Sunflowers in the ditches–a sure sign of fall
Another sign of fall–getting ready to plant triticale [trit-uh-kaylee]. (Or you can just say it like it looks [trit-uh-kale], which is what most Okie farmers do.) Our seed comes in those giant bags (above), and each weighs approximately 2000 lbs. Triticale is a hybrid cross of wheat and rye. It grows quickly and produces lots of forage for grazing and hay production. We usually plant it in late August, but the soil conditions were too hot and dry this year.
Moving the grain planter–or grain drill, as we call it–to another field. We use what is known as the no-till method of farming, which means we don’t plow. We use herbicide to kill the vegetation on the fields and the no-till drill is designed to cut through the dead vegetation and plant the seeds. No-till farming is considered environmentally friendly for many reasons–which I will explain in the comments if anyone is dying to know–but the main reason Gramps and I no-till is because it is more profitable to our situation.
After the triticale, comes winter wheat planting. Like triticale, we also use wheat for winter cattle grazing. An auger takes the wheat seed from the grain bin up to the truck. The seed stream has a pinkish tint from the chemical we use to treat the seed. The treatment is very expensive, but keeps bugs and grubs from eating the seed–and later the young roots–in the ground. (If any of the guys want to know, that’s a 1963 model GMC truck. We also have a 1964 model, but the one above is the cream-puff of our elderly fleet.)
The sun setting behind Oklahoma grain elevators
And finally, one of the best things about fall in southwest Oklahoma–the amazing sunsets.
Until next time, God bless all y’all and enjoy The Purple Hulls tearin’ up Higher Ground.
*These artists don’t necessarily endorse my blog, I just like ‘em.