The Evolution of a Modern-Day Farm Wife

Posts tagged ‘agriculture’

Fertilizing the Wheat

When I was a single gal living in town, I had big plans to have the nicest, greenest yard on the block one summer.  We won’t focus on how it turned out–especially since it barely rained that summer and I depended solely on rain to water my yard.

Regardless, that spring I went out and bought a decent sized bag of fertilizer and a handheld spreader.

I cranked, and cranked, and cranked, and cranked while I spread the fertilizer all over my yard.

I thought my arm was going to fall off, but I felt accomplished because I could tell where I had applied that fertilizer.

You could actually see the little white granules covering the ground.

Little white pieces of evidence.

Little white pieces of evidence.

Fast forward to 2015 and Adam has been pretty much doing the same thing except at a much, much larger scale.

He’s been busy spreading urea (dry nitrogen fertilizer) to some of the wheat fields during this first week of 2015.

Generally the guys like to apply urea to the fields in December, BUT it was too wet this year.

Spreading 5 tons of urea at 10 miles per hour.

Spreading 5 tons of urea at 10 miles per hour.

So January it is!

I had a little boy refusing to take a nap yesterday, so I strapped him in his carseat and set off to see what Adam was up to.

I couldn’t help but imagine how muscular my arms would be if I used that handheld spreader to broadcast the urea on the area Adam was covering.

No, wait.  That’s crazy talk!

Adam was using a spreader that holds five tons of fertilizer.

FIVE TONS!

It has all kinds of interesting functions that I don’t fully understand but gets farmers really excited.

And it requires none of my muscles, which makes me excited!

One of the functions that I do understand is that it has a variable rate dry spreader.

Basically, you can punch in some numbers which will increase or decrease the amount of urea that is spread over an area based on soil tests.

So, the areas that need more urea get more, and the areas that need less get less.

Isn’t technology wonderful?!?

You can also punch in a number and the spreader will apply a blanket application.

That’s what’s being done here.

THE Spreader

So while Adam cruised up and down this wheat field at 10 mph, the amount of urea was evenly applied.

Take a look at the aerial footage of how this all works…

We’re hoping it’ll now snow so the urea will get wet, dissolve, and work its way into the soil.

Once it’s in the soil, this will get to the roots of the wheat plants that are just hanging out in the fields during this time of the year.

It's on the ground, now it just needs some moisture to get it moving into the soil.

It’s on the ground, now it just needs some moisture to get it moving into the soil.

When the wheat comes out of dormancy and starts greening up in March, the fertilizer is in the root zone, and the wheat can grow big and strong.

The variable is that we need moisture to make all of that magic happen.

And if we’re going to get moisture, it might as well be snow.

And if it’s going to snow, it might as well REALLY snow!

Here’s to a lot of snow this next week!

For the sole sake of the soil and wheat, of course :)

Are You My Mudder?

When I was a kid I read a lot of stuff–cereal boxes, books, Highlights magazines, comics, the back of cans, encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc. (What do you expect, we didn’t have cable TV or the internet!).

Being that I was the oldest, I felt it was MY responsibility to help out my younger sister and brother when it came to reading too.  We loved stories.  We loved being read stories.  We loved reading stories.  I have a firm picture in my head of my sister blanketed in books as she lay sleeping in her bed. I can also hear my brother reciting Just Go To Bed by Mercer Mayer.

From what I can remember, Dr. Seuss and P.D. Eastman books were pretty solid in our reading rotations as well.  I specifically remember Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman being read by the three of us.  But instead of saying, “Are you my mother,” we would always jokingly say, “Are you my mudder?”

A pretty awesome book!

At times we would also call our mom, “mudder” too.  (What do you expect, we didn’t have cable TV, so we found other ways to entertain ourselves!!)  But I digress…

The story is about a bird who leaves an egg in her nest, and while she’s gone, the egg hatches.  The baby bird falls out of the nest and then goes on an odyssey trying to find its mother.  While approaching a number of other animals, the baby bird asks, “Are you my mother?”  Each time the response is “No.”

The baby bird eventually gets back in its nest and finally does find it’s mother.

I thought about this book yesterday when we were checking out the cows and calves.  One little black bull calf in particular had been given some freedom from his mama and was hanging out with his other buddies.

Honestly officer, we weren't doin' anything...

No seriously, should we call our mamas, or my lawyer??

