Friday, 31 October 2014

Barley looks good

Our 1st year with a @crossslot seeder bar and we're happy with the result so far.
Its been a crappy season though with flooding in June/July and only 14.5mm over Aug/Sept & about 3mm in late Oct.
The Barley still has some greenery to it at this late stage. 
Barley looks quite heavy so fingers crossed it will yield well. 
We will finish windrowing our Canola tomorrow. Unfortunately the Canola is not very exciting this year with our odd seasonal factors and the possible presence of Beet Western Yellow Virus. So we are counting on the Barley to bring home the bacon! 

We didn't grow Wheat this year due to a Copper deficiency in our soil, but will have another go at it next year. Especially now that we have implemented our liquid trace elements system.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Machinery Height - do you actually know how close the Powerlines are?

I did some sums on the safe clearance distance for powerlines in my local area of Eyre Peninsula, SA.

A high number of the powerlines on Eyre Peninsula are attached to the older, shorter 9m poles. (many SWER lines, 19000v)

With areas on Eyre Peninsula getting into temperatures of 45-48 degrees or more at times, the powerlines droop in this extreme heat.

Currently, ETSA do not attend to this type of powerline unless it is drooping below 5.5m in height.

The illustration above is a calculation of our Header height, including tyres, aerials etc.

It shows clearly that we can easily exceed the safe clearance distance, especially in summer when the lines droop in the heat.

I guess the main thing to do is be aware of this scenario, especially when:
  • Extending your auger to unload
  • Travelling under powerlines with a  full box
  • Parking the machine to get out
  • And when purchasing new machinery

 It is surprising how close we actually come to this electricity risk. 

      Safe Clearance Distances as per the Electricity Regulations 2012:
Clearance distance in all directions (in metres)
Under 11 000 volts
19 000 volts (SWER)
33 000 volts
66 000 volts
132 000 volts
275 000 volts
330 000 volts
500 000 volts

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Quad Bikes

I've been doing some research into the Crush Protection Device that is now recommended for retrofit to quad bikes.

At first I wondered if the CPD (or Quadbar), would add another level of risk to the rider with this 'thing' sticking up from the back of the bike. 

So I read some more current research papers and looked at footage on YouTube of quad bikes with and without the crush protection device. 

The video footage actually sealed it for me as to the benefit of fitting a quadbar. If you have a look at the links below you will see that the quadbar actually changes the trajectory of the rolling quad bike. Of course, nothing is 'fail safe', but it does change the way in which the bike rolls and at times stops the bike from rolling altogether.

The majority of deaths on quad bikes are from what is called 'mechanical asphyxia': 
  • bike rolls onto rider
  • bike too heavy to push off
  • rider can't breathe
  • rider asphyxiates
Although the bar might protrude and 'maybe' add another element of minor injury risk, I think the benefits of the bar far outweigh this.

This is the website for the quadbar, the guy still runs a property in Queensland, his name is David Robertson.

I will now be ordering one for our kids quad bike, grandpa may take a little extra convincing, but we'll have a go!!!

Farmers - Get yourselves a quadbar, they're only $627, they were actually designed by a farmer - nuf said!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Aussie Harvest Video by Charlie, aged 14

Anna Binna Pty Ltd 2013 Harvest:

Great video of Harvest near Ardrossan on Yorke Peninsula, South Australia, well done Charlie, great footage.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

SA Advisory Board of Ag Farm Tour - YP

Crops on Yorke Peninsula are looking great

As part of the SA Advisory Board of Ag's AGM, we are treated to a farm tour around the region in which the AGM is held. The region changes each year and this year it was on Yorke Peninsula.                                                                                                                                                         

First stop was the business of Martin Collins near Yorktown. Martin's operation crops a large area of Lentils, among other crops.
Snails are a huge problem for his area, especially the Conical snails, and Viterra's 'sample' tolerance to these pests is very low.
Martin's operation, with wife and employees, has set itself up to clean and store Lentils as required. (Hence they had some serious shed space!) 
**Note Lentils, not Lupins, too many things on the go Karen!!!***


Next stop was Viterra's Grain Handling & Storage Facility at Port Giles. And, of course, we went through the safety induction before entering the main site.

