Thursday, June 4, 2009

Seeding Update

The crops have well and truly started coming up now. This is a quick snap i got of a young wheat crop while I was seeding in the next paddock... not real clear I know, but it's definitely green, and definitely in rows.

I started on the Hyperno durham wheat today, actually that's the only paddock I got done today. First up I loaded the air seeder straight out of the silo I had the seed stored in, using the Heaslip elevator that's usually behind the truck. Then onto calibrating the air seeder for the new seed. I'm not sure if I've ever explained the process of calibrating the air seeder or not, so I got a couple of pictures today.

I'm not sure if I've got the pictures in the right order, but this is the handle to turn to... I'll need to explain this fully...

I can calculate the rate that the seed is sown per hectare by turning the mechanism the equivalent of 1/10th of a hectare, weighing the seed that comes out, then multiplying that by 10. I know the width of the machine (ie. how wide it sows) and the circumference of the wheel that drives the mechanism. From there I can calculate how many turns the wheel has to make to cover 1 ha. The handle (which is just a socket on a bar - which turns the gear box) turns at a slightly different rate to the wheels (cause I've altered the sprockets on there), so I have also calculated how many times I need to turn that handle to cover 1/10th of a hectare. And if you're interested that number is 29.25 turns. So I select a gear, and you can see the slides for selecting gears on the right hand side of the gear box above the sprockets. There are actually 2 sets of gears, 1 for seed and 1 for fertilizer, and both sets have 2 slides. 1 slide has letters A to E and the other number 1 to 5. So I can select a gear, for example B2 or D1 or C5, any combination, with A1 the slowest and E5 the fastest. I know what rate I want to sow the seed... or fertilizer, so I keep trying different gears until I get the right one.

These two pictures are out of order... and one is strangely sideways. I catch the seed in the bag around the air hoses (there's actually 2 bags around 2 banks of hoses, but I didn't think to take a photo until I'd reconnected 1 of the banks). Then put the seed in the bucket (not usually sideways). The bucket is hanging on scales, so it's all weighed, and being the amount for 1/10th of a hectare, I multiply that amount by 10 for the rate per hectare. And then run in that gear out in the paddock.

Number 17 at bob's is where the Hyperno went in. I had 1 tonne of the seed to sow, so a small paddock, 11.7ha, was ideal. All that we reap off that paddock will be seed for next years planting.

Next was a repair job to the rubber tyre rollers. We broke the A-frame yesterday, and so had to bring it back home here to the workshop for a quick weld up job, and a bit of reinforcing so it doesn't happen again (as quickly).

Spraying continued with knockdown going out down at Goldsmiths beach, ready for seeding tomorrow. I didn't get any more seeding done, but did get the tractor fuelled up, and air seeder cleaned out (after Hyperno) and moved down to Goldsmith's beach. The truck is also loaded with maritime barley ready for tomorrow.

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