April 22, 2012

Seeding Has Begun aka Look At The Big Tractors.

Our seeding programme has finally got off the ground.  We have started getting our crop in and our tractors are going which is a relief.  I actually find the weeks leading up to seeding worse than the actual weeks we seed.  Everyone is too busy to get stressed when things get going and at least it feels like we are making progress.

I took some photos today of our gear going around the paddock.


DBS Air seeder
Tractor and Bar Coming Up The Hill

As you can see we need some rain....!  It is dry and dirty work at the moment and The Farmer comes home looking like he has a bad fake tan from all the dust most days.

This photo shows the gear a bit closer.  (The photos are not brilliant as they were taken out the car window and I was trying to stay upwind of the dust.)

Air Seeder

There is seed and liquid fertilizer in the orange plastic tanks and they get forced down the pipes into the ground by air pressure.  They lay in a little trench which is dug by a blade first and then are covered up again.  (All my mechanically minded friends will laugh at my incredibly simplistic description of what is actually a fairly high tech process.)

The machines get fully serviced every 24 hours and when we have ironed out all our teething issues they will go 24 hours a day (with different shifts of staff).  Fuel, food for staff and any parts required for breakdowns need to be supplied as soon as they are required at any point in the 24 hours.  We have a good routine going now but it is quite a stressful time.

So that's what will be keeping us busy for the next few weeks.  It means very long hours for The Farmer.  (Starting this morning with him rolling out of bed at 4.30am with a bit of a hangover and asking me if I wanted to go and look after the early morning servicing and start up.  I refused. My refusal was only because of my lack of mechanical knowledge and had nothing to do with the fact that it was freezing cold outside and I was very cosy in my bed.)

I hope everyone has had a good weekend.  I have spent lots of time outside with The Farmchildren raking up leaves and lighting little bonfires.

Take care.


Mummaducka said...

And I am guessing that you also provide the food for all those workers so that there's less downtime with them sourcing meals and snacks.
Our fellas bring their own tuckerboxes and are really good that way. I don't need to do anything for them, but I know it is a rareity. It could be because we are so close to town so they don't have to stay on our place or anything like that.

A Farmer's Wife said...

Jodie - we employ a cook who also cleans the quarters etc. Only for a few weeks each year though (seeding and harvest). I may do meals if she is not around for some reason. I used to do it but it is a big job these days!!

**Anne** said...

Your explanation of how the air seeder works was perfectly adequate, I understood completely. :)
4.30am is an early start which I remember my Dad and brother doing when I lived at home.
If you are seeding 24 hours around the clock, I assume you have a large acreage to put in and don't wait for rain, rather dry seed. My brother has been using a mineral fertilizer the last few years which strengthens the root system of the plant making it much more resilient with less rain. My family's farm is in a very dry area which seems to be getting less and less rain every year. It makes it incredibly hard as you would know.
Good luck with your seeding programme and lets hope there are no breakdowns.
Anne xx

A Farmer's Wife said...

Thanks for your comment Anne - we do dry seed. We have a certain percentage each year we are happy to put in dry (varies depending on our rotations) before we pull up and wait for rain. They say WA farmers are some of the most innovative in the world because of our conditions. Fortunately our area is pretty reliable although we do seem to be getting a little dryer (I have now obviously cursed myself and it will probably get too wet now...)

I am with you on the break downs!

Unknown said...

I agree with you about the time before seeding in the most stressful. My hubby only puts in a small amount of crop but he runs a seedcleaning shed which means he is really busy and depending on the weather depends on how long he is busy for. He is getting itchy feet to seed though!

Loved your explanation much better than what I could do!

A Farmer's Wife said...

Thanks Annaleis. My mechanical knowledge is not the best! Good luck for your seeding.

Lisa @ Blithe Moments said...

Good luck with the seeding. And please, feel free to take all the rain away from this side of the country! It caused a landslide that has closed the major road between Canberra and the coast for the next week.

Anne Wheaton said...

Makes our machinery look like toy tractors!

Semi Expat said...

Wow! A HUGE undertaking - and interesting to hear how it all works! Amazing tractors but I don't think I would want to get up at 4.30am. Go The Farmer!! XX