Saturday, June 15, 2013

Spring Updates from Farmer Guy Therrien + Tiling

Hello Everyone!

You know we just love getting updates from our farmer friends about what's happening on their farms right now.  Here's the lastest news from Farmer Guy Therrien, who was just profiled last week.


The spring planting has been done, and we are spraying the spring wheat for weeds.  We have adequate moisture right now, but will need some timely rains.

The hot spell we just had for a week did not help.  The market is, as always, tough.  I am not very confident right now, but the way things work these days, that can change quickly.  More wheat world-wide, less U.S. wheat, speculators listening to every rumor; I can only guess where the market will go!

The only projects other than the usual spring crop work is to unplug two more tiles.

Take care - Guy"

You can see the emerging themes from the farmer updates we've had so far - water shortages, wacky weather, and violatile markets.  It's tough being a farmer with so many very important factors out of your control.

I bet you all are wondering what tiling is, right?
A drain outlet in a field
Tiles are actually drains that are put into fields to
help remove water from the subsoil.  Certain parts of a field might be wetter than others, and hold too much water.  If there is too much water in the subsoil, the plant's roots can't develop well, and won't produce a good crop.  For example, in an area where there's a swale, water would naturally drain into that swale and cause a bog.  The farmer can't get into that area with his tractor, which makes the area unfarmable and less productive.  A tiling machine is similar to a trencher; it digs a trench, then lays in 4-6" pvc pipe with perforations on the top.  The excess water in the wet spot naturally drains to this perforated pipe, and allows it to be drained off, into a waterway.  Usually the boggy or wet area dries enough so that it is easier for the farmer to farm and produces healthier plants.

Here's a good article from wikipedia on tile drainage:

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