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Icon_missing_medium aliceshine 1 Post
12 hours ago

General No-Till / Howdy, and welcome to the neighborhood

Howdy, and welcome to the neighborhood; Time to get down to the not-so-serious business of getting to know each other

This will be my last column.

Sorry, but it's true. Before you flood the office with letters of regret or celebration, however, I should point out that this is also my first column. It's the last in one sense only: Never again will I write every word. After this, I have co-authors, collaborators, faithful contributors. In other words, you've been drafted.

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Welcome to the Back fence - an ongoing conversation about life in this everyday Valhalla.

It'll work like this: I'll jump-start each chat with something that happened in my relentlessly average life. Then you take over. We'll print your tales from the kitchen and the office. Lines you overheard in snooty latte shops. Alarming reports of disturbing new trends, such as nail polish for men. No doubt we'll play the favorite hits: traffic complaints, weary bleats about the weather, acts both boorish and kind. Whether people who bring 15 items to the 10-items-or-less line should be caned in public stocks or just shunned, Amish-style.



It's a rambling conversation with no rules, except one: no Esperanto. It makes the spell-checker start smoking.

It's not just stories we seek to swap, but good questions. Small, nagging questions - we know about Father Hennepin, but who was Lyndale to get a street named after him? What's the story behind Pilot Knob Road, for heaven's sake? Does either Maple Grove or Maple Plain actually contain a substantial amount of maples? How many Adams and Eves live in Eden Prairie, and are they able to bite into apples without a slight hesitation?

Nostalgia is encouraged here, particularly if there's a little mystery attached to it. For example: There's a huge faded sign for a drive-in burger joint becalmed in the back lot of Lyndale Garden Center, at 64th and Lyndale in Richfield. One of you knows where it comes from. One of you had your first kiss at that drive-in; one of you remembers spilling pop down the best car speakers brands of your father's new car while goggling up at the neon hamburger.

The Back fence wanders through many yards - one of them has to belong to a former carhop, a short-order chef for whom the sign meant another night of hot, greasy work. Or perhaps you just want to bemoan the lack of good drive-ins.

In short: it doesn't matter what makes you pick up the pen. Send it in. Create your own topics based on your various gripes and joys - the more voices we have per installment, the better. Because only you can keep me from writing about my dog twice a week.

Did that make you think of something to share? I thought it might.

Here's what we mean

What sort of thing doesn't belong here? Joyless, bitter kvetching. Chain letters hinting that my dog will develop male-pattern baldness if I break the chain. Cranky accusations that this paper is staffed entirely by castoffs from Pravda. (That's not the case. We're from Izvestia.) What fits? We'll find out as we go along. But here's an example: a letter to the paper that came flying over the transom from Blaine's own Ruth Westland. She writes:

1/3

Last week I was waiting for some friends at the Olive Garden Restaurant. A gentleman came in wearing oxygen tubing and pushing a small portable oxygen tank. A perky young hostess greeted him with "Good afternoon. Smoking or non?"

There's just so much material in those few words. For instance, you have to wince - at both the hostess' lack of observational skills and the safety hazard posed by putting a tank of pure oxygen near people who are lighting matches and flicking lit cigarettes. I called a respiratory technician with HealthEast, and he said he advises patients using such tanks to avoid flames or sparks - not because the tanks are itching for an excuse to explode, but just out of common sense.

But if you dragged the tank's tube over a flame, such as the little candles that restaurants employ for tableside atmosphere, then conspicuous public combustion is theoretically possible. You'd have a mushroom-shaped cloud - a portobello mushroom shape, perhaps - and a thick miasma of atomized linguine and marinara sauce rolling over the land. The paper would have a photo of someone pointing gravely at a piece of corkscrew pasta half-buried in a telephone pole.



So the hostess was wrong. Stone her! Right? No. Anyone who's ever been in the service industry knows that on some days, people cease to be people, and start to resemble oversized, demanding hand puppets. It takes all you can give just to smile. That's when you trot out The Script.

