Posted by: 347bennetrd | March 4, 2011

The Roller

Cultivation is a long process…  Once the stock have eaten all the previous year’s crop and you’ve gone around with the maxi-till to loosen the packed-in earth and turn over the last bits of uneaten veges, then you need to go around with the roller a few times to re-compact the earth.  A pre-emergence spray can be applied to blast any weeds that are wanting to take advantage of the wonderfully prepared ground and finally you sow your crop.  The final step is to do a last go at the roller to make sure the dirt is packed nice and tightly around the seeds.  The compacting of the dirt also keeps the moisture in the ground so the seed has the best opportunity to germinate

Well anyhoo, I hadn’t been doing any of the cultivation (other than accompanying Dad once or twice), so I was quite excited when I was allowed to pull the roller around.  Here I am in the tractor with the implement behind me;

Quite elementary you’d say and in theory I’d have to agree with you.  In practice however, not so much…!  While the idea is simply to drive round and around the paddock making sure you squash all of it, some parts were quite steep (well for me anyway, Dad thought they were little more than a very slight incline) and you have to try and drive above your previous round’s marks cos the heavy roller slides downhill.  Sometimes you have to activate the diff-lock while you are driving on the side so the tractor keeps on a straight line and doesn’t head downhill. Wow the diff-lock is kind of complicated – I just tried looking at it on Wikipedia.  Basically it makes both wheels turn at the same time, but you can go here if you want to know what really goes on…

But, after having done this for about 7 straight hours (including stopping for 5 minutes to eat my packed lunch), I was starting to feel more and more confident.  It really was the perfect way to start getting used to doing tractor work.  Here are the results of my day’s effort 🙂

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