Thursday, May 27, 2010

All Systems Go for Seeding

Well today was finally the big day, I finally got the air seeder out into the paddock and started seeding. I've burnt.. well.. just about everything that needs burning, I've serviced everything that needs servicing, repaired everything that needs repairing, so it's all systems go.
Having a quite handy 15mm (that's 60 point in the old scale) of rain sure has helped too. All the paddocks are nice and damp now, and the weeds are all germinating so they can be sprayed out.
The process to actually get the seeding operation up and running is quite complex. The paddock has to be sprayed first with the boom spray, being pulled by the Ford 8401 tractor. And the mix of chemicals that goes in that tank is rather... exhaustive! Besides the water (which I'm surprised that there's any room for) we put in;
  1. ammonium sulphate (which is in "salt" form and is dissolved by the water)
  2. adjuvant oil (helps the plants absorb the chemical better - well least I think thats right)
  3. two different insecticides (not sure why there's two)
  4. oxyflurafen (helps the other chemical do a better job)
  5. trifluralin (stops new weeds from germinating)
  6. 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.

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