Last Round

That’s it we’re done, irrigation is over for another year, so no more walking the rows, no more starting and pulling siphons and no more raking the trash racks, its also my last week for the season before I head off to start uni. But there’ll still be plenty to do in that week between chipping and preparing rigs for ground prep and getting ready to plant winter crops as well as the many other tasks, so we won’t won’t be letting up any time soon.

The last irrigation was finished in record time but it wasn’t with out mishap though, unfortunately we had we blow out on one of the channels two days into the irrigation but it fixed quickly with the loader. We also arrived one morning to find a pump choking on its own air filter, it was blowing smoke so thick that I thought the pump site was on fire when driving up the driveway, but again it was a quick fix with just a simple change of air filter needed.

The cotton is coming along pretty good with all the lower bolls opening up on the plants, the rest should be open very soon with picking predicted to start in about seven weeks. Defoliation will probably start in late February after the top bolls have opened up, defoliation is a process where a chemical is sprayed on the cotton to make the leaves fall off so contamination is reduced during picking. But when picking time comes I’ll explain all of this in more detail.

So that’s what I’ve been up to lately, thanks for reading if you have any questions or want to leave your thoughts please feel free to leave them in the comment section, check out our new page “The Lighter Side” and the new photos on “Farming Photo’s“.

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A Different Diff

After weeks of making terrible noise we’ve finally replaced the diff in the stations body truck, it was a slow and difficult process as we don’t have the correct gear to lift the heavy diff into place, but after a bit of improvising and a bit heavy lifting we had it in place and bolted in.  When the old diff was removed we didn’t find any metal shavings in the oil, just large bits and pieces in stead. Aside from that it was just a quick trip into Yarralin to pick up stores off the truck that’ll further top stations supplies for over the wet season.

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Keeping Up The Water

As the weather delayed the completion of the final turkey nest the cattle were starting to run low on water so I’ve spent the day running water to troughs, 1000 liters at a time. Its a slow process with the tank taking half a hour to fill each time from the bore, the cattle clean up the water quickly so its a constant and never ending process. Fortunately the nest has been finished and there’ll be water in the troughs again by  tomorrow afternoon. Yesterday we picked up our tractor and post ram from our yards on the outside of town only to find that they had been vandalized, wiring was cut, battery was missing, fuel bowl was broken and the fuel was drained, unfortunately these problems can occur when leaving things close to town for an extented period of time.

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Third Round Over And Out

Third round is over with the last of the mustering finishing up today, all we have to do is hope that the rain holds off for tonight so the truck can get through tomorrow. The desilter arrived the other day to clean out two of the turkey’s nests (small dams that supply water to the troughs) only to hampered by rain that stopped him in his tracks leaving a nest drained and unable to be worked on, as well the problem that it had no compacted earth at the bottom making it impossible to desilt. So the construction of a new nest is underway, which will be a good thing in the long run as it will be much bigger and better than old one with a compacted base and walls allowing it to hold more water for longer. The rain is also causing other issues washing out creeks making it difficult for a ute to get through and nearly impossible in the station truck, we lost nine 100kg lick blocks going through one creek today making for a difficult clean up. Hopefully the new turkey nest should be done tomorrow and the truck will finally arrive so we can get the cattle out. 

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Mustering

We’ve spent the last week out at camp mustering, with reinforcements from others stations sent to give us a hand, two paddocks and five days later we’re back at the homestead and not a day too late, with it pouring down rain all over the station on the first night back. Camp was a great time with early breakfasts in time to see the sunrise and make an early start to cattle work while it was still cool instead of the 50 degrees it was in the middle of the day, during these  times of extreme heat and humidity its important to rest the cattle the men during the middle of the day so nothing or any body gets to hot or stressed leaving us with early mornings and late nights. The cattle are mustered with a chopper and a bike to either the cattle yards or a collection point from which they are walked to yards with a team of horsemen and bikes before being sorted and walked back to their paddocks, it can be a long and stressful but the rewards are worth it. 

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Business As Usual

With all the paving done it was business as usual yesterday with a full bore run and other odd jobs. The bore run when smoothly with nothing going wrong making for a nice change, the bores and pumps are all running flat out to keep up water to the cattle as the remaining billabongs have dried up putting more pressure on the troughs and dams. The rain that was predicted for weekend seems to snubbed us as there isn’t a single cloud in the sky.

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Potties and Panels

As the muster continues we’ve gotten our first potty calves for the round, these calves have unfortunately been separated from there mums so we look after them at the station until they are big enough to look after themselves. We have also set up a panel yard as an attachment to the main yard so we can house some extra cattle until we find a paddock for them.

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