Romans 10:9: "If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." ... John 11:25: "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." Happy Easter from the Jamison Family Farm!!!
As I write this blog, we are living in a time dominated by the Corona virus and the fall-out of it. I am hopeful everyone is healthy and safe. Social distancing is one of the tools being used to combat the virus and with respect to my day job, I find myself "social distancing" at the Jamison Family Farm at the request of my employer. I just finished my second week working from the farm and it's amazing how a telephone, laptop computer and internet can enable one to conduct business away from the office. My great grandfather, James Henry Jamison, could have never imagined such a technological world would ever exist - especially at the farm. However, even with modern technology, it is the wood stove that keeps me warm while working...
We have been busy preparing for haying. Much fertilizer has gone down and herbicide efforts to squash broad leaf weeds are finished. The past few years, rain has made it very difficult to get a quality first cutting. As things stand right now, we are seeing favorable weather patterns - not too much rain, not too much dry weather and our hay fields are showing signs of some really nice growth. This year, we would like to begin cutting around mid-May if possible. We are looking for quality vs quantity. As in previous years, we will take core samples and have our hay forage tested. Historically, our hay has been low in sugar (ESC+starch), potassium and iron. If you have a special needs horse or just want good, clean, well managed hay - we may have something for you.
One of my favorite tractors on the Jamison Family Farm has been my International Harvester Farmall 756. I used it to cut, ted and rake hay. I never put a baler on it, but pulled many loaded hay wagons to the barn. While the tractor had good power, it was in need of much repair and restoration. This was further complicated as it had a gas engine. For those that know IH tractors, the engine was a C-291 and the sleeves in the block are an interference fit; the engine is a difficult rebuild and not for the backyard mechanic. They also have a reputation after a rebuild to gall the pistons to the sleeves with the newer gas of today and high octane is required. Had the engine been a gravy fix, I would have added a wide front end to it and new tires all the way around. We talk about trucks and cars that are gas hogs, the 756 at full load will burn around six gallons of gas per hour according to it's University of Nebraska tractor test report! None of these things caused me concern, except the engine rebuild. I know other makes of row crop tractors with high horsepower - some had issues with their gas engines to some extent; I was unaware of IH's C-291 gas engine issues and thought I was good to go when I bought the tractor. My feeling was - an IH gas tractor on the farm would make a nice low temperature starter and no more hours than we would put on it in a year, I could live with the gas mileage, especially when you consider these gas tractors sell at a pretty low price compared to their diesel counterparts. When you buy old farm equipment sometimes it works out great, other times not so good...
Without a doubt, the Farmall was the most photogenic tractor on the farm. Kind of like a dog, you can't take a bad picture of one. Put May the Hay Dog on an International Harvester and you've got a nice photograph.
A few more pics...
In the end, I decided to sell the tractor. Simply a business decision. A fellow from Ohio came down and bought it.
On another front, I have sent the mighty Massey Ferguson 1105 for a "tune-up", for lack of a better word. It is getting the diesel injectors rebuilt, valves adjusted, a new air conditioning system installed and a few other things. I may receive the tractor back as early as next week. We bought this rather large tractor last year to run our disc mower conditioner to it's potential (read - higher horsepower) and safely bring our kicker wagons off our hills (read weight). This past year the MF was a very welcome addition. The "tune-up" being done to it will make a good tractor even better. I'm thinking about putting it on the baler this year too. It would be nice to be out in the hottest of the sun and baling hay in a cool cab.
Other pre-season repairs: I've got to make a PTO shaft repair to my John Deere 350 hay rake, build one more kicker wagon and do a heavy repair to our New Holland 156 tedder. If I can't get the tedder repaired, we will buy another one. A tedder is an implement that is used to fluff the hay after cutting and before raking it to bale. It greatly assists drying the hay and if a shower lands on the hay, one can run the tedder over the the field and often salvage the hay before quality is lost. A hay tedder is essential to First Quality Hay.
On a family note, my Dad - G.L. Jamison passed away this past February at the age of 87. He is gone but never forgotten.
My Dad grew up in and around the Jamison Family Farm; to my family he was a fixture on it. I believe my Dad was saved and here at Easter it is a very comforting thought to know that he is alive and in heaven; we'll meet again. Through his years, he saw many Easter Sundays, the green-up and flowers on the farm. More than anyone, my Dad knew the Jamison Family Farm was/is a special place. I took some pictures at the farm the other day - images my Dad would have seen every Easter as his many years rolled by...
Happy Easter from the Jamison Family Farm!!!
Disclaimer: This blog entry and all others are checked and edited by May the Hay Dog - woof!