Friday, September 24, 2010

Images from the Shearing Shed

Here's just a little colliection of pictures taken in our shearing shed. The sheep waiting in the pens ready for shearing
The two shearers working at their stands shearing the sheep
Freshly shorn fleeces on the floor ready to be taken away to be skirted (sorted)
wool that's been sorted into different bins
more wool in bins
the wool table before the fleece is thrown onto it
and after the fleece is thrown onto it ready for skirting
the wool press with skirted fleeces in it ready for pressing into bales
finished wool bales straight out of the press, branded and ready to go on the truck to the wool stores
a well worn shearers hand piece connected to the down tube
this is a comb. a comb attatces to the hand piece and combs through the sheeps wool as the cutter moves from side to side across the teeth of the comb to cut the wool off
This is an old cutter, also attaches to the hand piece and cuts the wool off
and here are the sheep after shearing in the counting out pens
Hello ladies, hope you enjoyed getting your hair done

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Shearing Again

We've finally had a few good days for spraying. Very little wind, and very little rain, so I have been able to get out there and get stuck into it. So much so that I have actually finished all my broadleaf weed spraying - I'm finally catching up a little bit. I did notice, though, that a few of the late barley crops were a little nitrogen deficient. I did run out of UAN (the nitrogen fertilizer that is in liquid form) a few weeks back, so I haven't been able to keep the fertilizer flowing, and in fact the whole state of South Australia had run out, so we were in a bit of a pickle. It's all good now though, we had a load delivered here on farm yesterday. We have a bulk UAN tank set up and a B-double can just come in and unload into the tank.
Having said that, I haven't been able to start the UAN spraying again because we started our September shearing today. Our shed is a two stand shearing shed - that means it has two shearing plants the drive the shearers hand pieces, so basically we can have two shearers shearing at the same time. The shearers hand piece has a comb and a cutter attached to it. The comb combs through the sheep's wool as the cutter moves across the combs teeth and cuts the wool as it moves backward and forwards. After the fleece has been shorn off, and the sheep is out the door, the wool is thrown up onto the wool table for sorting. From there it goes into a wool press and pressed into bales.
This shearing we have about 700 big sheep to do, that is ewes, wethers and hoggets. Also about 500 lambs and 10 Rams. So I think we'll be looking at about 1 full week of shearing, that's provided the woolly sheep dont get rained on - as sheep cant be shorn if they have wet wool.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Another Inch of rain

Things are looking fantastic on the farm now. As the weather starts to warm up a little the crops are really starting to take off now. The canola is basically out in full flower, so we have two bright yellow paddocks out there, and all of the cereals are really thickening up now with flag leaf emergence just around the corner. At this stage we need to keep an eye on them for fungal diseases that can effect them.
Earlier this week we had another 27mm of rain, that's just over the inch in the old scale, bringing the total for September so far up over 80mm - just the kind of rainfall that steers us towards a bumper crop.
It also means more delays to the spraying program. I'm still trying to get broadleaf weeds sprayed out of the cereal crops. I just have the barley to do (which will take a few good days mind you).
Our September shearing is fast approaching. In the last week of September we shear our main mobs of sheep. Although I don't have time to do this and should be pushing on with spraying, I still need to. So yesterday we spent a day with the sheep in the yards sorting them all out. We had to wien the lambs from the ewes, draught the wethers out of the ewes and move them into holding paddocks until it's time to shear them.
Today the weather is fine so it's back to the spraying for me.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

and the rain just keeps coming

Well spring has sprung and the months of September and October are really important for the growing crops. They need plenty of rain during this time because now that it will start warming up they will really do a lot of growing. Fortunately we have had a really good start to spring with about two and a half inches of rain coming down in the first few days of the month. So far this season is looking as good as any I can remember as far as rainfall goes, and if it keeps up we'll certainly be heading towards a bumper crop.
I know I've mentioned before that the spraying program has been interrupted by the inclement weather, well, as you could imagine, two and a half inches of rain had also put a bit of a dampener on the spraying. Any chance I get I will be out there on the spray tractor trying to catch up a little. It's a good thing that once I get going and can get a fair bit of spraying done fairly quickly.
The current spray job is to control the broadleaf weeds in cereal crops. A couple of chemicals that I'm using are - metsulphuron and LVE680 (low volatile ester 680g/l). I'm also throwing in a few trace elements, copper zinc and um... magnesium I think - just keeps the crops nice and healthy.