Everyone has their version of The Script. It's a one-size-fits-all speech that gets you through a tedious job, parries the blows of the boors. Once learned, The Script is never forgotten. I spent exactly one day as a salesman for Time-Life books in 1977, and 20 years later the opening line of The Script is still burned into my synapses. I fear when I die I will attempt to sell St. Peter a series of home-improvement books. I can't remember my dad's birthday, but I know that Script.

So what may seem to be an act of utter insensitivity may actually be someone using a crutch that keeps them tottering through a tough job. And sometimes, well, it's just stupidity. If that hostess had looked at the man with the oxygen tank and said "Do you, like, snorkel 'n' stuff? Cool! Me, too!" then it's a different story.

That's how the Back fence works - someone tosses us a tale, we chew it over, and then throw it open to discussion. Do you have a workplace Script, a nightmare encounter with the service industry, or an example of a customer idiocy? Send it in, and don't worry about being concise - we'll hack it down to its pith.

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Next installment (on Wednesday): The Tornado Siren That Cried Wolf. When I was a kid, the siren struck terror. Three seconds into its solemn howl, we were headed for the basement. Now we shrug. Are they overusing the sirens? If the sirens don't command respect anymore, what should we use to get people's attention? One of Prince's lusty squeals? A windup alarm clock bell at 200 decibels? The sound that Barbara Carlson would have made if her tattooist had hiccuped while inking her fundament? Your suggestions, please. See you next time.

 
Icon_missing_medium lindatovar 1 Post
10/17/2018

Cover Crops / Maize and Cover crops

Corn is a good non-transplant, so if you grow in short season areas and want to start corn indoors, use biodegradable containers to avoid rooting at transplant. It is better to wait until all the dangers of frost are past and warm soil up to 60 degrees required for germination. If the weather is cool, spread asphalt over the planting area to warm the soil faster.  see some more useful articles at  twitch tik tok video  

 
Icon_missing_medium maryrosie 2 Posts
10/17/2018

Soil, Seeding and Planting / No-till seeding without removing grass?

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Icon_missing_medium maryrosie 2 Posts
10/16/2018

Soil, Seeding and Planting / Is extortion, drug planting, and corruption really that bad?

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Icon_missing_medium coca1994 1 Post
10/16/2018

General No-Till / No-till soil help needed

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Icon_missing_medium ducklife 3 Posts
10/11/2018

Nutrient and Residue Management / Pitched whole vial of Wyeast Nutrient. Problem?

The information you share is very timely and useful. Thank you for sharing.

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Icon_missing_medium ducklife 3 Posts
10/11/2018

Equipment / New Greasless Pin/sleeve/bushings for drills

This information about vacuum cleaners is very good. I really want to get one soon, to see how cool it is.

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Icon_missing_medium ducklife 3 Posts
10/11/2018

Equipment / New Greasless Pin/sleeve/bushings for drills

The information on this kit is great. I appreciate this great kit.

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Icon_missing_medium aisha 1 Post
10/03/2018

Cover Crops / Types of cover crops

Many types of plants can be used as cover crops.

Legumes and grasses (including cereals) are the most extensively used.

There is increasing interest in brassicas (such as rape, mustard, and forage radish) and continued interest in others, such as buckwheat.

What do you think?

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Notill%20icon KansasAirSee... 1 Post
08/25/2018

Equipment / New Greasless Pin/sleeve/bushings for drills

As a mechanic I'm still running into farmers who have not yet heard of the greasless pin/sleeve bushing kits for JD airseeders and drills. I have been putting these in for a year and a half now without any issues or complaints. In fact, once the farmer hears he never has to crawl in, around, under, and over his drill, (of course you must still grease the axle of the depth adjuster) they are very much sold on the product. They seem to be working well and I have yet had a farmer call that these have failed or would rather go back to JD OEM kits.

Aricks, the company from Australia, is a supplier of such kits for the closing and press wheel joints, as well as main row unit pins. Needham also makes kits I have put in many times as well. John Deere will be coming out with their own greasless kits very soon as I'd think they have finally realized the popularity and the durability of this innovation.