Attending our AGM Dinner and the day tour were Federal MP for Grey Rowan Ramsey and State MP Kyam Mahar, Parliamentary Secretary to the Agriculture Minister, so we had both Liberal and Labour representation which is good because we all need to work together for the future of Agriculture. 
Thanks to Tim Burrow from Grain Producers SA for joining us for our daytime tour and a big thanks to Viterra for the morning tea and a very informative visit.
Note the safety fencing surrounding the conveyor belt              
Next stop was Peter Farrow's farming operation, specialising in legumes and high returning cereals. Peter's daughter, Renee, had spoken at our dinner the night before and is currently an Ag Science student. She is an impressive Ag ambassador and also has a 'travel bug' which has seen her tour Chile and other countries soaking up agricultural practices. She is also the farm truck driver for harvest with a keen interest in grain marketing and commerce.
There is no stopping this girl, she's a mover and a shaker of the future! Watch this space....

Dr Andrew Barr gave us some things to think about with regard to GM crops, both the good and the bad of growing them.

Andrew is a member of the Board of Trustees, CIMMYT Mexico, members of GRDC Southern Panel, Aust Grain Growers current board member, past ABB Grain Ltd board member and Principal Plant Breeder (SARDI) and Professor of Plant Breeding (Adel Uni) from 1997-2003
Anna Binna's operation near Maitland is owned and run by Ben and Belinda Wundersitz. Their enterprise has grown rapidly to now crop over 5000Ha and employs a number of staff, both full time and part time. They have transformed the Point Pearce farming land and create valuable employment and skills training opportunities for local people.           

Various 'Crop Porn' from Yorke Peninsula

Then back home to Eyre Peninsula, which isn't looking too bad itself!
View near Tumby Bay EP
The SA Advisory Board of Ag is the overarching organisation governing the SA Agricultural Bureau's, of which, there are about 70 branches statewide.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Cross Slot v Tyne

Wheat pulled from a Cross Slot crop compared to a Tyne crop
 Same soil type, 100m from each other


   4 years of Cross Slot                Tyne Wheat crop
           Wheat on Canola stubble             Wheat on Lupin stubble

   Tyne Wheat                                            Cross Slot Wheat

Photos courtesy of Scott Siviour, Wangary

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Cross slot Crops

Cross slot crops belonging to Scott Siviour at Wangary, Eyre Peninsula

 Canola on a Lupin stubble

Mace Wheat sown @ 70kg

 Wyalkatchem sown at 70kg

Mike Cameron at Kojonup, WA, took these of his trial Oops - incorrect

These trials were done by either Scott Siviour or LEADA, will have to check

 Wyalkatchem sown with Cross slot - More biomass, less weeds 13" spacing

 Wyalkatchem sown with DBS - more weeds, less biomass 12" spacing

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Tap Water Tastes Like Crap!

***Bring back rainwater in schools*** 

I'm really pissed off (polite version) that SA schools are now banned from drinking rain water! I've never heard of anything so ridiculous in all my life!

Fact - Tap water takes like shit!

Our local school have recently sent this note home in the school newsletter:

Drinking Water—In line with all DECD schools we have now had our rainwater taps switched to mains water. It might be a good idea to pack your child an extra water bottle filled with water from home, as many of the children will not drink mains water.

What are the Dept of Education thinking, this is absolute rubbish! Our whole house runs on rain water, we drink it, we shower in it, we cook with it, the only thing we don't do it s**t in it.

I am formally rejecting this ruling and will be supplying MY CHILDREN (please note 'my children') with extra rainwater filled, clear coloured, healthy bottles of rain water for school.

p.s. sorry about the 'potty mouth', but at least you can tell how angry I am!


Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Waterlogged Barley

Water damaged Barley crop seems to be ticking along nicely now with a bit of sunshine over the last 2 days.

Bald patches where water sat

Natural water course that I had never seen so full, some seed did survive the flooding and has come up
There are several bald patches across the farm like this

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Flooding on the farm in June 2014

The road to our house was almost totally covered with water, it was an amazing site.

Prior to this event, we had had 90.5mm during the last week of May
Then on June 12th & 13th we had another 40mm, so that was 130.5mm in 3 weeks, which is about 43% or our standard annual rainfall.
Obviously seasons vary, but generally we get about 300mm per year, sometimes up to 350mm if we're lucky.
 This rain event was really rare, hubby certainly had never seen it this wet.

Errr!! So this was our newly sown Barley paddock on June 13th

There were rapids in our driveway!! And Ducks!

This barley paddock dried out reasonably quickly, but some other paddocks still have water sitting in them

Cross slot barley rows
I've been a bit slack at 'floggin my blog' lately so will endeavour to get you some more crop pictures soon.