for quite some time before I noticed. Guess I'll find it out there some day) came a week or so later. Now the reason I'm telling you all this is because today I finally got around to putting the new lifting stirrup on. When I did I found the rubber seal in the bottom of the Granni pot was stretched so I replaced that while I was at it. If it wasn't in perfect condition then there's a chance that the Granni pot wouldn't seal down airtight, and so it would not only leak, but also wouldn't be able to hold a vacuum and hence wouldn't be able to draw chemical out of envirodrums. So that was a good maintenance job out the way.

    And that was the day.

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