Todays post comes from Ben.
Things from the farm; Continuing that first day of fieldwork.
I Put the tires back on the drill and the four-wheeler. I put the pallet forks on the tractor loader to unload the pallet of oat seed (54 bags at 1.5 bushels / bag = 81 bushels x 32lbs / bushel = 2592lbs. This is way easier than unloading by hand. Working smarter, not harder!). I checked the tires and greased a few things on the tractor and soil finisher, and then out in the field. First thing I had to do was level out a couple cornfields that were chisel plowed last fall. Oats is the first crop that I plant in the spring and some will be on fields that were soybeans last year and some will be on corn ground. The bean ground doesn’t get worked up in the fall so that only needs to get dug up once before planting. First field, first pass, stop at the end to check things and found my first “field treasure”.
Not sure what this is. Still thinking about it. I also smoothed a field that came out of the conservation reserve program last fall; it had been planted to wildflowers for 10 years, but this particular field just never took off. Never had as many flowers and was getting some shrubs and saplings growing in one part. Trying to plow up a field of grass is tough; too much root structure. Have you heard the story about John Deere and his steel plow and that’s what made him famous? The root structure and grass would never survive a wooden plow. I have an old John Deere 4 bottom moldboard plow just for this purpose and I only use it every few years. 150 years after Mr. Deere himself. It worked out pretty good. It’s nice black soil over there.
Across the fence, in the neighbors pasture, next to the creek, I saw the two sandhill cranes that we’ve been hearing.
I called to order oat fertilizer and they said there was a waiting list on the spreaders so I really didn’t expect it for a few days. I was surprised when they deliver that about 5 o’clock. And that means I better get it spread right away so the next person can get it. Think of a really big version of your plain old lawn spreader.
The pattern with broadcasting fertilizer is about the same width as the headlights. I’ve been putting better lights on the tractors the last few years.
As long as I can keep the tire tracks from the previous pass at the edge of the field of light, I am doing pretty good. I got two fields done and stopped just to walk around for a minute. While standing outside I looked at the power take off shaft that drives the fertilizer spreader and I thought, “that angle doesn’t look right”. And it wasn’t. The shaft is severed and the only thing holding it together is a tiny little bit of the plastic shield. Shoot. Guess I’m done for the night. I still can’t understand though, if it was still running when I finished the field and I turned everything off and drove over to here, when did it break and how did it keep working? I don’t know if I did something wrong: did I turn too sharp, is the hitch the wrong height, did the three point hitch bracket on the back of the tractor get in the way? Or maybe it just broke. I’ll call the co-op in the morning and somebody will come and replace the shaft. Even if I have done something stupid, they won’t give me too much grief about it. Parked it all in the shed and close the doors. If it’s raining in the morning there’s no hurry on calling to get it fixed.
9:00 PM. Supper time.
What do you find digging in your gardens? Ever found a buried treasure?