The neighbor farmer had a fire this week. It was the first fire of Harvest 2016 and probably will not be the last. The farmer firefighters arrived quickly to help out.
I was cutting a turf type fescue field when I turned the corner and saw smoke. I immediately called my dad and then my uncle. My dad was not near our truck. However my uncle was near his and when I said “Fire” and where it was he responded with “On our way!”
View from the edge of our Fescue field right after it started
All local farmers have at least one water truck. Our hot dry summers and crisp dry grass straw increase the fire risk. Our water trucks are the best insurance to protect our crops and equipment.
Our Water Truck, I love this truck.
My Uncle’s Water truck
The farmer of the field was already heading down the lane with his water truck. My uncle was the next to arrive. The fire department didn’t arrive until at least 10 minutes after my uncle.
The local fire departments are volunteer. It takes some time for them to get on their way. This is not a criticism, it is just the way it is.
Often times the farmers have the fire under control or out by the time the departments arrive. Farmer firefighters are crucial to our rural farming communities. When possible we help protect our neighbors’ equipment and crops.
View from my windrower
The view from the other side. We were concerned it was near our wheat field.
The last two springs the sunshine has been abundant. We were able to get done with our spring fertilizing by mid March. But this year the sunshine has been hit and miss. Since January we have had 20 inches of rain and nearly 8 inches in March.
Now every time the sun shines for more than a day we sprint to get everything done that we can in good weather!
We had a brief break in the rain in February. We were able to fertilize our wheat and plant Austrian Winter Peas and turf type fescue during this period.
Me planting Peas at the end of February
Peas are coated to protect from disease & pests
But then the rain came back and decided to dump another two inches this month.
Currently, we have a stretch of good weather in front of us. We have to get as much done as possible while it lasts. Basically, the sunshine sprint.
I started the week fertilizing the peas that I planted the month before during the nice weather. Now my husband is working on fertilizing annual ryegrass while I drive truck.
Let’s hope the stretch of nice weather lasts for a bit. Things need to waken up, dry out and grow!
Typically my husband runs the buggy, but he was sick at the beginning of the week. I do love driving equipment!
Last week Tristan & I got an experience most can only dream about. We were standing on grass of the Rose Bowl, the Granddaddy of them All! Best part, the grass was grown in Oregon!
History is made here!
Thanks to Barenbrug USA and my friend Macey we had this rare opportunity. We grow a few fields of tall fescue and Italian ryegrass for them. Perennial ryegrass found on the Rose Bowl field is Barenbrug’s variety. Ryegrass is a cool season grass so the turf has a Bermuda, warm season grass, base. This time of year the Bermuda is going dormant and the ryegrass is thriving!
We got an exclusive tour of the field from the head Rose Bowl turf guy, Will Schnell. He was a celebrity himself. Our tour kept getting interrupted so Rose Bowl board members could introduce him to other people, like the guy who flew the bomber over the stadium before the game.
Will has managed the Rose Bowl since 2001. He grew up on a farm in Missouri. Will knew he either wanted to work with plants or animals. Being from & going to school in Missouri Will found inspiration in George Toma, long time head groundskeeper at Kansas City Chiefs, and he became interested in turf management.
The guy has a passion for his field just like I have for mine. Will knows the cost of each event on the turf. Let’s just say, his cost per acre is many more times than I can even fathom for my cost per acre.
Oregon grass seed can be found in real turf fields across the world. Our neighbors grew the seed for the 2014 World Cup. Oregon’s Willamette Valley grows over 60% of the world’s cool season grasses which includes fescue and ryegrass. Both these types of grasses go into your lawns and the pastures that feed the beef & lamb you eat.
You cannot pass up a selfie opportunity like this!
Oregon agriculture is the coolest. ESPN and others noticed that too.
Also Oregon Ducks are the coolest. They won 59-20. They broke 10 Rose Bowl records and kicked the crap out of the previous national champions. Now the Ducks play Monday for the National Championship! Ironically the UO will play OSU (Ohio State University) and they were the first school to ever play in the NCAA Basketball Championship game.
There’s something magical about the “Granddaddy of them All”