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041318Stackhouse1540x800.jpg Kyle Stackhouse

Projects to finish before fieldwork begins

But snow’s in the forecast for Monday.

Years ago, just after Rachael and I got married, we had a five-foot poly vinyl fence installed. We thought it would keep the dog and kids contained. It has done neither very well. Childless, we were naïve back then. Now we know better. However, our latest canine addition has surprised us. Lucy, a German Shepard pup, began jumping the fence not long after we got her. If she sees something she wants, she is gone.  Lucy wants to explore. Add in a new neighbor with sheep across a busy road… well, she needs to learn some boundaries.

So Saturday, I tried to squeeze in one last ‘household’ project before things get busy. A trip to the rental shop and a stop to pick up wire began the underground fence project. For the most part the project went smoothly. However, you can see in the picture we found a smeary spot where the machine couldn’t pull itself through. We only had one tractor onsite that was not hooked to anything. (For those that are curious, the wire is unspooling from a makeshift rack in the bed of the truck.) We have yet to install the transmitter, but I’d call the project a win. We saved at least $1,000 even after purchasing supplies and renting the machine.

Tuesday, it was back to the rental shop. This time we picked up an excavator with ditch bucket. We had two or three places where we had to do some work on drainage ditches. Some was just general maintenance, some was a direct result of the 6”+ rainfall event last month. We all enjoy operating excavators, so it isn’t big deal to rent one. Generally, when renting equipment, 3 days equal a week and 3 weeks equal a month. The longer you keep it, the less expensive it is on a per hour basis. Since we only kept the machine a couple of days, the savings wasn’t all that great, but it would have really racked up the charges with four moves on the lowboy and such a small jobs.

Finally, at the end of the week it feels like spring… but wait, they’re saying the ‘S’ word for Monday!

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress.

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