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Posts Tagged With: fertilizer

A Visit from Dusty Crophopper

I’m assuming you’ve seen Disney’s Planes.  Besides being yet another fun movie from the World of Cars it’s also a terrific film because it features a farmer!  Well, okay, a crop duster, but still.  And while Dusty leaves the farm behind in search of fame and fortune, anyone can tell you he got his work-ethic and moral principles working in the corn fields!

At any rate, he’s a favorite around here.

Which is why it was lots of fun when Daddy stopped by the airport and commissioned a crop duster to drop nitrogen fertilizer on our fields!

A crop duster visits the farm!

All the extra rain we’ve had is causing the chemical nitrogen (and when I say chemical, I mean all-naturally occurring element number 7 on a Periodic table) to go deeper into the soil where the corn’s root system can’t reach it.  Since corn depends on nitrogen– think Squanto adding fish to the Pilgrim’s garden– this is a problem!

Nitrogen is usually added before the fields are planted…

anhydrous original

(like this ^)

but this little hiccup called for Plan B.

A crop duster visits our farm!

It really is pretty amazing to watch a crop duster work.  They fly SO LOW!  Then the loop and roll at the ends; it’s kind of our very own air show.

To go with our vey own Dusty Crophopper.

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Categories: Farming | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Top 10 Spring Planting

The farm is a busy, bustling place in the springtime!  The kids and I keep busy randomly adding critters introducing productive livestock to the backyard pasture and Daddy, well, we’re always glad when Sunday rolls around and we get to see him!  Some of you may be lucky enough to live on a farm and understand the process of planting, but for those of you who would like a clearer picture of how your food is grown, well, maybe this will help!

Top 10 Posts About Spring Planting

Take a virtual tour of the tractor

Take a virtual tour of a modern tractor! {DaddysTractor.com}

 

Read about the technology the modern farmer uses

a modern farmer

 

See the planter be prepped for field work

How is your food grown?

 

How to grow happy plants

A harvested field {DaddysTractor.com}

 

Preparing the fields

There's more to fall than harvest! {DaddysTractor.com}

 

Ride in the tractor, a video of planting

Planting wheat

 

We can even grow sweet corn!

compare and contrast life on a family farm

 

See how growing wheat is different

growing wheat

 

Starting from scratch, preparing a new field

Using the bulldozer to ready fields for spring planting

 

Why we’re so busy in springtime!

planting time on the farm

 

Categories: Science | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

More to Fall than Harvest

Fall is, of course, one of the busiest seasons on the farm.  But harvesting crops isn’t the only thing that keeps us busy as the temperatures drop.  Fall is also the time to prepare the fields for spring planting; tillage work, repairing terraces, and especially building up the nutrients in the fields.

There's more to fall than harvest!  {DaddysTractor.com}

Plants naturally soak up the nutrients in the soil to help them grow, leaving fewer nutrients for next year’s crops.  Throughout history farmers have dealt with this in various ways.  The Egyptians had the Nile, which over flowed its banks, leaving new silt to plant in each season.  In the Bible farmers were given instruction to let the field sit empty once every seven years.  Today’s farmers have the resources and knowledge to replace nutrients like you see in the pictures here.

There's more to fall than harvest!  {DaddysTractor.com}

This is Daddy, unloading lime with his dump truck.  Lime changes the pH of the soil, helping the plants maximize the fertilizer.  Not only does this create good crops, it also important for sustainability.  That’s a buzz word we hear a lot, but around here it means we improve the land so someday it will provide for our son’s family, and his son’s too.

There's more to fall than harvest!  {DaddysTractor.com}

After Daddy made his lime pile the local Co-op came out with a team to spread the lime across the fields.  First they brought out this small loader which was used to pick up the lime from the pile and dump it into the compartment on this conveyor belt.

There's more to fall than harvest!  {DaddysTractor.com}

Then the belt picks up the lime and dumps it into the bed of the spreader truck.

There's more to fall than harvest!  {DaddysTractor.com}

When the truck is full it heads to the field to spread the lime from a spinner at the back.

There's more to fall than harvest!  {DaddysTractor.com}

The lime is soft, like powder, and floats behind the truck.

There's more to fall than harvest!  {DaddysTractor.com}

Just one of the jobs keeping us busy this fall!

Categories: Science | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Spring Field Work = Happy Plants

We have been busy the last week trying to get lots of spring field work done before the storm.  Not the thunderstorm or rain storm or even hail storm, but a snow storm!

flowers

Observe: Tuesday– Thursday

Besides putting seeds in the ground there is a lot of field work to do in the spring.

Spring time on the farm! {DaddysTractor.com}

Admittedly, driving chickens around on a toy tractor isn’t one of them…  But it made me laugh!

Actually this week Daddy hired a local cooperative to come spread plant food on several of our fields.

Spring time on the farm! {DaddysTractor.com}

This three-wheeled contraption spreads phosphorous, potassium and a little bit of nitrogen on fields that will grow soybeans.  Soybeans, like all plants, need nutrients from the soil.  We try to help them out as best we can by leaving corn stalks and other dead plant matter in the soil to break down into food, but they also like the extra snack the fertilizer provides them!

Spring time on the farm! {DaddysTractor.com}

From this view you can see small bits flying through the air.  (Look close!)  There is a wheel at the base of the truck’s bed that spins.  As a chain pulls the N,P, &K (those are the chemical expressions for nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium) down, the wheel spins and sends the plant food all across the field! In this photo you also see what looks like tall grass.  That’s rye and Daddy planted it last fall so it could be more food for this year’s plants, as well as keep the weeds to a minimum.  He’s so innovative ;-).

Spring time on the farm! {DaddysTractor.com}

The cooperative (know by farmers as the co-op, which gets confusing if you’re a homeschool family also participating in a co-op!!) also sends out a guy in a semi truck full of more N,P, & K.  When the spreader is empty it drives over, the guys swing the auger out over the spreader and fills the tank again.

We’re all about happy plants :-).

Categories: Science | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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