Oats and Hay Seeding

This is our oat drill with roller behind. It has two compartments for seeds, shown below.  The smaller one holds alfalfa and timothy.  The larger one holds oats and perennial ryegrass.

The oats and perennial ryegrass is dropped into the small furrow made by the disc blade.  The alfalfa and timothy is dribbled onto the ground behind the planter via tubes, not shown.

The roller breaks up more soil clods, and ensures a firm seed bed and good soil to seed contact.

Below is the planted seedbed.  This is also the picture I’m using for the May 7th square-foot saturday.

I planted this field, M6, on May 3rd.  That’s the latest I’ve ever planted oats, and exactly one month later than I finished planting oats last year.  I planned on showing a square-foot in this field, so I’m sticking with the plan, even though I’m not happy with the planting date.  Oats grow well in cool weather.

It was a late spring, but the truth is we missed a small planting window in April because we were in the middle of building a new barb-wire fence and didn’t want to stop.  We thought we would be able to plant a few days later, but a couple weeks of wet weather ruined that plan.

Farming is about windows.  You want to do the right job at the right time.  Work the soil and plant too wet, and you face compaction and yield reduction.  Plant late, and you miss valuable heat units and yield is reduced.

Check back every weekend and we’ll see how this field progresses.

3 Responses to Oats and Hay Seeding

  1. chris says:

    Lesson: that the farmer has a great deal of control, in the design and availability of the equipment that allows you to work large tracts of land; contradicted by having so little control over factors such as temperature and precipitation. It must be humbling.

  2. chris says:

    My question is frivolous given the fact of the farmer being subject to time constraints (windows of time).
    On Wisconsin public radio, over the noon-hour, they are just finishing reading Driftless by David Rhodes. It is actually being read for the 2nd time, which has never been done before, I don’t believe. Are you able to listen? Or have you ever read this book about the driftless area?

  3. curiousfarmer says:

    Hi Chris. I have caught a few of the readings while on the tractor. I googled it and decided to read it. Thanks, Chris.

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