Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Day 6 - Saturday 22nd June

Nozzles; probably not an interesting topic to some people but to Tom Wolf they are a science and an art form.  Getting the right spray droplets at the right pressure with the correct forward speed, all make for better applications of pesticide, which is sensible considering the environmental damage they can cause and the financial of pesticide being sprayed over the fields.  Tom gives advice to growers about application technology and through a Nuffield connection (thanks Steve), Tom very kindly agreed to meet Andy and myself at very short notice, and what an interesting and very informative time it was.  We looked at nozzle performance under different pressures creating different spray patterns.  We discussed technology, part of Andy's Nuffield topic, which was fascinating.  I learnt about Aim Command that allows you to control individual nozzle's which is terrific news.  Savings over and above auto sectional control are between 6-10%.  Then there was Capstan Ag pin point control system linked to turn compensation, meaning nozzle flow variation when turning on the headland.  It really was a great morning and very educational.
After lunch Andy headed out to the Saskatchewan/Manitoba border and I headed an hours drive West to meet up with Nuffield Scholar Ian McPhadden at a small town called Milden.  Ian's farm is now let out to neighbours but he still keeps a very close eye on the industry and works hard with lots of Ag groups, including being on Nuffield Canada's Interview panel for scholar selection. Ian was very welcoming and although I hadn't planned on staying a bed was soon made up and a toothbrush located. 

We headed into Milden for supper at the small hotel/pub.  Milden was built on the side of the railroad.  Small towns are every 6 miles, which was as far as the settlers could go, (there and back) with a horse and cart in a day.  Milden has a population of about 200 people and the hotel/pub is the main attraction.  The ribs were great and served in a buffet style.  After dinner we sat on the veranda, having a beer and I listened to tales from Scotty Bell, a regular at the pub, telling stories of  his childhood.  Scotty was quite a character!
After dinner we headed back to Ian's farmhouse before turning in for the night.  Here's Ian in the back of Jeff's truck the following morning going out to the fields to look at some crops.

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