Tag Archives: farming

Homestead Update 8/20/16

20 Aug

I am happy to report my psoriasis is getting better every day! I decided to go outside today since it was overcast and cooler. It has been raining here off and on for ten days straight. That is bad news for our crops. The bolls are rotting on the cotton, the pods are shedding off of the soybeans, and the corn ears are sprouting on the stalk. In fact, I went outside while it was raining. I think it rained over an inch in 30 minutes, it just poured down. There was no lightening so I felt it was safe to be outside. I wanted to look at my culverts while it was raining; now I know why they washed out. The water was running so deep in the side ditch where I have the two small culverts, the water was overflowing the crossings. The water has never been that swift and deep in that ditch previously, so I think someone must have changed something upstream. There must be a new ditch or terrace dumping water into my ditch that wasn’t there before. This winter, I will walk upstream and see if I can see what is going on.

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After the rain let up, I brought out my 45 Colt for a little target practice. I am so sick of being cooped up inside, I really needed to hear something go BOOM! I had my pistol in this nice leather bag I bought at the Goodwill for $2. I don’t know who Chuck is, but I am glad he donated his bag. I need to keep my shooting skills sharp because no matter who wins the election this Fall, things are going to be bad. It will just be a matter of whether things get bad fast or get bad slow! It is really hard to believe these two &^%$# are the only choices we have now. Keep prepping everyone, and keep practicing your shooting skills, the Zombies are coming!

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Roundup Ready Extend Technology

18 Sep

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Last week I took a trip to Arkansas to look at some new cotton that will be on the market next year. There was 2500 acres of this cotton being grown in this location, and there is one more location in Arizona growing this cotton for the seed to sell next year. This cotton has not been approved for sale, so we had “minders” following us around as we walked through the field to watch us and make sure we didn’t pick any cotton seeds and put them in our pocket! We actually had to go through a security screening and get government approval before we were allowed to enter the fields. This new variety of cotton is resistant to being sprayed with glyphosate, gluphosinate, and dicamba. No other cotton has ever been tolerant of those three chemicals. This became necessary after the pigweeds became resistant to glyphosate. Without the other chemicals, it would be impossible to grow cotton without a chemical way to control the pigweeds. In the coming year, if you pay any attention to this kind of information, you will see lots of news articles and blog posts with different groups bashing the “Great Satan, Monsanto”! But trust me on this, if we don’t get approval for this new technology, there will be no more cotton grown in the South in the very near future. There is also a new technology coming forward in 2016 that will allow cotton to be sprayed with 2-4D, and you will hear another hue and cry when that occurs!

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While we were in the field, we looked over our shoulders and saw a storm front coming so we had to high-tail it out of there! Watch out for those storms everyone!

Homestead Update

7 Jun

Well, as you might imagine, working 80 hours last week at my job not much was accomplished around here. Things are starting to look up with the crops, so maybe I can settle into a 60 hour a week groove now. That would leave a little time to work around the homestead. We did manage to get the yard mowed but that is pretty much all we were able to accomplish outside. Sweet Thing spent a lot of time straightening up and cleaning inside the house this week.

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Some of the corn is starting to look pretty good.

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The cotton is finally looking like it might survive the Spring weather and actually produce a crop.

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I found 6 marbles this week.

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I found 2 Indian artifacts!

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I also found the base to an old-timey Iron that you heated on top of the woodstove. This thing is heavy, that’s why Granny had such big arms. She had to be strong to do all the everyday chores she did! Keep prepping everyone!

Accidents Do Happen

3 Sep

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I was checking a field and I came across this spray cycle that had turned over on it’s side. The driver came away very sore and with some bumps and bruises but fortunately nothing really serious. It is just a reminder that farming is one of the most dangerous professions in this country.

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Corn harvest has started in this area so maybe the season is finally coming to an end. It has been a long and agonizing process this year, I am looking forward to it being over and spending some time on my homesteading chores.

