74 ha of wheat and 91ha of winter barley have been moved from the bag to the soil. I hesitate to use the words drill or sow because that might indicate a successful outcome. A massive compromise better describes the week’s activities, but at least we are making some progress. Not being able to fully close the slot in places and no follow up with the ring rolls being two of the biggest issues. Tractor drivers Ian and Jay have risen to the challenge and we have all been putting in the hours to move the job on. A few days with little or no rain meant the reduced area of hybrid barley was finished. In the end, I swapped a block of lighter land that was destined for spring barley to the winter variety of Bazooka. I also dropped a couple of other fields to spring cropping and used the spare seed to increase the sowing rate. One block of land that had been lightly cultivated to about 50mm was so wet under the chopped straw, that in the end we gave it another shallow pass with the Joker cultivator. A couple of reasonable drying days helped a lot, but as I headed out with the sprayer today, the 2mm of rain last night seemed more like 20mm with everywhere turning quite soggy. The October rainfall total was 122mm, which is double the 5 year average.
I like to vary my choice of pre emergent herbicide, so I use Liberator as the base for wheat and Crystal for the barley. Due to the conditions and the later drilling I have dropped the additions to the mix for fear of crop damage. I admit I hate using the orange peril that is Crystal, as both the smell and the colour win us no friends among the non farming, chemical hating public. I took the picture above as a passing walker was taking a picture of me. If nothing else, it proves that I was applying it correctly. I think in future I will drop Crystal and find another way to vary my herbicides. No more foul smelling agent orange, despite its proven herbicide properties.
One day into the election campaign and I have already taken to switching off the news programmes as soon as a politician is interviewed. I am fed up with their empty promises and to be honest, find some of their claims simply preposterous. Do they really think we are that stupid? I will still exercise my right to vote, even if it means spoiling my ballot paper.