Ontario Agriculture

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Wow, does time fly when your busy.  The mild and dry spring has given me plenty of opportunity to take care of a lot of field maintenance issues.  New culverts, fixed tiles, disc/level plowed ground.  I have made use of every minute of sunlight and good use of tractor lights as well.  

The ground has dried out well, allowing field work on what is usually the last to be fit, that plowed ground.  Even spreading urea on the wheat, not a mark in the field.  The moisture is there, just buried under a foot of soil, but although I like seeing the ground fit, it is too cold to plant and I am beginning to wonder if this is a sign of a dry year to come.

I can change a lot of things, the weather is not one of them, so I gladly accept it for what it is and make the best of it.

When things are so dry soil compaction is not a big concern, but that is what I have been working on.  A few new culverts on the home farm will allow me to haul grain out at five points instead of 3, this cuts the number of feet wagons are hauled in the field in more than half.  Now to accomplish this I will be farming the property at 90 degrees to the last 30+ years, and across the tiles.  Not sure if a more east-west orientation will have much impact on the yield, I have heard support for every direction, but I do know using the road more will mean driving on the farm less - and thats less soil compaction.  So if the weather does turn to wet, I am ready for it - or more likely ready to wait until it is fit as I should.   

So if the forecast holds true, I will likely burn a few vacation days next week to get the corn in the ground.  Its an exciting time of year.  This is the moment to get everything started off right, or to make troubles for the rest of the season.  My Grandfather often told me "take your time, get it just the way you want it before you plant".  That was good advice.  If the field isn't level for some reason that bump will line up perfectly with the wheels of the tractor when you spray, and will be completely invisible until the combine header is half full of dirt.  Not this year, its going to be TOTALY right before the seeds go in the ground.  

On the down side, I fully admit my farm is too big for part time.  The full time job seems to always be in the way of getting things done.  And when you go three straight weeks without taking any time off, it wears a man down.  And the real work hasn't even begun.  

For those who caught my last post, when leaving 5 feet extra space between sprayer passes you get a 2 foot wide green strip.  Which means i will leave at least 3 feet extra space between the edge of the sprayer and a non compatible crop.  Good to know when some crop is round-up ready and some is not.  It also means I didn't bother to go back and spray those strips of volunteer wheat.  Hope it doesn't cause plugging in the cultivator!  

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