Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Spraying done... for now

Was a good spraying day today and I was able to finish off spraying out the trace element blend on the correll wheat. I did number 14 at Bob's this morning and the two northern paddocks at granny's at Honiton. So that's it for the trace element blend (for now anyway - I may need to use more later but we'll wait and see) and I was even able to finish off the envirodrums I had perfectly, so I'll have no part drums laying around.

And a quick update on the stereo installation in the Ford tractor... I bought a new aerial for it today (I broke the old one (which wasn't real good anyway) when I took the roof off to put the stereo in). That's it, that's the update, haven't done anything else to it yet, so it's still speakerless and so while it looks really good I have no idea what it sounds like.

Stone picking also continued today with 3 paddocks at bob's being finished today. Numbers 5, 6 & 7, but not in that order (actually reverse order). Apparently 6 and 7 weren't too bad for stones, but number 5 is known to be pretty rough in places, and this year was no exception.

I'm not sure if I've explained what stone picking is or not. In case I haven't here is the explanation.

When the paddocks are worked to plant the seeds the digging action also loosens and pulls up stones that are under the soil. This is quite common in this area with limestone being plentiful. We need to remove these stones from the paddocks now while the crops are still small (so we can see the stones before they are grown over). If the stones are left they become dangerous obstacles for other farm machinery, in particular harvesters, when they are working in the paddocks. A large stone going through a harvester can do quite alot of damage. I've mentioned before that we use the Ford Courier tipper ute for stone picking, well one of use is the driver, and we usually have 2 that can sit on the back and spot the stones (1 on each side) and "pick" them and stack them on the back of the ute ready for tipping off onto a stone heap when it's full. We generally only pick the larger stones anything bigger than about a rockmelon. There are quite a few stones that are smaller than that and as they don't do the same damage as the larger ones, they don't matter. There are also large "fixed" stones that can't be picked. That's because they are so large, and still buried so well that they cant be moved. Some may even be part of really large slabs of sheet rock that are beneath the surface. We use a sledge hammer to break the tops off fixed rocks, where needed, or to break up bigger rocks that are too heavy to lift, into smaller pieces. We also fill in any fox holes we find while we're at it, and pull out any boxthorn bushes that we find growing in the paddocks.

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