But, I would like to hear from farmers out there who have these kits in and how they are doing so far. I've ran into some farmers who are JD through and through and want to stick with JD parts, but in the end every one has opted for the greasless. As I stated, I started putting these kits in a year and a half ago but there has to be some drills out there who had them longer than that.  So what is your experience with them in your drills? Has anyone had a few joints replaced with the greasless but still had some steel JD kits installed to see the wear difference?

I myself am looking for a farmer who wants to put this to the test for the knowledge of us all. I'd like to put in JD kits, Needham kits, and Aricks kits on the same drill and keep a log after every season.

 
Icon_missing_medium ricardobrooks 2 Posts
08/07/2018

Crop Protection / Modern crop protection chemicals

Hello,

 

Crop protection chemistry has come a long way since then. Modern products are designed to be highly selective in their action to minimise the impact on non-target organisms. Selective activity enables, for example, the control of fungi growing on plants without damaging the plants themselves; or the control of a range of weed species without damaging the crop plants among which the weeds are growing. An essential aspect of the selectivity of a crop protection chemical is that it does not affect the consumer or the environment. Each of these effects may stem from specificity at the enzyme or receptor level, or from selective metabolism. 

 

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Icon_missing_medium ricardobrooks 2 Posts
08/07/2018

Crop Protection / The benefits of crop protection chemicals

Hello,

 

Crop protection chemicals provide farmers with a cost-effective way of improving the yield and the quality of their crops. They also make harvesting more straightforward and maintain consistent yields from year to year. The main classes of crop protection chemicals are herbicides, insecticides and fungicides. Selective herbicides, for example, control the growth of weeds which would otherwise grow among a crop, competing with it for water, nutrients and sunlight. Without crop protection chemicals agriculture would be less efficient. 

Research done over the past 20 years, mainly by Dr Erich-Christian Oerke and his colleagues at the University of Bonn in Germany, has shown that overall crop yields would be around half their current levels without the use of crop protection products. In certain crops, for example cotton, which can be spoilt by a host of different insects and competing weeds, the losses can be as high as 80 per cent.

 

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Icon_missing_medium depprussell 4 Posts
07/26/2018

Equipment / Need Help: How to Properly Use Planters

Hello,

 

This question is probably best answered by the real life farmers out there: what is the best way to use a planter if you don't have room to turn outside the field? I've tried turning within the field using a back and forth pattern, but when I do that, I end up missing spots on the edge of the field. The larger the planter, the larger the missed spots. This is with square or rectangular fields. With irregularly-shaped fields, the situation gets even more complicated without room to turn outside the field.

Any help will be apprecited.

 

I didn't find the right solution from the Internet.

 

References:

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Icon_missing_medium depprussell 4 Posts
07/26/2018

Equipment / Problems with potato planter on oakfield farm

Hello,

 

I'm not sure what the hell is going on here but I went to plant potatos in F13 and nothing happened at first, then for a test I did a few rows and it started planting small bits with big gaps. I wondered if the tractor I was using was the problem so I swapped it for one that I knew worked from CPF. This didn't change anything. I then went over to F34 to see if it was just F13 that there's a problem with. Whilst it planted a lot more than in F13, it stilled missed parts regularly. It's doing, at best, no more than a tractor length without missing a section. I tried backing up and turning around to go over it again and it closed some gaps up but not all. It just doesn't want to play ball. Also, the seed beds don't follow the direction of the planter??

 

Any help will be apprecited.

 

I didn't find the right solution from the Internet.

 

References:

https://forum.giants-software.com/viewtopic.php?t=123720

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Icon_missing_medium russellrexro... 1 Post
07/20/2018

Crop Protection / If Glyphosate Were Not an Option

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Icon_missing_medium spadekevin 12 Posts
07/18/2018

Cover Crops / why the round fields - are the farmers lazy?

Hello,

I've been rather puzzled the last few times I've flown over the US. When you look out of the window, as one is want to do, you notice that unlike in the UK, the farmers fields aren't square, but round. The boundaries appear to be square, but only a circle with a radius of half the length of the field seems to have stuff growing in it.

