Today’s post comes from Ben
When last we left the farm, it was dark and the fertilizer spreader PTO (Power take off shaft) was broken.
I felt like I spent all day in the tractor, which is what the big farmers talk about. I didn’t really, I did spend several hours in the tractor, but not continuously.
I called the co-op about the shaft. They’re busy and don’t have anyone to come replace the shaft, but they have a spare one and they’ll leave it out for me. Another road trip with the dogs. It was tough getting the shaft off. The bolt came right out, but the yoke wouldn’t budge on the shaft. Hammers and punches and even the air hammer didn’t budge it. I had to get the torch and heat up the yoke, and then the air hammer finally started to move it. Heating something is an old trick because when you heat it, it expands and will break a rust connection.
I go back out in the field I was on last night. Turns out about ½ way through the field is when the shaft actually broke and it quit spreading. How did I not notice that?? I was watching to be sure the apron was still moving; I just don’t know how I missed the shaft right there… I guess technically the outer shield was spinning but not the shaft. What this means is, the fertilizer coming out the back just dropped in a 10” band rather than spreading 40’. Shoot. This summer, the oats in that band will be 5’ tall. Everywhere else it will be 3’ tall. I tried to work up the field going across the bands to help spread them out a bit. I’m not expecting much.
Anyway, no trouble finishing the fertilizer after that.
Then I went out with the tractor and soil finisher and worked up the oat fields getting them ready for planting. I got the drill ready to go, and it was 5:30 when I went out to plant oats.
It’s a new variety of oats that I have not used before, it’s called ‘MN Pearl’. Oats doesn’t get the research dollars and notoriety that corn and soybeans do because it doesn’t have the big market. I had been planting a variety called ‘Deon’ for a lot of years. But Meyers Seed quit growing Deon and went to Pearl two years ago. The kernels look kind of small, so they feed out of the drill different, so I have to figure out the right setting again. I want to apply three bushels per acre, which is about 90 pounds. When planting oats, the biggest thing I watch to be sure the chains are moving and oats is actually coming out; I can see it through the gaps in this photo. If one is working, they’re all working. Unless it goes empty over that hole… I try not to let that happen.
And remember that drill tire I replaced? I’m following that line in the field. No auto steer yet.
Didn’t finish, but got a good chunk done.
I had just parked the tractor in the shed at 9:20 PM and was closing the doors when I heard sprinkles on the shed roof. Always a nice feeling to just beat the rain like that. Although the ‘rain’ turned out to be 15 drops and that was it.
I have to be at the college – “work” work, the next few days. Hopefully it won’t rain as much as predicted so I can finish this last field. Be nice to have all the oats planted within a day or two and not spread out over two weeks. But it is what it is and it will work out in any event.
Planting oats on April 6th? That might be a new record for me.
What details are you watching lately? Anything half finished?