Monday, 16 July 2012

busy times

Well its the time of year when we are flat out, unlike many people we know at the moment our ground is not so wet that we can't spray. We have been applying fertiliser to the Canola at 70 litres per Ha. Also the wheat that was on last years canola ground got fertilised  as it was the most nitrogen deficient, that also received 70 litres per Ha.   Steve our agronomist came out last Monday and gave us plenty of jobs. At this time of year he comes out at least fortnightly, or if we have any issues arising with crop health or nutrition he will come out and recommend what to spray. We are putting a mix of Intervix, Select and Lontrel on the clearfield canola, this should kill everything and leave only the canola standing. After this the wheat paddocks that need it are getting crusader which works well on a wide range of broad leaf weeds and suppresses grass weeds. We are then spraying my favourite chemical on the barley... Affinity. Although it works well on the broad leaf weeds it makes the crop basically look terrible for a while. I tend not to look at them for at least three weeks afterwards.
             The first time we used this chemical, Ben actually  applied it when I was overseas visiting my mum in Scotland, when I came back I thought I would go for a leisurely drive and check the crop progress. I remember driving up to our back paddock at Fergies which is 108 Ha and seeing this yellow looking crop in the distance and having a huge panic to myself! Two seconds later I was on the phone to Ben who was  away on a motorbike ride, I'm shouting the crops dying aghhhhh! He calmed me down quickly and told me it was perfectly normal reaction to the chemical and that it would grow out of it.

Ben coming back in the yard from one of his many spraying trips

Hugo behind the wheel
We took the kids for a crop check yesterday and let Hugo drive, remembering he is only two. He loved it but consequently now we have twice as much crop run over with his erratic steering.

Dow Agrosciences trial patch
We were asked last week  if we would allow Dow agrosciences to do some chemical trials on our new block, as they were looking for paddocks laden in weeds, and we had one that fitted the bill. They chose T3 which I had already renamed Bifora city! They have started pegging out the area which is a boomspray width 32m by about 40m. Ben basically just switches of the boom when he is going over this area. Any research done on weed eradication is good news for all us farmers.
Since my last blog we have had 30mm rain. We have missed out on some of the big downpours around but we are still happy with the amount we have had. Overall everything is looking good.

I am starting to get very excited about grain prices. We have a signed up physical multigrade wheat at $300, mutigrade feed Barley at $255 and canola at $598. They have gone up a few dollars since this but we were very happy with these prices, and were keen to sign up into the present rally that is going on. Although heatwaves remain throughout the world I'm not sure how long these prices will last, better safe than sorry as they are historically good prices, and if it goes up at harvest, even better.

The plan is to turn this pigs ear into a silk purse!

We have also been busy cleaning out sheds on the farm. We are pulling down this oldie and actually using the roof trusses to build a magnificent entertaining pavilion up at the house, if we don't hurry up it will probably fall down itself. White-ants have damaged the uprights over the years.

Another shed clear out, using the invaluable yellow tipper

I have been spraying all the yard weeds, I am finding a lot of it easier with the backpack spray as we have so many trees to get around, I think I have put out about 8 lots over the last week, which is a killer on my back. Ill get more work done this week as Kindy starts again from the holiday break and I have Hugo in childcare 2 days a week. We are also doing work on a rental house we have in Kadina, as we are in between tenants at the moment, so any spare time we have we are fixing cracks and painting. A few more weeks of chaos and then hopefully everything will settle down again. Im off mid August  for a road trip with 10 friends to the Rural women's gathering down at Penola in the South East of the state, so look forward to that. Ita Buttrose is one of the guest speakers so I may learn a thing or two from her. I went two years ago to the one at Melrose and it was fantastic, full of very inspirational women.