Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Three P's

First we plowed...

Then Wallace land planed...

Last but not least, is getting the seed in the ground.  I first planted sesame seed.

Half of the plot will be sesame seed and half will be miniature sunflower seed (black oil).  I am to plant in strips of 1/4 and they are leaving it to me to judge that!!!  Okey, dokie...

There are three food plots for the Attwater Prairie Chickens here at the Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge near Eagle Lake, Texas.  One 40 acre plot, one 60 acre plot and one 80 acre plot.

We really enjoyed the plowing, the first step getting these food plots ready for planting.  Wallace has done a good job with the land plane making it nice and fairly level.  The planting seemed to me to be a little more involved.

Ferris, our supervisor, made some adjustments on the Truax planter.

Darrell and Danny made a few more.  Darrell and Wallace set up a platform to make it easier for me to fill seed in the container.  Now I'm ready!!!

Now I will try to explain how the planter works, I hope I don't confuse you.  In this picture I'm standing on the wooden platform the guys put on the planter.  I'm filling the container with sesame seed.  There are discs in the front that break up the crust, in the middle is a blade that cuts a trench where the seed falls in and the wheels on the back cover the seed.  In other pictures you can see more of the planter to get the idea...I hope!!!

Those tubes are where the seeds fall down from the container.

When I get to the field to plant, the first thing I have to do is hammer this pin in and lock it in place on the front tire of the planter which allows the seed to fall, then lower the planter which raises the back tires (the back tires are just for getting down the road).

While planting, I have to keep an eye on this...

paddle that rotates letting me know seed are coming out.

I have to stop occasionally to level the seed, keeping each opening from going empty and add seed as needed.

Next week I will be planting the sunflower seed in the vacant strips.  The planter will need to be calibrated for a larger seed and the discs need to be moved down to make a deeper trench for the larger seed.  We helped Ferris with the calibration this afternoon.

John Magera, deputy manager, said he wanted to come out and check on "his farmers."

Day three, I get a lot of help.  John and Ferris are lifting the seed sack and filling the container for me.

All this for...

this special bird...The Attwater Prairie Chicken!!!

Until next time...


  1. Did you have previous experience running those tractors?

    I sure would like to see one of those prairie chickens!

  2. What an interesting assignment you have! We planted oats in Oregon one summer--feed to attract deer and keep them out of the farmer's fields. A group of us walked through the field and spread the seed by hand. Yours is much more high tech.