So why the round fields - are the farmers lazy? Is it because there's some machine that irrigates the field and it pivots from the centre? Are they secretly signaling aliens in order to coordinate the cattle mutilations?

Please help

I didn't find the right solution from the internet.

 

References:

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Icon_missing_medium spadekevin 12 Posts
07/18/2018

Cover Crops / a cover crop is necessary?

Hello,

I am always planning ahead... sometimes too far ahead. Anyway, right now I am already thinking about the dreaded heat that will come in a few months here in Phoenix. I have a 1-2 month window where most of my small raised beds will not have anything growing in them. 

My question is this: will it be worth the trouble and the water to try and grow a quick cover crop before my fall planting? My garden gets lots of yummy compost on a regular basis, so I am not sure if a cover crop is necessary?

Please help.

I didn't find the right solution from the internet.

 

References:

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Icon_missing_medium spadekevin 12 Posts
07/18/2018

Crop Protection / Should I cover everything with shade cloth?

Hello,

My query is regarding summer heat. I live in Perth, Western Australia and next week is supposed to be a real scorcher ... 34 on Monday, 36 on Tuesday and 39 on Wednesday to Friday inclusive!

What extra protection will my two grow-bed system require (as it is in full sun)? Should I cover everything with shade cloth? If so, the 50%, 70% or 90% variety? And if the 50%, where can I buy it?

Please help

I didn't find the right solution from the internet.

 

References:

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Icon_missing_medium spadekevin 12 Posts
07/18/2018

Crop Protection / poor cereals are within days of harvesting

Hello,

In spite of the yucky weather, my poor cereals are within days of harvesting, but they have been hit by fungus 3 times in 3 days. And as if that weren't enough, today's fungus was accompanied by a plague of aphids. That means I had to decide whether to attack the fungus or the pests, since I can't do both in one day. So far I've managed to baby my cereals along and keep them at 7*, but after this, I'm dreading what I'll find tomorrow.

My suggestion is that we have 2 separate buttons, one for fungicide and one for pesticide. Or at least that the button we have allows us to use it more than once on a single day.

Please help.

I didn't find the right solution from the internet.

 

References:

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Icon_missing_medium jamie225 2 Posts
07/18/2018

Crop Protection / [WorldGuard] Crop Protection

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Icon_missing_medium jamie225 2 Posts
07/18/2018

Equipment / Origin of the term "Plant" as in "Plant and Equipment"

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Icon_missing_medium LisaInce 1 Post
07/13/2018

Equipment / Hired worker issue

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Icon_missing_medium spadekevin 12 Posts
07/11/2018

Crop Protection / Should I cover everything with shade cloth?

Hello,

Firstly, thanks to all for the advice to add 3 kg salt to my system to cure the sporatic fish deaths I was encountering. That has solved the problem.

My next query is regarding summer heat. I live in Perth, Western Australia and next week is supposed to be a real scorcher ... 34 on Monday, 36 on Tuesday and 39 on Wednesday to Friday inclusive!

What extra protection will my two grow-bed system require (as it is in full sun)? Should I cover everything with shade cloth? If so, the 50%, 70% or 90% variety? And if the 50%, where can I buy it?

Many thanks and best wishes for the holidays.

Please help.

I didn't find the right solution from the internet.

References:

http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4679

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Icon_missing_medium spadekevin 12 Posts
07/11/2018

Crop Protection / Is this normal?

Hello,

I planted some gourd vines this year and have 7 or 8 gourds growing. When they are pollinated it takes about a week for them to get to almost baseball size, and another week or two for them to get a little bigger than softball size. They are still green (some white) but don't appear to be growing any bigger. Is this normal? I live in Mississippi so the growing season is pretty long.

Please help.

I didn't find the right solution from the internet.

References:

https://www.purplemartin.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=17220

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Icon_missing_medium FredMansone 1 Post
07/11/2018

Equipment / Tools Advice - Pillar Drill

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