Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It's hard to weld when you've had a few welding flashes

Ok so today I had the agronomist coming to check out what weeds have germinated in the paddocks, and what spraying program we should use to control them. He wasn't due til mid morning (which ended up being late morning - but that didn't matter, I found something else to do).

And that something else was to work on making new seeding boots for the air seeder bar. I think I've mentioned the new boots before, but just in case I haven't... I decided to make up new boots with closing plates to prevent the seeds dropping down too deep in the furrow. The last couple of years I've notice alot of volunteer barley growing up in the pasture paddocks (we plant maritime barley before a pasture in our rotations) and growing mainly in rows, the furrows from the previous year. So my thought is that the germination from the previous years may not have been as good as it should have been (I know I should have done germination counts and all that but the agronomist could have done that... maybe I don't pay him enough). So new boots with closing plates so the seed is all dropped at the same level and not too deep. That's the theory anyway, we'll see if it works.

Having said all that I realise now that I must have mentioned them before, because it wasn't that long ago that I cut all the plates and brackets for them. Well my quick job before the agronomist got there was to weld a line of hard facing on the bottom of the closing plates.

This will become a closing plate

Clamped ready for welding

Just after welding. I put some hard facing up the sides of the plate as well. I was hoping this shot would show it glowing red... but by the time I got the picture it had cooled

I finished off just before the agronomist arrived. It was kinda perfect timing really. All I have to do now is weld the boots all together, and then take the old ones off the bar and put the new ones on.. could still take some time, but once I get on a roll I'll get it done pretty quickly.

So now time for weed inspections, and we found that because we'd had such a good opening rain, all at once, the weeds had all germinated at the same time and are all small. It's better this way than if we'd had dribs and drabs of rain which gets some weeds going early and some not starting til later, making some of them really big by now. So the spraying program is going to be relatively simple with mainly powermax and ox240 being used as a knockdown with trifluralin being incorporated with the air seeder bar (it gets dug in when we plant the crop - it needs to be in the soil to work - it stops new weeds germinating). On certain paddocks we are going to use a "double knock" where 2 spray applications are used. The first is powermax and ox240, and then the second pass is a few days later, right in front of the air seeder with paraquat and trifluralin.

We have 47 paddocks (don't worry their not all huge, there's quite a few that would be under 20ha - I should work out what the average size paddock is) and so it took a while to drive around and check them all out.

Today was sheep feeding day as well, yep I've had a big day. Needless to say, they got done pretty late. There are still lambs coming, I saw another new one today. And I didn't find any problems with the sheep feeding.

The other job that I noted was being done, Dad has pulled his header, the newholland TR88, out of the shed and got a fair way through cleaning it down. This gets all the grain, and straw, and chaff, and whatever else there is left on, or in, the header after harvest. It makes the header less attractive to rats, that tend to chew through anything. Not that anyone can clean off all the grain etc.

Still waiting on the semi tipper repairs to be done. As soon as they are I'll organise to go up and pick up my fertilizer. Once that is done we are very close to starting seeding.

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