Archive for February, 2012

Planting Teff

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

After a hiatus to catch up on mill orders and a backpack trip, I went to the farm today.  The teff crop is uneven due mostly to a less-than-perfect seedbed.  I worked it hard before planting but that particular patch of ground is really prone to being cloddy if at all wet, and moisture was variable.  It was already late June when I planted, too.  In any case, what came up looks pretty good.  I just hope I’ll have enough to meet demand.

I spent three hours discing (using and implement with steel discs that chop and turn the soil) lightly to kill weeds on the ground where I will plant grain and cover crops this fall.  At this point I must use mechanical weed control because the weed pressure is so great.  No matter what the weather, weeds always grow faster than the crop.  In a year or two I hope to use the cover crops to suppress the weeds and reduce the tractor work and diesel consumption.

In early September I hope to spread the 50 tons of compost, 20 tons of lime, and 10 tons of gypsum before the grain planting later in the fall.  My soils are low in calcium and wild radish and morning glory love that condition.

In the meantime I’m hauling the grain from June harvest back home to clean and store.

Harvest 2011 Notes

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

I finally finished my grain harvest this past week, almost exactly a month later than last year.  The cool, rainy weather all spring slowed down maturing of the grain heads and then the surprise half inch of rain at the end of June were the cause.  Fortunately I was able to harvest the vulnerable oats and Sonora wheat the day before the storm.  They have very long straw and could have lodged (fallen over) if there was wind with the rain.  A few days of sun and I got the red wheat last.  Yield is poor as I expected because of poor planting conditions in the fall but better than I expected.  The oats are in high demand for breakfast cereal so I really wanted to get them.  I plan to be ready to plant way, way ahead of time this fall.