January 2, 2015
Happy New Year!
It’s the first Friday of the new year here on the farm. One goal I have for the new year is to add some pretty consistent posts to the blog. We have all enjoyed a good Christmas and New Year’s season and are starting to get back in the swing of real work. Well, real work for the guys that do the real work, not us desk jockeys.
This time of year, the work is all dictated by how cold it is. We like it cold so the ground stays frozen and hard. The guys have been spreading fertilizer and compost whenever the conditions are right, and lately the conditions have been right. It takes several of them to keep everything running efficiently. The spreader we use is a Terra-Gator with a “multiplier” bed. In other words, it has two compartments. One of them we use for phosphorous and the other for potassium. When Dennis pulls our soil samples he uses GPS to determine which area of the fields have what nutrient content. The Terra-Gator then uses GPS to spread the proper amounts of the two materials at a variable rate across the field. It takes about three guys to keep a spreader running and keep the right amount of fertilizer feeding the spreader.
We have also been spreading compost. This is a little different than fertilizer because we spread compost where organic material levels are lower in fields instead of spreading for nutrient content. There are plenty of nutrients in compost, but the most valuable part of compost is in the biological and microbial aspects of it. We use it to improve soil health and structure more than we use it as a nutrient source.
We are writing the final chapter on the epic combine fire story. Today the combine was finally picked up and taken to the scrap heap. Pretty hard to imaging taking a piece of machinery that costs $400k and melting it down, but that’s the sad truth of it. Tony got his final “all clear” from the Doctors last week, the combine is gone, and we are ready to move on!