Well, its been a busy week in the Bader-Evans household. We headed out on my annual Palliser trip to SW Sask and parked for a few nights in my uncle’s yard north of Kincaid. That’s a pretty good location from which to visit a bunch of the files. I had some long days but I got around to most of the clients and had some good visits. Harvest is in full swing in the southwest so it was easy to find the guys. Some of them were simply too busy to talk to me but some of them had time and I got to spend some combine time.
Marilyn has been waiting for word on a big contract that she applied for and that finally came through this week. She’ll be spending the winter in Regina which is a bad thing but she has a big project with SaskPower so she’s excited about that. Aside from the contract itself the contacts she will make should help her branch out from her current dependence on SIAST.
I flat out refuse to spend a full winter in Regina so we’ll be apart for some of the winter. No doubt Growsafe will ship me off on some projects in warm places and I’ll likely spend some of my time in Regina. But I also intend to spend some extended time on the boat. I like being on the boat better than Marilyn does anyway so it makes sense for me to spend some time on it alone. I’ve got some work that needs to be done so that we are ready to leave for Alaska in the spring so I won’t be short of things to do. And I’m looking forward to some single-handed travelling. The first order of business once I get out to the boat will be to set up a 12 or 13 foot aluminum dinghy on the transom. That way I will have a real fishing boat that I can rig up with a depth finder and maybe actually catch some fish from.
In the meantime I’ve got to leave for Maryland in the morning and Marilyn has a ton of things to do to get ready for the new job. Her first priority is to find a place to stay. In the short term the bus will serve but its going to get cold here pretty soon. We could live in the bus long after any campground around here would let us. Remember last winter we arrived back in Regina between Christmas and New Years and we still had water in all our systems. And more importantly the water was still flowing in all those systems. Unfortunately I expect the campgrounds around Regina will likely turn their water off around the end of September.
Yesterday I rode in another big John Deere cutting canola. It’s still pretty unusual to see anyone straightcut canola but I saw it a couple of times in the last week. I asked the guy yesterday if he had ever stopped in the middle of a cut just to see how much canola gets thrashed out on the table. He hadn’t but I’d imagine it is at least 1/3 and maybe 1/2 thrashed before it ever hits the feederhouse. Just watching it come onto the table you could easily see a preponderance of white pods by the time they got past the reel which means that they were already open at that point. He said he runs the reel as far back as possible to hold the whole mass back against the table and force everything to go up the feederhouse. I didn’t crawl around behind the combine yesterday but I did behind the one earlier in the week and it was surprisingly hard to find canola on the ground. There’s always going to be some loss and the research I have seen suggests that there is a yield benefit to straight cutting canola but with one huge caveat. You get a yield benefit until the year when you get a big wind the day before you get there with the combine. That year you lose everything.
My uncle’s tenant had some swathed canola that they started on yesterday. Late in the day the wind got up and tossed the swaths around. Leon showed up at the house this morning for a visit and he said that after the wind he could see 5 bushels less on the monitor so that’s an indication of how easily ripe canola will shell out. Since they were only getting around 20 bushels before the wind, a 5 bushel loss is pretty significant.