|Fill her up thanks.|
But not all are solely focused on tractors, trucks, seed and fertiliser at this time of year. Spare a thought for the stock farmer, who after being burned with last years hay prices, has decided to scratch a bit of feed in for his precious animals. After all, how hard can it be? Sit in the tractor all day listening to the radio. Money for jam, right?
As a stockie, no doubt your seed and super bin has been used over the summer and autumn as a feed wagon. Now while the cheap seconds from the seed cleaners make for good sheep tucker, they make lousy seed stock. So best clean out the bin. Ours had been sitting in the shed for a few weeks untouched, and as I opened the door a nice mound of freshly chewed seat cushion fell to the ground. Rat 1, truck 0. The bastards. A turn of the key and the old girl whirred over and fired up. And made a horrible wet chunkita chunkita sound as the rat camped on the manifold went through the radiator fan. Truck fan 1, Rat 1. Game, truck.
Now, the elevators on the old bin were very religious. As in holy. Which didn't matter filling sheep feeders, as the clean up crew is the keenest you'll ever see. But having your $600 per tonne oat seed and the I-don't-even-want-to-think-how-much-per-tonne fertiliser spill out on the ground is not clever, so a bit of patch work was required. A few strips of tin, half a tube of Sealastic (of which only 1/8th went where it supposed to), 5 drill bits and a few pop rivets and the elevators were good as new. Bloody pop rivets, I now know why welding was invented. While the going was good I thought I should change the oil too. Now, I won't go into details, but it involved ants, skinned knuckles and spilt mess. But if Main Roads WA should ever need some more bitumen they should contact me. Just add blue metal and she's good to go. Should probably drop the sump oil more often, she was a bit tar-like.
The beauty of the combine is they are simple. Four grease nipples, stick in the fertiliser stars and covers I'd removed at last years cleanout and she's good to go. Except the points. Bloody points. Points are the sharp earth diggy bits, fairly crucial bits of gear, but if they wear down too much the tyne that carries them also wears, then I have to raid a vintage farm machinery museum for replacements. Sick of fighting with rusted on bolts, last year I converted them to Knock-on points, or as I call them, Rattle-offs. An adapter is bolted to the tine and then the new point slides over that, held on by friction and the pressure of the dirt. Or at least that's the plan. What actually happens is while changing over the points, the vibration of hammering the last ten or so one rattles the first sixty back off. As does driving down the road. But it still beats fighting with seized bolts.
|Spiral worm larvae|
|No, you don't want whats in here.|
|Stripe worm. Not mine.|
|Keep your eye on the dot.|
Once the paddocks were sprayed out it was a simple matter of more driving in ever decreasing circles with the seeder and jobs done. And as an added bonus they all came up, which obviously means I put the seed in right way up. The trick now is to keep the sheep off them.
|Thou shall not covet thy neighbours airseeder.|
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