Finally finished combining in late October! Quality of the Yellow Peas and Red Spring Wheat are very good considering the summer, but the yield was low. The summer weather was a challenge:
1. The spring was very dry with only 0.3 inches of rain in May and 0.75 inches of rain late in June. Germination was not even and some plants got a late start.
2. Finally, during the latter half of July, there was a reprieve with 2.5 inches of rain. :)
3. Late in August (harvest time for peas), the rains came. :(
4. From late August on, harvest was a challenge with less than ideal weather conditions and numerous equipment break downs.
The summer DID, however, bring some blessings:
2. Over the years, the weeds here have changed to “softer” varieties like lambs quarter and grasses, but these are still weeds that compromise the yield. On the bright side, the weed changes means the soil nutrient program is working.
3. The guardians are still here!
For 2020, it is back to the drawing board with more research to increase yields while maintaining quality! Never Give Up!!
This spring we planted:
Yellow Peas - 100 acres
Red Spring Wheat - 70 Acres
Soil moisture was good during seeding, so we expect good germination.
Spray Application of the following mix:
Apple cider Vinegar (to balance pH of the spray water)
GSR Calcium* 4.5 grams per acre
Organic Cane Sugar* 1.8 kilograms per acre (4 pounds per acre)
Organic Blackstrap Molasses* 8.3 litres per acre (2.2 gallons per acre)
Pacific Natural Fish Fertilizer 2-3-0* 16.63 litres per acre (4.4 gallons per acre)
Softrock Phosphate* 2.4 kilograms per acre (5.3 pounds per acre)
Water - enough to spray 66.6 litres per acre (17.6 gallons per acre)
*products sourced from Back-To-Your-Roots Soil Solution Inc, Shellbrook, Saskatchewan
First field done, 4 fields to go. Grain tested 15.3% moisture today, which is a bit damp, but aeration fans on the storage bins will fix that.
In some areas the wheat looks fabulous, in other areas, it is a bit weedy. This year the BIGGEST weed problems have been Canada Thistle, wild oats and some volunteer alfalfa. Most other little weeds were, for the most part, eliminated by the harrowing in July. The Plan to eradicate these pests is to work the ground after harvest is complete and spray apply GSR Dormant Calcium and softrock phosphate (both available from Back To Your Roots Soil Solutions Inc).
The PLAN to combat Canada Thistles is to cut and bale them as hay for the grass fed beef. Once baled, the land will be worked (two-way disc) and calcium* will be sprayed on the land. Calcium softens the soil and changes the chemistry with the idea to make an environment where thistles simply do not want to grow. Mechanical methods might rid the area of thistles for a short period of time, but it doesn't change anything in the soil.
Stay tuned to see how this works!
* GSR Dormant Calcium supplied by Back To Your Roots Soil Solutions Inc, Shellbrook, Saskatchewan
Rusk Ranch is located near the middle of Canada in the Swan River Valley agricultural belt. The acreage is surrounded by conventional chemical farms. It is hoped that this adventure will de-risk other farms towards environmentally sound farming practices that produce healthy nutrient dense corps!