Minnesota Farmer


White smoke

Just because I had to leave the farm here in southwestern Minnesota to go to a wedding does not mean the work at home will wait for me.  Anyone who grows green things knows that the growing continues when you are gone, and weeds get bigger too.  So it is that I came home to a weedy field in need of spraying, that was my first order of business.  The JD 4250 was hooked to the sprayer and waiting to go to the field, time to get moving.

I had tried, really I did, to stop those weeds in their tracks earlier in the year.  The early post herbicide looked like it might hold, but as the rains continued it became obvious that the weeds were not going to die.  Now we had to bring out bigger guns for bigger weeds.  Luckily it was only on a part of one field.

It had rained half an inch in the week we were gone and those farmers that were not done planting in our area used the relative dryness to get their planting done.  Early this morning it rained another three tenths of an inch, but that was not enough to stop the sprayer.  Now it is raining again, how will this effect tomorrows field work.

Just after noon today the co-op delivered the side-dress rig to put nitrogen on our corn.  I have been putting most of my nitrogen on after planting for several years now.  It does add more work to a busy time of year, but you have to use less nitrogen since the chance of some of it being moved out of the root zone by rain is reduced.  The corn is just starting to really stretch out, some of it has even reached knee high, and the need for nitrogen is now.images

I hooked on the JD 8220 and started to put on the nitrogen.  The 8220 may be a bit over sized for the job, but the dual rear wheels and front wheel assist make it easy to get through the field if you find a wet spot.  Everything was going well, when all of a sudden there was a knocking in the engine.  I thought, this is not good.  When I called the mechanic, he wanted to come out and give it a listen.  Of course when he came out it was no longer making the noise.  We took the tractor back to the field and then the noise started again, and this time it came with white smoke.  Yep, we were getting water into the engine cylinders.  This tractor needs a trip to the mechanic now.

The job still needed doing, so I hooked the JD 7600 to the side-dress rig and went back to the field.  Now the 7600 is about half the horsepower and does not have dual rear wheels, but it does keep the rig going down the field at the recommended six miles per hour, so I guess I get to keep going with this tractor.  Hopefully I will not find any wet spots that are too big to get through with this smaller tractor.

So there you have it, just another day on the farm.  I sure wish the day had happened with out that white smoke.

Michael

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