His mama–who was keeping an eye on him during his allowed freedom–because that’s what good mamas do–called for him.

He walked over to a red cow instead.  Her udders must have looked rather appealing to him.  He sniffed around for a few seconds before he turned to his real mama and then back to the red cow.  He seemed a little confused as to who his mother was.  In my mind, the calf was asking, “Are you my mudder?”

As soon as the mama had his full attention, she started to walk away rather quickly as if she were annoyed.  She was probably saying in her mind, “For the love of…!!!!!”

Baby bull lagged behind for a few seconds–not wanting to leave his buddies or the other mother.  But then, he got a jolt of energy and started chasing after his real mother.  “Hey MOM, I was just kidding.  Come on, MOM, slow down, I know you’re my mudder!”

I thought it was pretty entertaining and couldn’t help but giggle a little :)

Continuing the trend…

So apparently my blog is becoming a “once every season” kind of blog.  Hopefully that will change this summer–which is right around the corner for this teacher!!! :) :) :).  I’m not excited or anything.

Since my last post (in November) I’ve been staying very busy and settling in.  Thanksgiving and Christmas allowed us to travel and visit family and some friends.  Adam and I decided to demolish the chicken shed (according to Rowan, that’s my house) to make me moving into the “people” house official and to not confuse Rowan any longer.  It was interesting to watch a massive piece of equipment come in and totally destroy a building in a matter of minutes.  Now I have a nice view from the back door.

So…without further ado (as opposed to adieu, which looks cooler), I present to you my 35-second, low budget video creation of the destruction…

Too bad Swirls the cat wasn’t as excited losing his hangout place.  He’s now taken a permanent residence in the “people” house as well.  And it’s really, really tough…

"Maybe if I play dead they'll put me outside."

"It's so miserable living in this house..."

"I'm sooo annoyed..."

I’ve also reached a major milestone in the pursuit of becoming an official “farmer’s wife.”  It all started when my husband took me shopping.  Not to Dillards or Neiman Marcus or (heaven-forbid) Walmart.  No, he took me to the Tractor Supply Company store…wait for it, wait for it… for some boots!!

Look what my wonderful, thoughtful husband bought me...

Let me be clear, these boots symbolize a major development in my position at Baldwin Farms.  I now have no excuses to not help.

No more are the days of, “Oh Adam, I’m wearing my super cute polka-dot heels and I can’t get out of the truck, ”  or, “If I walk through that mud, I’ll lose my shoes”  or, “It’s freezing outside and my toes are very sensitive to the cold.”

Uggs ain't got nothin' on these babies!

These boots aren’t just any boots.  They are Muck boots.  You’ll notice they are labeled “Chore” on the sides.

They are insulated, big, and black–which means they go with everything.  And for the price we paid for them, I might start wearing them to school.

Getting my money's worth during a recent winter storm...

God bless Muck Boots!!  And the farmer’s wife who gets to wear them.  And boy, oh boy, I’ve been wearing them.

Unless you have been spending some time outside the country this winter, you’ve probably experienced some of the weather we’ve had.  That includes snow.  Lots and lots of snow!

So on the few snow days I’ve had (I swear my school district is like the Postal Service), I’ve thrown on my precious MUCK BOOTS and have helped out Adam.  In fact, I’ve helped out Adam so much lately that I have become his official assistant in farm operations (this official title that I have given myself is in lieu of pay, of course).

I’ve helped him move cattle, check cattle, water cattle, feed cattle, rescue cattle, resuscitate cattle, chase cattle, and escort him to Arby’s after buying electrolytes for cattle.  The MUCK BOOTS have come in very handy, and have kept my sensitive toes warm and dry.

Getting warm inside because my mama decided to have me during Snowmageddon...

Braving the elements and 17 inches of snow where the chicken shed once stood.

Adam blazing a trail down the road with his tractor so I don't get stuck.

Happy cows like being fed corn, especially when there's tons of snow on the ground.

I had to try out the homemade snow ice cream everyone was talking about on Facebook.

Just a pretty picture...

 

 

Hopefully everything will start thawing out, the rest of the calves that are yet to be born will have nice warm weather, the wheat will have great conditions to get nice and green, and Swirls won’t get eaten by coyotes when he decides it’s time to go back outside for good.

 

Seriously, you want ME to go outside?? Hey, what does a cat gotta do around here to get some nice boots like yours?

Awww nuts, did I offend someone??

 

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