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Working the Ground

April 14, 2010

Well, top of the day to you, Dear Reader!  We have had five days in a row without precipitation here in Bippus, and the ground is starting to dry.  I saw one fellow out yesterday, riding around on his tractor, changing the color of the ground from dry, pale tan to dark, moist and bumpy, rich brown. I suspect that others will be working the ground soon.

Farmers work the ground, loosening the soil, in preparation of planting.

Here, you see a close up of the “shovels” on the right side of the photo, and the disc blade which rolls and slices through the earth.

These tools come in all variety of shapes, configurations, and sizes.

Of course, the larger they are, the more resistance they have to being dragged through the dirt, and the more horsepower is required to move them. Farmers play a balancing act to get optimal efficiency; a 40′ disc can prepare a large swath of ground, but will a 100 horsepower tractor get stuck pulling it? Will a 140 H.P. tractor use too much diesel fuel?

The next time you are out and notice a large dust cloud rising from the fields, perhaps you will appreciate some of the difficult decisions that the guy on the tractor has had to make, as he prepares the ground for planting grains.

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