Friday, October 24, 2008

Why You Might Have to Use Your Imagination More and More.

Apparently all those warning about not getting your camera dirty, or dropping it or exposing it to production agriculture are all there for a reason.

Not Again!

Planting into moisture is fun! You get to turn down the down pressure:

Set the depth shallower:

Fix the broken seed tubes: (Wait, that has nothing to do with moisture, but you sure aren't as upset as you would have been)

And it looks so much prettier when you are done!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

In Which lobiwan Asks His Readers to Please Use Their Imagination.

So it (finally) rained, and I so I left the drill over at the Gray Havens so I could load up some seed for a contract grower and apply fertilizer to the circle. I know what you are thinking. Didn't you just purchase a tractor so as to avoid this kind of wasteful driving back and forth across the countryside in your one tractor-which-is-big-enough-to-handle-all-of-the-various-things-you-have-to-do? A: Yes. But the new tractor (kind of like a new baby) had to go in and have it's 50 hour checkup with the dealership. So imagine the following images: The 8100 loading bulk bags of seed onto a flatbed semi-trailer. The 8100 hooking up to the sprayer. The 8100 applying fertilizer to the corn stalks. Anna going along for the ride. An image of the ball valve to the fresh water tank on the sprayer in the open position, so that lobiwan can't figure out why his sprayer won't maintain pressure. An image of driving home after dark. An image of driving back over to the Gray Havens. Thanks.

Things that are stupid.

Blah, blah blah... 6 Hours ... $400 ... blah, blah, blah.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Not Again!!?

I have to say I wasn't feeling too good about things when I started planting over in the Gray Havens.

In Which lobiwan Calms Your Deepest Fears.

I know that you have probably been losing sleep ever since you saw the picture of the broken bulk bag of seed wheat. How are you going to save that seed and how are you going to load it into your drill? Sleep tight.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Soybean Not-Quite-So-Fun.

So there is a belt on the right side of the 2188 that runs, among other things, the beater and the straw spreaders. When the bracket that holds the tension spring rod breaks (or more specifically, when our patched-together-with-a-washer-bracket fix breaks,) it stops the show instantly.

Here is the bracket. It originally wore out during milo harvest 2004(?)

Dad welded it back up, and we put the tensioner back together.
(Insert picture of assembled spring tension rod here)

The problem though, is that the beater throws the stems coming out of the back of the rotor over the chaffer and out the back of the machine. Because I wasn't quick enough to shut down the separator when I originally got the warning indicators, the rotor kept on feeding material into the beater and I now have the beater clogged up. So I got to climb up on top of the chaffer (inside the machine) and pull all of these soybean stems out by hand. This was actually way better than last time this happened, because this break down occurred at about ten in the morning. Back then I got to pull a bunch of milo stalks out by hand--and it was about ten at night.

Soybean Fun.

No, faithful readers, there was not some sort of miraculous recovery of my soybeans. Instead Boyd asked me to cut his beans that were across the road. This is because even a 9760 with a 35 foot header cannot cut twelve circles of beans in a timely manner, and ripe soybean plants are fragile things. Cutting soybeans after cutting high moisture corn is kind of like driving through rush hour in GCK after driving through rush hour in, say, Denver. It is almost relaxing.

I even got to unload like a civilized person again! Not like the madness at the feedlot.

The folks cutting the two circles for Boyd caddy corner to where we were cutting were not able to finish before the big rain (those soybeans were later maturing,) so Boyd now has ripe soybeans that have endured about 6 inches of rain and 60+ mph winds. Ouch.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Dryland Corn

So Rod ended up with enough corn that the insurance company made him get it cut.
First I had to pull the corn header apart to adjust the deck plates.

The deck plates are what pop the ears off of the corn stalks. The stalks get pulled through and the ears stay. The ears are small enough on dryland that they would get pulled through if I didn't close the gap.

In Which lobiwan Confirms His Ineptitude.

So apparently all of my rambling about consistency and uniformity and spacing was all pointless.

Third best field of corn we have ever cut.

Must have been the cold and hail.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Wet Corn 5: A Movie


Wet Corn IV: Problems.

The combine doesn't have much power with a clogged fuel filter.

This is what happens when you get in a hurry.

Nothing like losing all eight gallons of coolant.

The only thing more embarrassing than getting your truck stuck while unloading wet corn would be to have somebody take a picture of it and post it on the internet.

Pop quiz: what problem, evident in these two pictures, needs lobiwan's immediate attention?

At the end of wet corn harvest it is always fun to clean out the grain cart, which now contains a completely different commodity that is popular in the high country of Western Virginia.