Thursday, August 26, 2010

Took out another 60 points today.

Yep that's right 60 points, or 15mm in the new scale. All up August this year has been a very good one with plenty of wet weather. Unfortunately all the wind and rain has limited the amount of spraying, and other farm jobs, that I've been able to do, to the point that I really am along way behind with the rye grass spraying in some cereal crops.

This is the rain gauge (in autumn before we'd had any rain).

I have been able to keep going with the UAN (nitrogen spraying) even in the "bad" weather, because I have several different nozzles on my boom spray. I use lilac minidrift nozzles for all the herbicide and insecticide spraying and red quintastream nozzles for the fertilizer spraying. The quintastreams, as the name suggests, spray the liquid out in five streams, rather than in a "mist" like other nozzles do. The beauty of this is that they can be used in pretty much all weather conditions... and like I said, tongue in cheek, to one of the old farmers ".. now that I've got front wheel assist on the tractor, any day is a good day to spray!"
In the last coupla days I've also had the opportunity to finish pressing all the wool left over from shearing that we did back in July. I pressed out a few bales and ended up with 29 in total. The truck rolls in on Friday to take them away.
And in case you're wondering, I had the stitches removed from my finger that I tried to chop off today too.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The weather's been a little up and down

It's the spraying season on the farm right now, and with the crops coming along nicely plenty of time needs to be spent spraying for weed control and crop nutrition.
For spraying to be effective though the weather conditions need to be relatively calm (ie not windy) and not raining (or the chemicals wash off the weeds and don't work). This August so far has been wonderful for the crops moisture needs... but as far as spraying goes... not so good. In fact I'm getting a little behind now with the spraying program and am really looking forward to some nice days where I can really get stuck into it.
Although conditions today are both wet and windy, I am able to get out there and spray out some UAN. UAN is a liquid fertilizer that supplies the plants with plenty of nitrogen.
Other hold ups to the spraying program include:
  • 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.

see This is the latest addition to farmerpj's farm a New Holland TM155 - she replaces the old Ford 8401

Thursday, August 5, 2010

My Second Home

Now that all the crops are up and growing (except where I had slight mis-haps with the air seeder) it's time to really start thinking about crop nutrition and weed control. Each crop we grow requires a certain amount of different types of nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and sodium. Granular fertilizer that is sown in with the seed at seeding time is based on these nutrients, but during the growing season sometimes a "top up" doesn't hurt. Nitrogen is the main nutrient we're concerned about, especially on the higher yielding cereals and high protein crops (such as durham wheat). There's 2 main methods of applying more nitrogen to the crops. 1st involves using a spreader to broadcast Urea. 2nd method is to apply a liquid form using the boom spray. Yes that's right,.. I use the liquid form and boom spray. The last week has been spent spraying out 50litres per hectare of UAN (that's the liquid fertilizer) with 50litres per hectare of water. I can even do this on rainy and/or windy days, unlike general weed spraying. It does, however, get a little difficult if it has been too wet, the paddocks get too boggy, and I'm there to spray fertilizer, not for trench digging in the tractor. Rye grass is a common weed that rears it's ugly head at this time of year in crops as well, so I have a few herbicide plans for some of the paddocks to try to control it. So that will be the next job. So between fertilizer spraying and rye grass spraying I think I'll have enough boom spray work to keep my busy for a few weeks... The old Ford 8401... it's just like My Second Home.