2010 September Kracked Head Edition

 This edition of The Kracked Head Update was published in the July 2010 issue of The BF Avery Newsletter

cornharvest1Greetings from North Alabama, I hope this finds you all happy and in good health and enjoying all this hot weather we still having.  Here in Alabama it has been extremely hot for the past couple of months.  Our central units have been working overtime to keep the house cool.  I’ve even added a couple of small 110 volt windows units to our bedrooms to take some of the load off the big unit at night.  For weeks now we haven’t had a night where the temperature has gotten below 70 degrees.

The corn harvest started about the middle of August and from all reports it is going to be a fairly good yield.  Last year’s yield was 2,620,000 bushels and according to informed sources this year’s yield will be greater.

The cotton is beginning to open and it won’t be long till the fields are as white as snow.  Defoliation should begin very soon and then the fields will look like snow.  Early cotton forecasts predict a bumper yield again this year.  The soybean crops are “iffy” and a good yield will depend on getting some more rain in the near future.

On another note, unless you have been under a rock for the past few months then you know all about the oil spill in the Gulf.  It has really hurt Alabama’s economy as well as sales tax collections.  The Governor just recently moved 123 million from the rainy day fund just to make ends meet this fiscal year.

Another item that has come to our attention recently is the fear of weeds that defy herbicides.  There has been a resurgence of pigweed that cannot be killed by commonly used herbicides that is showing up in local fields all over North Alabama.  It has prompted fears that super weeds are going to cause widespread problems for Tennessee Valley farmers in 2011.

Local Lauderdale county farmer Randal Vaden said “We saw a little resistant pigweed last year and have a lot more this year.”  “Next year is going to tell the tale if we’re able to stop the resistant weeds before they become a real problem in this area.”

Chuck Benbrook, chief scientist for the Organic Center in Eugene, OR said the over-reliance on the popular herbicide Roundup and similar herbicides are to blame for hard to kill weeds.

The switch to “No Till” farming in recent years has increased the use of Roundup instead of plowing.  No till reduces the expense of crop production and conserves top soil. Vaden said that he doesn’t foresee North Alabama farmers abandoning no-till farming practices that rely on products such as Roundup and returning to conventional tillage.  “No-till is what has kept us farming here in North Alabama” Vaden said.  “I don’t think anybody wants to go back to cultivating two or three times a year for weed control.  I think most of the farmers around here will go back to conventional tillage only as a last resort.  There’s’ some new technology in the works that should help us get a handle on these resistant weeds.  I just hope it comes out before the weeds take over our fields.”

Benbrook also said that home owners should not rely on a single method of control weeds.  They should use a diverse practice of weed control including mowing, manual weed removal, mulching, and multiply types of chemical base weed sprays.  If you have been using Roundup four or five times a year around your home and notice that it’s not killing some of the weeds as well as it used to, guess what, they are developing into glyphosate resistant weeds.  The bottom line is to use a varied attack on weeds and not just rely on one method.

OK, I’d like to see a show of hands of those that are dreading the upcoming election season. I don’t care who’s running for what or who gets elected.  I just hate all of the blaring ads that the candidates put on TV.  It seems that they all try to make us believe that the other fellow is a bigger liar than they are and nor as good of a Christian as they are.  All of the good Christian folks that I ever knew didn’t have to brag about the fact.  They proved their faith through daily life and set an example for others to follow.  You never doubted that they were good people and knew they were a joy to be around and to listen to the message that they delivered. Just think of all the good folks you’ve known in your lifetime that fit this description.  I keep wondering whatever happened to just telling us what their ideas are for improving the situation.

The website is humming along smoothly now.  We still rated in the top of the search results for BF Avery and new folks are joining every week.  Still having a small amount of trouble with spammers trying to advertise in the classified ads but with Gary Duff’s and other folk’s help we’re staying on top of deleting them.

Debra and I hope you all have a great fall and enjoy all of the football games that will soon be starting.  I don’t know about you all, but I’m ready for some football and cooler weather.

Well folks, that’s about all the news from North Alabama, so until next time “May your furrows be straight and deep” and I’ll see you on the internet.

About Editor

As a contributing Editor to the BF Avery National Tractor Club’s Quarterly Newsletter I have written about a wide range of topics in my column The Kracked Head Update, covering the BF Avery Company’s history, tractors and equipment. I have attended many Antique Tractor Shows and talked with exhibitors about their passion for the BF Avery brand, Personally I own a 1948 BF Avery Model V that was purchased by my father around 1950.
I’m a Vietnam Veteran, having served aboard the USS Bausell, DD-845 and a member of The Tin Can Sailors Association as well as The Tonkin Gulf Yatch Club