Monday, April 25, 2011

Race Against Nature, Seeding Wheat

Our first day of seeding spring wheat was Friday, April 22, and the farmers, Joe and Jay along with our hired man, Cody were glad to finally be able to get started.  The weather has been a cold, snowy/rain mix and has delayed the process.  We start down at the Tammany Farm which is 37 miles South of our Genesee farm and the weather is milder so we can get into the fields about 2 weeks sooner.   So far we have seeded approximately 650 acres into spring wheat with about 300 acres left to go.  The rain forecast for today (Monday, April 25) is threatening but has not arrived yet, so Farmer Jay is seeding as I write.  We need to get the Tammany farm seeded in order to move up to the Genesee farm and finish spring wheat up here, which is another 560 acres.  We have a short window of time in order to get our crops planted and the time is now through early May, so our guys worked on Easter due to the looming inclement weather.  This year looks to be a race against nature and the guys are putting in long days. 

Farmer Jay has been the one in the tractor seeding the wheat, with hired-man, Cody being the support team by bringing seed and fertilizer to Jay.  The hydro-ammonia (NH3) is 82% nitrogen, the most concentrated form of nitrogen.  This is the building block of protein for the wheat.   Farmer Joe was also on the tractor, but he was spraying the fields for weeds and would keep the ammonia truck filled up for Cody.  

Filling the ammonia from the storage unit into the mobile truck for Cody requires extreme caution and lots of training.  So until Cody has taken a safety course and the farmers feel he is ready to handle this job, Joe will stop what he is doing in the field to fill the ammonia truck so Cody can keep Jay in the tractor and seeding wheat.  A real team effort goes into getting the crops in the field.    This is our job, we love what we do, even when the weather stresses us out. 

Joe filling the ammonia truck from the bulk ammonia storage tank,
Notice the safety goggles, safety measures are important 

As always, thank you for reading this. Email me at if you have questions.  Later on the week, we are hosting Congressman Raul Labrador along with several other wheat farmers for a dinner at our home.  So watch for that blog too!  In fact, I'm off to start grocery shopping as I have a huge menu planned. Gayle   =)