One of the main projects i had planned for this year was to spray brush. Truly had hoped to cover the entire farm, but there is just so much that between regular work and windy or rainy days – well, i did get quite a lot done actually and i’m pleased. My focus did switch to completely covering (spot spraying) the west 160 and that was accomplished by July 1. It is important to keep track of that date because three years from then, the farm can be used to grow certified organic crops. Weed and brush management from now on will have to be by brush hogging and intensive grazing. One of the ironies of ‘certified’ organic is that i can’t chemically treat individual plants even once for three years, but i could burn all the fossil fuel i want mowing them down. But rules are rules.
So to finish the project also means to clean up and put away the tools used. My 30 gallon spray tank and pump were purchased new at Orscheln’s this year and i hope to get several more years’ use out of it. Their brand name is Country Tuff and it has worked flawlessly all season. I did switch out the coiled hose for a straight one we already had – i just didn’t like the coiled one.
For the chemical, the easiest and most effective in my opinion is Crossbow. i buy it by the case (4 gallons) at a cost of $200.46 at Butterfield & Associates Grain in Meadville, MO. Mix half gallon to 30 gallons of water and you are ready to go. This spring and summer, I sprayed about 1200 gallons of mixed spray. That’s about 45 hours worth of spot spraying.
So much to do to ready the house, yard, farm for spring growth. In north Missouri, there is always a very narrow window for such activity when it’s not too hot, not too cold, not too muddy, not too dry, not too windy, not too green. Yeah, spring work needs to happen before spring brush and grass starts growing.
Today is about 70F, cloudy and very windy, so no outdoor burning, but otherwise great for outdoor stuff.
Dallas and i cleaned out a small ditch near the house which contained ancient metal trash – he ran the tractor, i ran the log chain and we made short work of it – had a few interruptions – but finally all pulled out, loaded, and hauled off.
Also, taking time to prune trees, rose bushes, and ornamental grasses.
Just two days before my sons and I left for Scotland on 12 September, our area received over 10 inches of rain in about 12 hours! What a nightmare! ALL of our watergaps were washed out and in some low lying areas, fences were laying almost flat to the ground. My husband and Christian got to stay home and do all the cleanup.
With that in mind, it is time I try to keep some of the big dead logs and rotted stuff from being washed down into a massive water gap that is on the eastern edge of my farm. This ditch catches all the water from my place plus a good deal of the runoff from the row crop farmers to the north as well as runoff from Cotton Road. My southern neighbour’s property also has a good deal of runoff in this ditch, so it doesn’t take much of a rain to really get things rolling, but 10 inches in 12 hours is a mess!
Dallas and I have been working at clearing this week and since there are very few days in north Missouri that the wind lays enough to start brush fires, we coveyed up and set three today. Although it was a bit nippy and no sun, working in the shelter of the timber with no wind the temperature was about perfect.