Making Hay
Week of June 8th, 2003 | The weather was cold, rainy, and windy.

Planting soybeans with a ridge till planter.

Planting soybeans with a ridge till planter.

Hello to all! We've had poor growing weather lately. It has been cold, cloudy, rainy, and windy. We need warm temperatures and sunshine. That will help the crops grow.

We planted some of our soybeans using the Buffalo 7010 planter. If we can control the weeds after the crop is planted, the only thing we need to do before using the planter is to chop the weeds and cornstalks. This reduces all the labor and fuel spent on plowing, discing, cultivating, or dragging. The Buffalo planter works up the ground right before the seed is put in. It cuts the top off the ridge that the cultivator made when we cultivated corn last summer. It plants the new seed into this ridge. We have not used this planter since 1999.

We apply organic fertilizer while we plant corn. The fertilizer is usually held in the front two tanks of the planter. Since we do not apply fertilizer on the soybeans, we took the front two fertilizer tanks off of the Buffalo to increase the visibility.

There are many differences between the John Deere 7000 planter and the Buffalo 7010 planter. One main difference is that the Buffalo planter is hitched to the tractor by the three-point-hitch. A three-point-hitch is three arms on a tractor that is used to raise or lower implements while being pulled by the tractor. The John Deere 7000 planter is pulled by the draw bar hitch like many other planters. The John Deere planter is raised and lowered by a hydraulic cylinder. The hydraulic oil is pumped into the cylinder by the tractor. Another difference is that the John Deere planter has two markers to guide the operator when planting. When you plant with the John Deere planter, the ground is usually worked up and it is very hard to evenly space rows, so the markers help you guide where to steer the tractor. You don't need markers on the Buffalo because the previous crop rows guide where you steer the tractor.

Last Sunday, we went to four graduation parties. It was fun.

On Saturday, our community celebrated Alta Vista Day. Mom was on the committee. It was a lot of fun! There were softball games, a parade, firemen's water ball fight, kiddie tractor pull (I helped with that), vendor show (I helped sell Alta Vista Day items), relay races, fireworks, and a dance. We missed the fireworks because Mom, Dad, and I had to go to my cousin's graduation party. That was okay. Even though we got home on time for the fireworks, we thought that it was cancelled since it was raining!! Instead, they blew them off and I missed most of the show. We were on our way into town for the dance as they were just finishing. We went to the rest of the dance. At least the rain held off until night. Mom and the rest of the committee have to clean the park and hall tomorrow (Sunday). It's a lot of work. Mom was really tired. It takes months of planning and a lot of meetings. She was especially busy the last few weeks. Mom was in charge of the parade. She and another guy from town announced the parade. When the parade was over, Mom stayed busy announcing the other afternoon activities, like the kiddie pull and relay races. She also helped set up and take down the committees booth that I helped sell Alta Vista Day souvenirs out of.

A few weeks ago, we had a couple that drove over three hundred miles round trip to buy six bales of barley straw for their pond. Barley straw is good to use in a water pond, especially if you have fish stocked in it. We have used this in our pond. We were surprised that they could not find any barley straw closer to home than ours.

I'm still doing Driver's Ed. I have a couple more weeks to go and I'll be done. I'll be glad when I'm done. I don't mind driving and doing class but I want to spend more time at home helping outside. With doing Driver's Ed now, I will be able to get a school permit for this fall so I can drive to my activities I'm involved in without having to bug Mom or Dad to take me to school. I'll have my school permit until next year when I get my Drivers License.

Farm Fact: There are two very important things you have to pay attention to when planting crops. You need to have the correct depth and the correct population. You want to pay attention to the weatherman because crops need to be planted in moist ground- not too wet, but not too dry.

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