Planting Setup

Brad changed from an 8 row planter to a 12 row planter this year. He wanted to change how his new planter was set up for fertilizing, and so he just did. How he knows all this stuff is beyond me. Here’s a look at his planting fertilizer setup.

The fertilizer is in the white tanks on the side of the tractor.It goes through these cylinders connected to the planter.
Then it goes out through all these red hoses. Look at all that tidy tubing!In the end, somehow fertilizer comes out at each row in supposedly the same rate.
This pump Brad added, which somehow works to make the fertilizer part of that happen for the entire planter, not just one row.So while the seed is going into the ground, it is getting fertilized at the same time. Then it soon starts to grow! Please take time to be impressed!

Brad knows how the tractor and planter work and often if something breaks he figures out what the problem is and can fix it. Would you have a clue how to even start figuring out the problem? I wouldn’t even want to attempt to take off a tire if I had a flat on my car! Farmers do so much more than just drive a tractor and get dirty. As you see from this, they are also mechanics and engineers, (My explanations of things show you I am not!) but they are also so much more!

Planting 2017

We are in the midst of planting season. At the end of last week, we were about thirty percent done.
As of yesterday, just over half of Brad’s corn is planted. That means we have less than half to go. 

It feels like its been “one of those years.”  For instance, I took this nice photo when Brad passed me on my walk as he drove out to the field for the first time this season. Before I was even done with my walk he passed me on his way back to the shop. A hydraulic line had blown and sprayed oil all over the tractor as he was lowering the planter. He hadn’t even tried to plant anything yet. Another day, I thought I’d be nice and ride with Brad a round. It was William’s first tractor ride. As you can see Brad had been really bored and was missing us a lot. (That was sarcasm there.) We got booted after an abrupt stop because something wasn’t working right had Liza’s head hitting the windshield. We didn’t even make it half way through the field.

A flat tire here, a wheel falling off there, questionable seed depth……cornstalks keep plugging the planter, a sensor isn’t working… BUT fields are still getting planted.Some even have corn sprouting already.

Broken Glass

Here’s Brad spraying some wheat that a farmer used just as ground cover. Brad’s aim was to kill the wheat, and the farmer will now plant something else in the field. Brad has a lot of other acres to spray, but he’s been sidelined temporarily.

When he was hauling the sprayer home on the trailer one night, something hit its windshield. Why they don’t make a sprayer windshield like a car windshield is a good question. These just shatter and end up all over. He thought he’d go get it fixed and be back to work in less than a day; but no dealership near us had a windshield stocked, so he’s having to wait over a day for it to get fixed. I’m sure all farmers can feel his pain right now and all farmers’ wives can feel mine.

Riding Along

When we first moved I was highly annoyed when people suggested a positive of the farming lifestyle was that kids could go to work with their dad. Don’t ever say this to a mother with very little people unless you want her to think ‘You have NO clue!’ and glare at you. I know my baby and 2-year-old saw much less of their dad when we moved here. They didn’t want to be confined to a buddy seat and weren’t able to play safely in the shop while he worked.

Now with bigger kids, they can go hang out in the shop while Brad’s there, and that’s fabulous for all. Elliana especially likes the one on one time of riding along with Brad in whatever form of transformation. (Wyatt would still rather be somewhere playing whatever sport is currently consuming him.)

This weekend she was riding with him when he discovered a dead animal in a field. Later that day when she saw him taking the loader tractor to go move the animal, she told me she wanted to go with him. I told her it probably wouldn’t be safe, but she ran and told him that she wanted to go with him. He had no thought of it not being safe and told her to hop on!

The Calm Rancher

I have always wanted to see a calf be born, and I finally got the chance! (You’ll have to deal with amateur cell phone pictures since I was holding William and left picture duty to Elliana or tried to taking them with one hand while bouncing a baby.)

Our main purpose for the outing to my in-laws’ (a.k.a. the local petting zoo) was to see the new lambs. When we arrived two heifers were almost ready to have their babies, so we piled three adults and six kids into a pickup and went to check things out. Don’t fret – we didn’t have far to go since they keep these first time mamas close to the house.heifer calving

See those hooves on the way out? We watched this heifer for over a half hour. She was working hard but not making progress. After a little bit, we did see the calves pink tongue sticking out, but then it turned purple and we called for Darin to come. He calmly walked behind her and guided her into the barn.calving

Imagine yourself in this situation. I would’ve been like a frantic, spastic, crazy woman (like I am any time all of us are trying to go somewhere). Darin acted like he was going for a Sunday afternoon stroll in the park. He’s clearly done this more than once.

Katie, our tour guide, said if the cow is off by herself, Darin can sometimes just walk up behind and try pulling the calf out right there, a hefty tug is all that’s needed. This one wasn’t off by herself and she needed more than a little pull.Heifer in barnSomehow he got her with her head in the contraption that doesn’t let her back out. Please notice the nice long gloves Darin put on before you look at the next picture.

Since the hooves were out and the head right next to them, Darin tried to push it back in to see if it would help if more leg could come out before the head. That’s at least how I understood it. Ask a real veterinarian or rancher for clarity.Dirtiest Jobs

Then he tried just pulling with his hands as hard as he could. This is where Wyatt determined that he would not become a veterinarian and decided to go check out the sheep.hand pulling a calfPulling by hand didn’t work, so Darin (still as calm as can be) went and got the chain contraption. He attached the chain to the calf hoof and to a lever. Physics at work. calf pulling contraption

He cranked the lever and the calf came on out.

It didn’t start crying like we would expect a human new baby to do, but it was fine. Darin tickled its nose with some straw to make sure to get it breathing. tickling calf's nose with strawHe moved the calf and its mom into stall into the barn to make sure the new mama would take care of her calf before sending them back out with the rest of the heifers. I had to go take care of my hungry baby so I didn’t get to stick around to see it standing up and dried off. What I did get to see what rather impressive!

If you have questions, let me know and I’ll find the answers.

As for pictures of sheep…

sheep selfie

Hold You Over

I must follow up my last post by directing you to a reminder to better consider our blessings. It’s a quick read that will challenge you in a good way.

I’ve been trying to get an exciting calving post done, but life keeps happening. Here are a couple of animal pictures to hold you over.black white face calf

A fainting goat - just looking at him makes me chuckle

A fainting goat – just looking at him makes me chuckle.

Liza likes her earrings.

Liza likes her earrings.