Monday, March 08, 2010

Muddy Time :: Again

Spring may not be here until March 20th, but the mud tells me it is coming soon. As for this blog ... I think this quote will become at least a year tradition. "March is a green muddy month down below, some folks like it ... farmers mostly." (of course that is Bear Claw Crislap from "Jeremiah Johnson ... one of my favorites) That quote just always seems fitting for this time of year. Right now, as you can see from the picture, we just have the mud. Hopefully soon we will have the green to go along with it. I do know one thing though ... this farmer will take mud right now. I'm not saying that I like mud, but I will grudgingly admit that it means dry ground may be coming soon.

Mud does present it's fair share of challenges though. Just last night I had the pleasure of loading a pig for the processor (at 9:15 PM). Things went surprisingly well considering how dark it was ... and how muddy it was. I was able to get the trailer hooked up, the pig loaded and the trailer out of the mud in 45 minutes. Of course I'm pretty sure I will have to level out some ruts at sometime this spring and plant some new grass there ... oh for lots and lots of gravel!

Once I made it back in the house I decided that I needed to add another thing to my list of possible projects. That is to make a centralized loading area in the winter lot area (I've decided the pigs and the cattle are going to live in what we'll call a "sacrificial area" next year. In the winter neither of them use up much space, and then everything will be close to the feed, water, and shelter areas. Plus, then I would have the benefit of making one nice graveled loading area so that I can load without getting stuck all year long.

This would mean that I would have to do some advance planning to bring animals up towards the loading area when it is close to loading day, but I think that is a small amount of work compared to tearing up the whole farm or getting vehicles stuck in awkward places. It would also give me an excuse to have them bring out enough gravel to put down in front of the shed ...

One more thing about the farm names again ... Muddy Hole Farm seems to be pretty fitting now ;)


Rich said...

I have been wondering if a simplified tiling system could be installed to control the mud in places like winter lots or barnyards. (I think I might have seen something somewhere about something similar being installed in feedlots, building sites, etc.)

In a simplified drainage tile system, a Ditch Witch (trencher) would be used to dig trenches in the muddy area and perforated drainage pipes (sold at most home centers) would be installed to drain the excess water in the saturated soil to an outlet or drywell. Imagine a reversed septic system, where the water drains back into the septic tank (drywell) from the lateral lines.

After the drainage system was installed, the ground level could then be built up and sloped for drainage to help with the mud even more.

In my area, a trencher can be rented for about $100-$150 per day, and the perforated drainage tile is a few dollars for a 10' piece.

If you are planning on installing waterlines and electrical lines anyway, your only additional cost would be the drainage tile, the gasoline to run the trencher, and the time needed to figure out how to layout your drainage lines.

Farmer Cat said...

I just wrote in my own blog about the mud. At least we got our pigs moved off the bare ground they were on, and got them on to a (at the time anyway) vegetatively covered area. I love my rootertillers. They are plowing up the ground for my garden as I type!

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