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I have about 50 stalks of sweet corn growing in my garden and looking yesterday I discovered I have a severe case of Southern Rust. That is only one of the many reasons you are not supposed to plant corn the first week of July! Keep prepping everyone!

Relics and Artifacts

29 Jun

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I was in a field and I spotted this really nice projectile point. It was made out of a nice pretty white stone and the point is so sharp I had to be careful carrying it in my pocket. I spotted it out of the corner of my eye and looked and saw how white it was and I almost didn’t stop. The plastic irrigation pipe we use is white as well as most of the chemical jugs are white so you see a lot of pieces of jagged white plastic in the field. I thought that is probably just plastic, but I needed to stop and examine the crop closely so I stopped anyway and boy, I’m glad I did. People sometimes ask me how I see so much stuff as I am going through the field. Most of our fields are 1/4 of a mile from top to bottom and I make 4-6 passes through each one. That works out to be covering 1 to 1&1/2 miles in each field and I am looking down to check for weeds, insects, bloom shed and just general plant conditions. And if there is something out of the ordinary my eye naturally goes to it.

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In the next field I found this small piece of projectile point and a marble. I decided to take a picture of all the junk I saw that day.

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I don’t know what this is, it might be something left over from the mule farming days.

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A 12 in piece of solid steel rod.

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A steel blade from a tillage implement.

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A steel wheel off of a tillage implement.

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I have no idea what this is, it is a heavy piece of angle iron but it has two fine toothed, lightweight gears attached.

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A jawbone of some animal. If I was Sampson I could use it to slay a score of Philistines! Smile with tongue out

 

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A 4 inch bolt which I kept. The other junk I just picked up and pitched into the fence line. Something like that could get picked up and go into a harvest machine and cause a lot of damage. Well, that is just a sampling of the stuff I find every day. Stay observant and see what you might find.

Amber Waves Of Grain

28 Jun

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When the song mentions amber waves of grain, this is what they are talking about. This is a wheat field ready for harvest and when the wind blows across it, the wheat ripples like waves across the ocean. We are winding up our wheat harvest and the yields were surprisingly good for this year.

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One of the local elevators built this make-shift storage facility. It appears to be a metal building 100X400 feet with a concrete floor. They dump the grain on the concrete and the front end loader pushes it into a pile. When they want to haul it out the loader picks it up and dumps it back into the truck. If you get a piece of bread in the future and it tastes a little gritty the wheat may have come from here! HAHA!

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After the wheat is harvested, soybeans are planted. I advise my growers to plant into the standing stubble, but some people choose to burn the stubble. I strongly discourage my clients from doing that. Leaving the stubble has a lot of benefits such as returning nutrients to the soil, improving the organic matter, conserving moisture, preventing erosion, and helping to smother out weed growth. I find it hard to believe the EPA allows people to burn the fields and put all those pollutants into the air but apparently there is no regulation preventing this. However, if the smoke crosses a road and could be a traffic hazard, the farmers are supposed to contact the sheriff’s department and get a permit so the deputies can block the traffic to prevent accidents. I can only actually remember this occurring about six times in my entire career so that regulation is pretty much ignored. When those dry fields get to burning on a windy day it is quite a sight to see, and you can hear the roar of the fire from a half a mile away. Be prepared!

Farming Progress

18 May

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Well, the weather finally dried up and warmed up enough for farmers to get in the fields and work. This is one of our farmers planting a cotton variety trial for us. We are planting 12 rows each of 14 different varieties of cotton. we are planting 4 varieties we really like, 4 varieties that are available but we don’t think we really like, and 6 experimental varieties that have not been released yet. If any of the experimental varieties do well, they may be released in the future. This gives us an opportunity to check them out before they become commercially available. We usually plant 4 of these trials every year so they helps us stay on top of the best varieties for our clients. I’ve got my fingers crossed the weather will hold out for one more week, we can make a lot of progress in 7 days. Then I will be hoping for a little rain, in the farming business we are never satisfied with the weather!