Friday, December 16, 2011

Even More August.

So Betsy and Anna headed off for another year of educational excellence at Plymell.

Leaving Katie and I (And Grammy and Papa, of course!) to fend for ourselves.

Over East, the rest of the milo decided to go ahead and emerge. "What is the yield potential of milo emerged August 5th?" You ask. "When is the first freeze going to be?" I answer. Given an average freeze in the neighborhood of Octobe 17th, I would say quite poor.  Given a warm fall with a late freeze in November, I might say 40% of normal. Of 'course, the real question is, What is the yield potential of milo emerging in <6 inches of soil moisture and zero subsoil moisture? And that is a silly question, indeed.

A better blogger than me might take this opportunity  to discuss compaction and its long term effects.  You can see the milo that didn't emerge earlier is all found right where the tractor tires run when I am making my first spray pass around the circle to the left.  If and when I ever upgrade to RTK autosteer, this right here is the reason I will do it. The ability to control traffic patterns would really pay off--once in a while.  While I'm fairly certain that this compaction is from spray passes and so could be redirected to occur only between the rows, all it would take is one pass by one full grain cart during a wet harvest and you can see the same kind of pattern emerge for years.  What really worries me here is the lack of cover this and other strips through the field will have next summer while it is being fallowed. And while I have found the appropriate pictures to show you what I am worried about happening on this particular spot in this particular field, I have also discovered that I am repeating myself. #blogfail. Again.

Anyhoo compaction is a problem any way you look at it, and the best solution for it, a hard,wet winter, is something that we just can't count on from year to year.

Speaking of compaction,I decided I had better get to work fixing the holes I dug at harvest. You have heard of spot-spraying, perhaps. This problem required some spot-tillage.
Step one, the track filler--usually reserved for sprinkler track maintenance.

Also there was a little seed wheat to transfer around.

Why yes, that IS the old Eminence schoolhouse.

I 'bout lost the smokestack on the way home.

We got a smidge.

Followed by a nubbin.

And here is a great visual on the power of residue cover.
If you look right in the center of the picture, you'll see the paths that the combine took last summer.

Here's a better look:

We've got a 30 foot header in the front taking in un-threshed crop and in a perfect world we would have a nice 30 foot distribution of straw and chaff out the back end. While the combo chaff/straw spreader on the 2188 is better than no chaff spreader at all, it still doesn't do a super great job at getting a nice wide spread. Especially in the Kansas wind.  The more residue you have, the less moisture you lose from the soil, and in this case it was the difference between life and death for those little milo plants.

And I finally made it to the bottom of my to-spray list.

Betsy and Abby helped me get some of my old-school spam into the mail for all of our seed customers.

Spot-tillage step 2: A little disk action.

Step 3: Ye olde ripper.

And finally, step 4: one more pass with the disk. Here's a nice view of where the leaking sprinkler sat during the month of June:

Katie hates peas!

Katie loves peas!

Katie learned to scoot!

Finally, it was time for the Tumbleweed Festival. The most wonderful weekend of the year.

I was a little late getting there on the first day though.

Every time the sprinkler makes a pass, it pushes mud out in front of it until it builds up a nice mound and misses the barrier.  Smarter folks than me would simply remember to dig it out every couple of weeks.  Usually you can just hit reverse and it will pull away just fine, but this doesn't work when it has twisted a drive shaft off.

NOW we can go to Tumbleweed!

Good times.

Now, fix my truck, Dad! Please?

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