Saturday, February 5, 2011

Bed Making for Vegetables

February 5, 2010

A threateningly cloudy day.  

9am: Seeing that it's projected to rain tomorrow, the vegetable beds have to be completed today.  This includes beds for tomatoes, bottle gourds and bitter gourds on an area totaling approximately 6-7 acres.  

This morning, on arrival, as the tractor and the attached ridger was brought out, the first complication arose:  the bolts on the ridger wings could not be opened.  Hastily bought a screw wrench, but no luck.  Then took the tractor and ridger to the tractor repair shop which was thankfully open on a Sunday.  Seemed like it was all set to go when on arrival at the farm, the tractor started making gurgling noises and the hyrdraulics lift refused to function.  

Got in the car and drove to the mechanics shop. The mechanic sent an apprentice to check if he could make a quick fix of my tractor but after opening a few bolts, it turned out that he needed to open the entire seat region to repair.  As the tractor is under warranty, that would be a risky move in case the apprentice screws things up.  
While the apprentice was playing with the machine, I called up cousin who offered his dead-beat tractor.  

12 noon:  Just got the dead-beat tractor and installing it with the ridger.  

1pm:  It will take 1 hour per acre to make the beds.  There is another issue of street dogs running around and snuggling on the prepared land.  Once the beds are ready, they will end up upsetting them.  Have asking one of the workers to stand guard with stones and sticks to ward them off.  Unlikely to be a permanent remedy, but it'll have to be done.  

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Corn Silage Yield

Only got the chance to measure 17 acres on yield. 

7 of those acres yield 20,000 plus kg / acre. 

For 10 of the acres, the yield was a paltry 7,500 kg/acre. 

The reason for the poor performance of the latter was the land leveling operation that was conducted which for the first season at least resulted in an extremely poor yield. 

The silage making operation was also a first experience for everyone at the farm but it was pulled off quite well despite the unfamiliarity with many of the steps involved. 

Now preparing to till the land again and cultivate another 17 acres for the silage. 

Friday, April 30, 2010

Water Treatment

High water and soil pH levels in Pakistan have hampered the ability to bring about an efficient improvement in the agri sector. 

The ideal range of pH is around 6.  Most local soils are around the value of 8. 

Yesterday was at a presentation in Punjab Univ. on soil moisture sensors as a way to help in creating efficient watering practices.  Still doesn't help resolve the high pH issue, but can be one important component of the overall system. 

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Dilemma over Maize Harvester

The maize harvesters from the big multinational as well as from the local dude who rents it out is booked for this entire season.  Left with little choice other than to either spend 500,000 rupees on a single row maize harvester (apparently bought from Turkey) or go with local labor who cuts and then chops it up. 

The silage bunker is finally beginning to rise up out of the ground. 

As a backup, the manure bunker is being cleared as a backup in case the silage bunker isn't ready come harvesting time. 

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Costing for Shed and Silage Bunker

To meet the deadline by which the animals are to be bought, costing of shed was calculated.  Despite going for a low-cost shed, it is quite an expense.  A local farmer has advised using asbestos sheets as the new versions are non-cancerous.  Asbestos provides sufficient cooling which is going to be a big plus for the animals in the summer months.  As it is, summer has arrived without waiting for spring's turn. 

The 90 day silage crop is an even more critical deadline as the silage bunkers must be ready for it.  The costing has been complete and it is now time to construct these. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sewerage seeps in

Sewerage water kept seeping into the recently land-leveled field.  Some say the new housing society nearby is preventing the village sewage from entering into its temporary pond. The accumulated sewage is pressing the boundary wall and seeps through the bricks.  Some action needs to be taken to prevent the adjoining land area loss.