Friday, May 15, 2009

Seeding time

Yesterday was the day that I actually got started with the seeding. It was a pretty busy day to get that far though. There was quite a few "organization" jobs to do to get going. Things like making sure I had all the tools I would/could need, fuel for the small motors etc. I hadn't had a chance to put my new seeding boots on the bar yet either, so I started that yesterday morning. After I'd put about 15 on I thought I'd leave it at that and move onto something else, otherwise I'd never get started with seeding.

I also had to completely clean out the Ford tipper, the truck I'd been using to load up the sheep feeder, and so it still had barley grains in it. So I spent the rest of the morning cleaning it out to avoid contamination in the wheat seed I was going to be sowing.

Then it was up to the "real" jobs related to seeding... as opposed to the "getting organised with everything" jobs for seeding. So I headed off to load the truck (the Ford tipper - we use that as our seed and super unit. It had a division in the middle of the tipper, with seed going in the front section and super (another name for fertilizer) in the rear). The seed bins and fertilizer are over at bob's so I headed over there to load up.

Then off to the paddock, and I started on the paddock that I sprayed first at Oldlands, the point paddock. Loaded the air seeder, using the same elevator I used when loading the sheepfeeder on the ute. Then calibrate the air seeder. This is a process of running the air seeder in different gears so it will dispense seed or fertilizer (which ever is being calibrated) the product is collected and weighed and the rate per hectare can be calculated. With our old seeder box it's a bit of a procedure of testing several gears until I get the one that gives me the right rate. My target rates are...

  1. Correll Wheat - 100kg/ha
  2. DAP fertilizer - 70kg/ha

In past years we usually run heavier fertilizer rates, but as we've had a run of bad years we needed to cost cut, and so we've come down to minimum on the fertilizer.

I eventually got started with seeding at about 3:30ish in the afternoon, and just took it easy and got 10ha done.

Today seeding continued. First job was to go and top up the truck with seed and super, then straight back over to Oldlands to finish off the point paddock. I only had minor hiccups with the air seeder, mainly with nuts working loose on the seeding boots that I just put on. I have to admit that with the design of the mounting bracket on the boots, it is hard to get a spanner onto the nut and really tighten them up. In hindsight where I used 1" angle iron I probably should have used bigger to allow room to get a spanner firmly on the nut. Still I could get them pretty tight, and with a spring washer, and some lock tight, most of them are still good.

I finished the point paddock, 29.7ha and got most of the way through the next paddock... Jolly's trees. It was drizzling on and off all afternoon, with some showers getting quite heavy, so I didn't push to do any more than I did.

Dad took over with the spraying today. He usually does the spraying at seeding time. So he loaded up the boom spray with the same brew I used on the other Oldlands paddocks, and he started on the pentonvale paddock at Oldlands. He had a breakdown with it though. There's a couple of sheer bolts in the wing pivots... and on one side they sheered off. It took quite a while to fix it up, because not only do you have to replace the bolts, but when they break the boom wing swings around to the folded position and breaks off nozzles when it hits so hard. So he didn't get much more than a lap around the outside of the paddock done. I mentioned earlier that we had drizzle basically all afternoon. Actually it was more like a shower every 15 mins. So once the boom spray was fixed he couldn't do anymore because of the rain. For the chemicals to work they cant have rain on them for a certain amount of time afterwards.

So that was it for today. Tomorrow I'll finish the Jolly's trees paddock, and Dad will go on with pentonvale.

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