Ontario Agriculture

The network for agriculture in Ontario, Canada

With the summer like temperatures last week, I couldn't keep myself out of the field.  I took advantage of the warm weather to burn down the grass on the banks and burn off some bean straw piles in the field in uncharacteristic comfort - a short sleeve shirt in March.  And although the calendar scared me away from working any ground, that volunteer wheat which I left in the field last fall to prevent the ground from blowing was starting to look a bit big.  So I rushed home from work, un-winterized the sprayer, moved the GPS onto my small tractor and figured it was a good time to wipe out some wheat before it got too big.

I have never used roundup to burn down a field before, I usually work the ground.  The first use of the GPS is normally spreading urea on the wheat, and for some other unknown reason the number 40ft was in my mind.  So that was what I set my GPS for, a 40ft swath, and headed out to the field with my 35ft sprayer.

Now with normal marker on the drill or planter I always check them to ensure they are set right, but why didn't I check the GPS?  Are electronics immune from basic inspection?  All I had to do was get off the tractor once, and it would have been clear that the sprayer wasn't covering the ground I expected it too.  So with a third of my tank sprayed out I got to thinking, those tire tracks seem a bit far, three rounds in before I notice and realize I don't own a 40ft sprayer!  

Being too frugal to buy the expensive GPS systems, I can't adjust my width or target row without loosing my orientation.  So with a minus 5ft on each pass I finish the tank.  Bad news was one of the spray tips started leaking so I had to make repairs before doing another batch, and although they were easy to make, the sun was down before I could do any more.  

The opportunity - I always wondered how much overspray my equipment had.  Once the wheat starts to change it will be very obvious its not 5ft, but how wide will those green strips be?  I used 0.5L per acre, with 5 test strips I will be able to see how application date and concentration effect the kill off.  The field is relatively clean, I am only trying to keep the wheat from plugging the cultivator when I work the ground before planting some IP soybeans, so I don't have much too loose other than the pride in my work.  But this is one error I won't waste.  Its unfortunate i will make a few extra tracks in the field, but those narrow strips will get sprayed with a mostly empty tank to reduce soil compaction, and if the end kill is good, I will know that an early rush to kill off wheat is not necessary or conversely is very important.  But most important - just like a traditional marker, my GPS will get checked during the very first round every time I set it up in the future.  

This makes one more reason why I like farming, I made a mistake, but now I am that much wiser because of it.  

I wonder if that is why all those older farmers seem to know so much.

Views: 188


You need to be a member of Ontario Agriculture to add comments!

Join Ontario Agriculture

Comment by Robert Campbell on April 15, 2012 at 11:10am

thank you for finding time to write these tales and misadventures.

Comment by OntAG Admin on March 29, 2012 at 1:55pm

Hi Gus,

We have all made mistakes like this at the start of the spring...it is called testing.

Good luck this spring and be safe.


Agriculture Headlines from Farms.com Canada East News - click on title for full story

Leading businesses associations call on parliamentarians to pass CUSMA without further delay

With the conclusion of the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade’s study of Bill C-4, An Act implement the Agreement between Canada, the United States of America and the United Mexican States, a group of leading Canadian business associations called on all parliamentarians to pass the bill without further delay.

4-H Ontario and Farmers’ Markets Ontario announce new youth partnership

4-H Ontario and Farmers’ Markets Ontario are proud to announce a new partnership that will connect Ontario youth with agriculture and their community. The two organizations will provide ideas and tools for local 4-H Associations and farmers’ markets to connect like-minded youth and community members across the province.

George Weston Ltd. reports fourth-quarter profit up from year-ago mark

George Weston Ltd. reported its fourth-quarter profit rose compared with a year earlier, boosted in part by an improvement in its underlying business, increased ownership in Loblaw and a full year of direct ownership in Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust.

Beef Farmers of Ontario Announces New Leadership

The Board of Directors of the Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) elected their new president and vice president this week at BFO's 58th Annual General Meeting held in Toronto.

Investing in new initiative to support agriculture sustainability efforts

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, today delivered a keynote address at the Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA), where she spoke in support of the sector’s efforts to boost sustainability and build public trust.

© 2020   Created by Darren Marsland.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service