STEP 2 - PLANTING

 

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Some of my experiences living in the country.

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Hay Farming
Hay farming process.

Step 1- Tilling
Working the soil.

Step 2 - Planting
Planting the seed.

Step 3 - Irrigation
Watering the crop.

Step 4 - Weed Control
Dealing with weeds.

Step 5 - Fertilizing
Fertilizing the soil.

Step 6 - Cutting
Cutting the hay.

Step 7 - Baling
Baling up the hay.

Step 8 - Stacking
Stacking the hay bales.

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Planting Alfalfa Hay

Once the soil has been prepared for planting, then the next step is to place the seed in the soil.  The farmer who planted my field drove his equipment on the road to get to our farm.  Because I did not grow up farming, I found the whole process very interesting so I took a lot of pictures.  The tractor was hitched up to 3 different pieces of equipment.  Behind the tractor, first in line was a small disc that worked the soil further.  Behind the disc, there is a piece of equipment known as a packer.  The packer compacts the soil and is made up of a large number of heavy cast iron wheels that are stacked along an axle.  Finally, the planting drill that contained the alfalfa seed was in the back.

Planting Alfalfa Hay 

Planting Train - Tractor, Disc, Packer, and Drill

In order to be able to pull all this equipment through the soil simultaneously, you need to have a powerful tractor with good traction.  The tractor in the pictures is a Case 7110 which typically have around 130HP.  The power output can vary on this model depending on the engine specifics.  Equipped with 4WD and dual rear wheels, this tractor has the traction needed to put the power to the ground.

John Deere Planting Drill

John Deere Planting Drill Ready to Plant Alfalfa

The John Deere planting drill is ground driven, which means that as it is pulled along, the wheels turn and operate the planting mechanism.  The drill has a seed box along the top which acts as the hopper that feeds the seed through a metering system that can be set to control the amount of seed planted (for example: pounds of seed per acre).  The seed drops down tubes and they are then "drilled" into the soil.  Wheels at the back of the planter help to cover up the seed with soil.  Considering all the time and equipment used to plant the alfalfa, the farmer more than earned his money with a lot of hard work.  He did a great job.  If planting is not done carefully or properly, then you can have a lot of trouble with weak "stand" of alfalfa which is prone to being weedy.  Any bare spots in the field where the crop is not growing will be prone to being filled in with weeds.

 

 

 

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