Ok, another job to finish off this morning was the service on bob's old massey front end loader. I took some oil over there from home and topped her up. To tell the truth we probably actually put too much in, but ya get that. Hopefully it'll be alright. We also changed the fuel filters (they looked like they hadn't been done in... well quite a while) and topped up the power steering.
Now the power steering, there's a story about that. We've been using bob's loader each seeding for the 9 years we've been leasing his farm. For the first few years I didn't even realise it had power steering. Then bob mentioned something about adjusting the power steering, and that he'd do it. And he did, and it kinda improved it a bit, but it was just like really old power steering that only sort of made a bit of difference. It's been like that since then. Well today we (as in Dad & me) discovered there was hardly any oil in the reservoir. In fact there was probably more water than oil in there. So we completely drained the oil. Cleaned the filter as best we could. At the same time I got busy with the grease gun and greased all the steering linkage (and the rest of the tractor - the grease nipples I found anyway). We filled up the power steering reservoir with oil. It just takes normal engine oil, and then gave it a test run. And I nearly fell out of the tractor cab (see I would have said fell over there, but I couldn't do that.. I was in the tractor cab). It was the smoothest, easiest power steering I have ever used (besides a 1964 Chev Belair). Loading the fertilizer into the seed and super truck will be a breeze from now on.
So the tractor servicing took till midday. Moving closer to seeding and the next job was to get the boom spray up and running to get a few paddocks done before I come in with the air seeder. But still there was a couple of jobs to do before that happened. Like get the tractor started again for one. You remember how I told you we got a band new battery for the Ford8401.. a couple of weeks ago, well I left the isolator switch on. And that's just like leaving the head lights on. There's something in the tractor that drains the battery. So the brand new battery was dead flat. I had to find another one that would work. First one... which came off the Ford tipper truck.. didn't. Second one, out of the John Deere 4440 did. And the new battery from the tractor went on the charger. Next thing... months ago the pull rope on the water pump broke (the pull rope is what you use to start the pump). So I put a new rope on the pump and loaded the boom spray up to go.
First thing we are going to plant is Correll wheat, and the recommended chemical use for that is:
- Ammonium sulphate - 1 bag per 2000l of water to soften the water to help glysophate work.
- Lonestar - another name for Logran, which gets incorporated in the soil to prevent new weeds growing. We wouldn't normally use Logran but chose to this year as it will provide some control of barley in wheat, and our Correll seed had some barley in it.
- Ox240 - or oxyflurafen240, gives the glysophate a little more bite
- Powermax - I think its powermax 680 which is glysophate 680 which is a general knock down herbicide. Glysophate with oxyflurafen will kill most weeds that have already germinated.
Quick apologies now... I often get confused whether it's actually "glysophate" or "glyphosate". So I may have it backward. Now I could go out to the chemical shed... or even into the business computer and check the active ingredient of powermax... but... I'll just put in an apology instead, in case I have it wrong. (I'm sure I wouldn't be the only person who gets confused with this one).
I should have listed the rates above too. Ok here they are...
- Ammonium sulphate - 1 bag/2000l water. I think 1 bag is 25kg
- Lonestar - 35g/ha
- Ox240 - 75ml/ha
- Powermax - .8l/ha
I filled up a full tank (4100l) and headed up to our block we call Oldlands. There are 3 paddocks there. I started in the point paddock, which is 29.5ha I think I clocked. For the first paddock of the season It went pretty smoothly. I just had 1 nozzle a little blocked at the start, and the foam marker pump played up a few times, but just needed a tap to start pumping again. I moved to the next paddock, Jolly's trees, after that and emptied the tank as I finished the paddock. It was just over 28ha. I used a water rate of 70l/ha.
These pictures are on the first lap of the Jolly's trees paddock. In there you can see the Ford 8401 tractor, the Hardi 4228b boom spray (4100 ltr tank and 28m boom) and on the end of the wing you can see the new foam marker... "sock" I'll call it, even with foam coming out. It leaves a trail of blue foam at the wing tips as I go along spraying so I know what ground I have already covered. The next pass I line up the end of the boom with the foam trail. When the paddock is all done there are lots of lovely blue foam trails all over it. The foam eventually disappears after anything from an hour to.... well a few hours depending on the wind etc.
I did a quick welding job on the frame of the air seeder box when I got home. Which involved completely unhooking the tractor off the front. That's done so the electronics on the tractor aren't damaged by power surges from the welding. The welds were in a bit of a tight spot on the frame. I had a vertical weld to do, a weld on the underside of the frame, and one along the top, but that one was hindered a bit by the actually air seeder box. But in the end the top weld turned out ok. I cant say the same for the vertical weld. I was too busy dodging hot flux that was spitting everywhere while I was lying under the machine to do the weld. And the underside weld wasn't much better, but at least that one does have a coupla spots where the weld looks good.
So only a couple more things to organise in the morning before I actually can pull into the paddock and officially start our seeding for 2009.