Thursday, December 23, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
- waiting for a B-double load of UAN to come in.. they deliver it here on farm ya know.
- fixing the fence that the sheep keep knocking down to get onto the lovely green and tasty crop.
- moving the sheep back off the lovely green and tasty crop into the paddock they are actually supposed to be in.
- constantly checking that the sheep haven't knocked down the fence and gotten into the paddock with... ... you get the idea.
Well I'd better put the pen down now and get back into the tractor and continue with the spraying.
And a quick word of advice for young farmers... when making your sandwiches for lunch... do not use the sharpest knife you can find in the house to separate frozen slices of bread... the reason being that when the knife slips (with out even separating the bread mind you) a trip to hospital for 6 stitches in your finger will be the result.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Thursday, July 1, 2010
- Garnet - canola (I started seeding planting the canola)
- Mace - wheat
- Commander - malting barley
- Bladder clover - the pasture seed
All but the canola was sown on the same day, which made for quite a tiring, fiddly day. See it's quite a task loading the bags into the air seeder, then calibrating for that particular seed, sowing roughly 10 hectares with the new seed and then doing a full clean out (which isn't real easy with a shearer airseeder). And repeat those steps for each new seed variety.
I have to admit that I was quite pleased when I had finished with all the fiddling around and could get back onto seeding the barley. Maritime barley is the last variety I have to go this seeding, so I am on the home stretch now, with only the 32mm of rain we had a coupla days ago to hold us up. A few more days now should see us out.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Since seeding started a few weeks back I have had a few breakdowns along the way, but thankfully none too serious. Here is a list..
- broken share (pronounced shear) bolts on the air seeder tynes
- bent air seeder tynes
- broken airseeder boots
- split/broken airseeder hoses
- broken spring on air seeder tyne
- air seeder tyne fallen off
- knife points on air seeder either broken or just gone missing (probably because they broke).
- cracks in the air seeder box frame (they are still there... haven't been bothered fixing them yet... just hope it doesn't completely fall to bits)
- bolts on the A-frame (the tow hitch) on the air seeder broken. This could have been more dramatic if it happened driving along the road because these bolts are basically what holds the front to the back, and it could have all come apart.
and that was just the air seeder! The seed and super unit grouper has had a bit of a problem with one of the elevator chains. This has been quite a frustration for me because the chain is.. well quite old and has broken on numerous occasions. Not real easy to fix either, being on the inside of the elevator. It also jumps off the sprockets quite often, and bends the chain up a little - very frustrating because this is also quite annoying to rectify.
Now the boom spray... Well my Dad is the boom spray operator during seeding (do I need to say any more???). Damage is often done to the outside nozzles, triplets, support brackets, boom lines when the outer wing on the boom hits the fence, or tree, or stobie pole. It has been a frequent problem. Yesterday I was operating the boom spray and I had a break in the outer wing. The outside for metres of the wing is hinged in a way that is designed to "break away" when it hits something like a fence for instance. It has, what I call, a break away clutch. It swings back and then returns to the working position. Well yesterday for me it really broke away. Let me stress that I didn't hit anything with it, the clutch just gave way, with the bottom mount completely breaking off while I was going along. It meant that the outer wing was left dragging on the ground. It was a bit like a door would be with only a top hinge. Oh yeah... I also had problems with the fuel gauge in this tractor the other night. It told me there was some in there... but I think there actually wasn't. I discovered that the tractor runs better when there's actually some fuel in the tank.
So there we have the fun part of seeding. Seeding is rolling on, while some farmers in the area are starting to finish their seeding programs I'd say that we'd probably have about a week to go.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
- ammonium sulphate (which is in "salt" form and is dissolved by the water)
- adjuvant oil (helps the plants absorb the chemical better - well least I think thats right)
- two different insecticides (not sure why there's two)
- oxyflurafen (helps the other chemical do a better job)
- trifluralin (stops new weeds from germinating)
- glysophate (is the main "knock down" chemical that kills the weeds, common name is Round-up)
So quite a complex operation just loading up the boom spray. I also have to load the seed and super grouper which is on the back of the Atkinson truck. That's how I get the seed and fertilizer to the paddock. Then the air seeder has to be loaded out of the grouper. And calibration of the air seeder. That's where I hand turn the delivery system on the air seeder and collect either the seed or super and weigh it so I can calculate the correct rate per hectare. I started on canola today which needs to run at quite a slow rate of 5kg/ha. This is really slow for the poor old Shearer air seeder so to get it down to that took some doing. After all this is done, and the paddock is sprayed it's time to pull her in and start sewing the seeds.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Saturday, May 8, 2010
- engine oil filter
- hydraulic (transmission) oil filter
- primary air filter
- secondary air filter
- fuel filter
- fuel water separator
I even bought a primary fuel filter for her, and spent quite some time looking for where it goes... only to find out that this tractor actually didn't have one, so now I have a spare that I can't use.
The service also includes changing the engine oil and coolant, and checking the transmission (hydraulic) oil level, grease the king pins on the front axle and the steering linkage, checking the tyre pressures and the oil level in the hubs on the front wheel assist.
The Ford 8401 was also due for a service, and is used extensively during seeding as the spray tractor pulling the boom spray. The 8401 is quite a bit older than the 8200 and has done over 9000hrs, but not due for a "special" service this time. The service on the 8401 included changing the engine oil and filter, checking the coolant level and the transmission oil level, and greasing the front axle and steering linkage. I should really wash the windows sometime too.. it's much easier to drive the tractors when you can see out the windows.
Monday, May 3, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
After checking oil and water the next step was to put 2 batteries back in her.
I'd like to say that she just fired up and was good as gold first pop, but I did have a little bit of a problem with the electrical connection to the starter motor for a start. I'm hoping the problem was just because it hadn't turned for so long. When it did eventually turn over (which was the result of a few quick words to God) then she fired up first pop. I drove her round and took her for a run out in the paddock, tested the air horn and then parked her in front of the shed rather than behind. Next step is to re-register her and take the bins off, then go collect my new seed and super grouper.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Once the post was pulled out we loaded it on the back of the ute to take back to the yard. Here on the farm the boys start learning essential farming tasks from a young age. Here my 10 year old son is driving the ute and his brother is watching as we move along the fenceline.
From the tractor seat looking down the fenceline.. I guess you could say this is the before shot, with wires removed but posts still in the ground. I just drove along the fenceline pulling out each post as I was going.
The end result was the view I had out the back window of the tractor. You can see where the fence was.. but no more fence. Now the two paddocks can be worked as one, and that paddock will be about 140 acres or 60 hectares.