Wednesday, May 23, 2012
# 89. or, Time to Seed
So, when i started this whole thing, something that i thought might be cool, would be to write and send a post to my blog entirely from my phone while in the tractor. Because, after all, if you're going to call yourself, ken-inatractor, it's only going to lend to your credibility.
For better or worse, here's that effort.
It's seeding time for me. It's a time of year that i get to spend endless hours and days on end sitting in the seat of a tractor. Really, it's not that bad. It's one of the few times a year when i'm alone and can spend time with my thoughts. (although, that could also be a scary thing too.)
A lot of other farmers in the area have been seeding for about a week or more now, some are done. That puts me a little behind everyone else. I try to be in the field sometime the week after mothers day. I don't really have a good explanation for that. Farmers that have more acres to get in than i do, have no choice but to get going early. It's still cold here in the mornings and can still freeze. I spend a lot of money on some of this seed and can't see the benefit to having tiny new plants pop out their heads, only to freeze to death and die. But that's just me.
There's a bit of pride to be taken in seeding. Maybe a little less than there was before everybody had GPS in their tractor. I can remember my dad and others talking about how some farmer's rows were so straight, you could shoot a bullet down them without hitting any plants. Now everybody"s rows are that straight.
One of the farm-isms that's out there is, as soon as the leaves start to pop out, it's time to get your wheat in the ground. Another one, from an "old-timer" i know always says, when you can drop your pants and sit comfortably in the dirt without getting cold, the ground is warm enough to plant. How many days do you have to sit your pale, bare ass in the dirt before you say "today's the day!" Obviously, that saying was invented by someone who didn't have a major highway next to their land.
That got me thinking about things that i've learned about seeding. If you ever find yourself in a tractor planting a crop sometime, maybe this will be useful to you.
1. If you check the tank and think you MIGHT have enough seed to do the small piece, WAY in the back corner, you probably don't and will end up having to come all the way back across the field to get enough to finish.
2. If you are going to have any major screw-ups happen during seeding, that become embarrassingly evident as the crop starts to grow, revealing large unseeded portions of land, it will ALWAYS be along a major highway or roadside.
3. You will only ever get stuck in places where nobody is around and you have no cell service.
4. If there is a major rain cloud bearing down on you and you have less than an acre left to seed before you are finished for the year, you will either break down or run out of seed.
5. EVERY time the truck that delivers seed and fertilizer runs low and requires shoveling to empty out, will be when the grain cart you are filling is almost full. This will require frequent trips from shoveling in the truck, out and up the ladder to check the cart, then back down the ladder and into the truck to shovel some more, then back again.
6. When you have land along the highway, you need to try to seed those pieces first. Otherwise, you will end up being the topic of conversation at the coffee shop as to what's taking you so long to get your crop in.
7. No matter what stage of completion you are during seeding, someone is always going to say " I've been done for 2 weeks now. " As much as you want to, you probably shouldn't smack him.
8. Someone else is always going to have a bigger unit than yours.
9. Occasionally, when you least expect it, your GPS will wander off just to screw with you.
10. This isn't really seeding related but as cool as that new cap looks, it's not going fit exactly right until just before it's time to throw it away.
........... I hope at least a few of those are useful. Not counting bad weather, I should be done in 12-15 days. I'm not the last though, i expect to be done about 2 weeks before that one neighbor of mine even starts. :)
.............it turns out i can't do all the steps from my phone. I had to do the editing on the computer at home. But i did write this post on my phone and transfer it into my blogger profile, so that's at least something?