Video on the Southern Willamette Valley Bean & Grain Project

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Reworking, Cultivating, Replanting...

We had a bit of a setback. All of the hard red wheat we no-till planted is not doing well at all. Michael reckons that the seed was planted too deep, its been too cold, and the rows were full of water. What this means is that we have to replant about 40-50 acres of hard red wheat. In addition to the extra wheat seed required that is a LOT of time. I have been working up the main field in question for the last 3 days. I started by discing up the field. Discing is basically chopping the ground up with bowl-shaped discs turned on their side. We did that twice, let it dry, then cultivated it twice. Cultivation means dragging an implement with C-shaped tines on it that cut the soil deeper than the disc. At about 4-5 miles per hour it takes around 3 hours to go over the field once. After that we let it dry again then go over the field with the roterra. The roterra is a nifty machine that chops the dirt up with vertical rotating forks and a cylinder with slanted horizontal bars that flatten the soil out. Wheat doesn't need extremely fine and flat soil like grass seed does so we don't work the ground as much for it, but its still a lot of time. After looking at the one field that we did work up and plant weeks back during the warm spell it was clear that the hard red would do better in cultivated soil. The one field we worked up before planting is doing very well.

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