Thursday, August 11, 2011

It's a bit dry

Spraying crops has been the order of the day for me over the past week or so now that the crops are starting to come along nicely. But with the crops growing well, the weeds also grow well too, and the crops also need some nutrition as they grow.
Rye grass is the first weed that I need to take care of, particularly in the rapidly growing canola crops. A Leopard, Platinum brew, with a splash of spraying oil and ammonium sulphate and insecticide should take care of that nicely.
Do the words "Urea Ammonium Nitrate" mean anything to you? No, I didn't think so. Urea Ammonium Nitrate, or UAN as we know it, is a liquid fertilizer that is sprayed onto growing crops. It's the easiest way that I've found to provide all the Nitrogen that the crops require. The canola and wheat drink it up, at 100 litres per hectare. And the barley got a taste at 75 litres per hectare. I use streaming nozzles (red quintastream), which, as the name suggests, sprays the UAN out in streams down to the ground so the N (nitrogen) is taken into the plant via the roots, rather than in a "mist" to the leaves.
Now another thing about using UAN is that it is more effective if the soil is a little damp... well at least not dry. This surely wouldn't be a problem at the moment now would it? What with all the record breaking rainfall we've been having in the last week or so.. Well actually... I've heard our, very reliable, television weather presenter, Mr Ragless, telling us all about the record breaking rainfall we've been having across the state, but as for Southern Yorke Peninsula, we have barely had a drop. Only a few mm since the start of August. But Mr Ragless never mentioned that for some reason. So yes, it's getting a little dry round these parts. It's a good thing we're still running on sub-soil moisture to keep the crops growing, but we will need some rainfall soon or things will start going downhill.

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