It’s gonna rain t’mar

Large tractor pulling a scratcher through a dry field

Agri-activity on a recent Sunday was fast and furious in anticipation of a heavy rain the next day here in LA. This tractor is pulling a ‘scratcher’ through this filed. The ‘scratcher’ aerates the soil and turns dead vegetation under. It is a preparatory step, but not the last one before planting. If the field is left untended before the rain, planting will be delayed.

Tractor in dust

Click on the  dusty tractor to see more ‘before-the-rain’ pictures

There’s nothing like a prediction of a heavy rain to stir up agri-activity here in the Delta. If you haven’t planted and the fields are ready, you get in high gear and get seed in the ground.You can see planting pictures on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot-com. We’ll wait here for you.

If your fields are not ready for planting, you get as much preparatory work as possible done before the rain because after the rain, you are effectively shut down until the fields are dry enough to work.

Tractor pulling field cultivator

This tractor is pulling a ‘field cultivator’ which breaks up clods, turns dead vegetation under and aerates the soil. In this field, this rig is part of a field preparation tag-team.

Tractor pulling roller-hipper

The second part of the field preparation tag-team is a ‘roller-hipper’ which makes makes rows and prepares the seed beds in the rows for planting soy beans, corn, or milo.

Details of roller-hipper on a tractor

Here’s the business end of the ‘roller-hipper.’ It is a complex piece of machinery which requires a lot of horsepower from the tractor to operate it’s sophisticated hydraulic system.

Roller hipper making rows

Here’s what the ‘roller-hipper’ does. It leaves behind rows with a seed bed ready for planting.

Tractor behind a small hill

Since our beloved Delta is as flat as a pool-table and/or a pancake, it is unusual to see a tractor that appears to be on the backside of a hill. Actually, the long lens exaggerated a slight rise in the land.

Tractor pulling a roller hipper

The tractor turned around and lo-and-behold it is dragging a roller-hipper with an additional aerating device that looks like an old fashioned lawn mower.

Rows of young corn

Here’s where all this activity is headed – young corn a week or so out of the ground. A glimpse of the right center of the picture reveals an oops. The planter driver got a cell-phone call, slapped a skeeter, was trying to tear the wrapper off a Snickers or something else that caused temporary ‘distracted planting.’

The big rain came the next day right on schedule. The forecasters got it right. The next day it was warm and sunny. Just exactly what freshly planted corn needs. Most of this corn will go to animal feed. Critters gotta eat.

Thanks for looking,
Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind








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