Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Green Acres...of the wrong stuff!

The boys are finally in the field! They are way behind schedule, but as of right now, better late than never is the motto. I called my honey, to see if I could ride along for a bit...

my chariot awaits! (I love the cushy little "buddy seat" in the tractors.) I did, however, forget to bring my winter parka. I forgot how cold farmers like to keep the cabs. I think it helps them to stay awake...or something...

This is the field Ted is planting today. It is not normally this GREEN before he plants. Since we are so far behind this year (due to all of the rain) we have all of these weeds (in this case, "volunteer" wheat) that got much larger than would be normal. The weeds have been sprayed so that we can no-till the land. This saves the soil from erosion.

The concept of planting is simple: get in the tractor and straddle the line. The line was made by a "marker" that is on a hydraulic arm that leaves a cut in the soil.
This is what the field looks like after the planter goes over it. Lots of nice straight rows of planted seed (in this case...corn).

In reality, the inside of a tractor looks somewhat like the cockpit of an airplane. Buttons, dials, levers, toggles, bells, whistles...

I don't know how one keeps track of it all.

I really wasn't kidding about the bells and whistles. The tractor is constantly making noises that sound like an old arcade game. (All the while, Ted has NPR playing in the background.) One of the buzzers didn't shut off so Ted had to hop out and see what was the matter. He said that this particular "noise" was to let him know that his seed had stopped planting.

These yellow boxes are where the seed is kept.

Ted climbs out of the cab to go check things out. Hmmm...maybe one of those hoses popped off, or something. Looks like something out of a Marvel comic book to me!

Oh, well this is much easier to understand. I'm sure I could figure this out in about two seconds. I'm not afraid of a few thousand wires and hoses...
Ted just giggled a box and the seed fell down. Yep, the exact same approach I would have taken. He is back to planting in no time!

This particular field was full of these:
golf balls! Do we have a budding Tiger Woods in the neighborhood?

I've had enough for today. Ten minutes in a tractor was plenty for me. I wave "goodbye" to my chauffeur and give him a thank you peck.

It's been fun ridin' with you farmer Ted!

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