Monday, March 3, 2014
Another snow came yesterday. It began early Sunday morning with some sleet/freezing rain, and ended late in the night with snow. Not a deep snow, but the schools around SW Indiana are closed today! Our church services for yesterday were cancelled, for both morning and evening–as were many churches around the area. That’s a rare event!
Today, as I opened the garage door, I found this snowy driveway. I’ve seen worse, but it is a little bit slippery out there.
We assure ourselves that this is okay, because it’s basketball tournament time in Indiana. There have been rare occasions that we go to the tourney in t-shirts on 70-degree evenings, but this is tourney-time as we most often remember it. I recall a time in the late 50s or early 60s when the snow was so deep, we could not get a vehicle out our long driveway. We walked the 1/2 mile to our neighbor’s house and rode to Vincennes with them. Would we miss the game? No way! I recall the walk home late that night was kinda unpleasant.
The boy’s basketball tournament in Indiana runs for 4 weeks, and begins with what is called a “sectional”, and each one has 5-8 teams. Our 2A sectional has 6 teams with games this Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. The following Saturday is the “regional”, a 4-team, 1-day event. The regional winners meet the next Saturday in a 1-game “semi-state”. And the two semi-state winners meet at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis the next Saturday for the State Finals. There are four classes of HS basketball in Indiana, therefore, we have four State Champions. This is a highlight of the year for Hoosiers!
Back here on the farm, we have a project going in the shop. Preparations for spring continue with the ammonia applicator bar, a John Deere 2510H, 23-rows. We apply our nitrogen pre-plant, meaning this is one of the first operations of springtime. It can also be used to side-dress after the corn is up and growing… if the weather conditions dictate that we plant first. We have another 15-row bar that we use alongside this one. It is a more traditional DMI brand bar with a no-till coulter blade followed by a injection knife.
This is our main machine for applying our nitrogen for our corn crop. John has been making modifications to the NH3 plumbing, to simplify the cleaning of internal screens. The Capstan N-Ject system that controls and meters the flow on NH3 into the soil has been removed for some upgrades over the winter and John is re-installing that system. And we have determined that the ‘scraper’ on each row unit has worn enough after two seasons’ work to merit a replacement. Each row unit has a large single-disk furrow opener, and the scraper forms the opposing side of the furrow. There is a tube tucked inside the scraper that delivers the NH3 to the bottom of the furrow. Behind that, is a pair of covering and closing disks that seal the NH3 into the soil. This is a higher-speed, low-soil-disturbance machine that is ideally suited for our no-till farming system.
So, this prep work will take longer than we anticipated. But with snow outside, it’s a good time to get ready.
Snow in March is not unusual, but let’s hope that the old saying “in like a lion, out like a lamb” holds true in 2014.