We have been sowing peas for the last couple of days. I finished them up this afternoon. Yesterday I did 3 paddocks at Bob's, numbers 8, 9 and 11. Not a real big area, actually the last couple of days have been pretty easy days. 8 is just over 8ha, 9 is just under 20 and 11 is 4ha. And today I did number 10 which is only 21ha.
The peas are our first crop in our rotation. So all the peas I have planted have been sown into paddocks that were pastures last year. I'm not sure if it's coincidence or not, but we seem to get a good control of snails in the peas at harvest time doing it this way, and then it sets up the paddock nicely for a wheat crop the following year. Snails are or can be a big issue in peas in this area. Not only are they a contaminant in the peas, but also they smash up going through the header, and it gets gummed up with "snail guts", which causes all sorts of problems. But the last couple of years, since we've been sowing peas onto a pasture, we've had no snail problems at all. Having said that, the last few years have been unusually dry which may have had some effect on snail number too.
The reason I was filling you in on our rotation is because we have 1 pea paddock, number 11, that we are running as a trial paddock, with our agronomist, this year. We are trying to do something that shouldn't be done, just to see if it actually can be done. It's only a small paddock so we haven't got much there to lose. What we are trying is a variation in the rotation, and we have planted this paddock of peas onto a pea stubble (ie. it was a pea crop last year). Due to disease problems this shouldn't be able to be done... but we're going to see.
I finished off the peas today in number 10. The bin that I've been getting the pea seed out of is empty and the last tonne or so that I had over I just broadcast out into a pasture paddock. Then did an air seeder clean out. And now I'm ready to load up again tomorrow with durham wheat. I've got 1 paddock to do, and then we move onto barley.
In the mean time what's Dad been up to in the boom spray? Well he's been spraying out paraquat and trifluralin in front of the air seeder so that the trifluralin is incorporated into the soil by the seeding operation. He's also been rolling the paddocks with peas sown in them with the rubber tyre roller. And He's sprayed the first few pea paddocks with Diuron and Imidaan. These chemicals (or at least one of them) is a post sowing/pre emergent spray. That means that it has to be sprayed after the crops been planted, but before it comes out of the ground. The Diuron is a broadleaf (plants with wide leaves - as opposed to grass) spray, and the Imidan is an insecticide. It will protect the plants as they emerge from being eaten by all sorts of insects. The remaining paddocks all need to be sprayed twice (double knock) so number 17 at bob's has been sprayed with powermax (glysophate) and ox240. Actually now I think of it, number 17 has had both of it's knockdown sprays. We are using boxer gold, instead of trifluralin, and praquat. That was done today, and doesn't have to be Incorporated within such a tight time frame (within 4 hours is recommended for trifluralin - even though we do stretch that out to sometimes more like 8 hours). So that paddock is all ready for me to get straight onto in the morning.