Farmerjan's journal - Weather

Bruce

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It is easy to see STA, the plants are right in front of the tractor ;)

But, no one will cut & bale here.
That is sad. Not worth their time to bring the equipment over I guess. It would be nice if you could feed the animals hay from your property.

the doors into the bathroom are 20".... that was a remodel job.
I assume that is a typo and should be 30"?

The doorways into our family bathroom are 24"
:ep
 

farmerjan

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Okay, will try to address the different quotes.
@Bruce ; no not a typo. 20" from side to side of the frame. Measured twice. And since @Ridgetop has 24" I am not thinking that I was crazy. Yes, they do look small and I thought that they were at least 24" but NOPE.

@Senile_Texas_Aggie ; the first round is alot of wasted plants as he has to drive over/through it. but it is cut with the same discbine we cut the hay with. It sits off to the side of the tractor behind it... just like the hay mowers in the various videos you have generously posted links to. My son said it is actually only about 8 ft tall average in most spots in the field he was cutting last eve, but there were patches that were 10 ft plus.....
With self propelled machines, WHEN CHOPPING, and not just cutting, it is directly in front of you and you are sitting directly "on top of the cutter" and you watch it get devoured beneath your feet so to speak. Many of the farmers around here will pay a self propelled machine operator to come in and "open up" their fields..... make 2 trips around the outside and at least one down the middle of big fields.... then the farmer can continue with his normal chopper that sits off to the side behind him with the wagon attached to it.... or some that chop pretty fast actually have a truck creeping alongside the chopper as it is blown into the truck. The advantage of that is there is no getting up and down off the tractor to attach and unattach a wagon...disadvantage is you have to have at least 2-3 people and the extra trucks. Different advantages back at the places of unloading....
So back to ours, we have most of the sorghum/sudan grass fields where we have hay on either/both/all sides. So we will run over the edges of the hayfields to cut the outside row. Then you are running over the just cut stalks that are laying on the ground already cut, and cutting just off to the side so no problem to see. In fact the purpose of these sorghum/sudan planted fields is in a rotation to renovate hayfields. Often because there have gotten to be an abundance of weeds that we want to eradicate, and to renovate to get a "young stand of healthy grass" to grow. Most of the "monocrop" fields, like the orchard grass are good for 6-10 years before you get a bunch of less wanted growth of other grass. Right now we are having a big problem with Johnson grass invading the fields. Cows eat it with no problem, you have to be careful as if drought stressed or cut too short, it has a toxin that can make an animal sick or kill it. Plus, the paying horse hay customers don't want it. Suffocating the weed growth out with the dense and tall growth of the sorghum/sudan grass helps to cut down on the amount of chemicals/herbicides we use. Also, normally we get a second cutting of the sorghum/sudan grass so there is alot of tonnage of feed from these fields. He got it in late this year, but according to the weather, if we get some timely rain and not too cool temps, we still ought to get a smaller second cutting, (frost kills it) then it will get planted back into wheat or rye or barley for a winter cover crop that will also grow during the cool fall and cool spring and give us an early crop to take off in like April or May. The cover crop will also keep the topsoil in place. Some times you just plow the cover crop under for what is called a green manure crop. Some will just use an herbicide that kills off the rye, leaves it lay as a "mulch" for the corn that is planted and protects the ground and helps hold the moisture. You are using a chemical on the rye to kill it but then are putting back organic matter into the soil. There are alot of pros and cons.
If the weather doesn't co-operate and we get an early killing frost, then the second growth of sorghum/sudan will just die back and we will plant a cover crop in it and it will become organic matter for the earthworms to break down into soil.
 

Ridgetop

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Friend suggested a pocket door
Instead of a pocket door, check out "barn style doors" They have become more affordable as the hardware becomes available on Amazon. They are similar to a pocket door but are mounted on the outside of the wall and slide over the wall on the outside! No need to tear out the wall, frame out the interior of the wall which needs to be done for a pocket door, then re drywall. No need to trim or bevel the door itself. The hardware is easy to attach as are the door hangers. You need extra tall 8' doors, but some building suppliers carry them in stock or you can order them from Lowes. If you have standard ceiling heights, you will need to order the taller doors. Standard doors are 80" tall and come in 3" width increments from 18" to 42". Order the door at least 3" inches wider than the doorway. Otherwise the door will swing through the doorway on the hanging rollers instead of laying flat in the tracks. You have the same problem with pocket doors so must frame and install a wider door than the opening. With pocket doors you also have to use solid doors otherwise they will jump the track inside the pocket. Then they are a *^&$%@ to get open or closed. One reason why so many houses built in the '50s have pocket doors that have been painted open.

Toilet is against that wall next to the door to bedroom, baseboard heater on other wall next to door into utility room
As long as the toilet is not mounted to the bedroom wall, but is just next to it, you should have enough room between the toilet and the wall to slide a barn door on its rollers. If your doors and trim are painted, order pre-primed doors which are cheaper. If natural wood you can order different species of wood to match, but more $$$.

I installed 4 of these doors in 3 homes and they are easier than trimming and beveling standard hinged doors. Your only problem might be that it would have to ride on the bedroom wall of the bathroom instead of the bathroom wall. But again they are easy to install. I put one in the last apartment we remodeled since when the standard hinged door was opened you couldn't walk into the tiny 3/4 bath. It worked perfectly, sliding on the wall in the space between the toilet and the wall. We had to order it since it had to be taller than a standard door. We used a hollow core door here.
The next was at my aunt's house in Yelm. Again a tiny bathroom, which was an afterthought to the original cabin (probably the original woodshed). We also needed emergency access in case she fell while in the shower. The access doorway was only 74" tall so a stock 80" tall door fit perfectly, no need to order a taller door. Mounted the door on the wall adjacent to the toilet again. Benefit to barn doors is that they will lift off the mounting bar in an emergency if MEs needed to get into the bathroom to MJ. Again used a hollow core door.
IMG_0998.JPG IMG_0997.JPG IMG_0995.JPG IMG_0996.JPG
Pic 1 - bathroom door closed (hung mirror over it since there was a window over the sink) Pic 2 - door open in space between toilet and wall. Pic 3 - showing how teeny the bathroom was and awkward to arrange after our complete gut job. DS1 built a small shelf cabinet into dead space in wall for storage since no medicine cabinet. No room for linen storage but added a cabinet from Lowes matching vanity for storage too. Not even any wall space for TP holder! Had to use freestanding one on the floor LOL Pic 4 - we removed the tub and replaced it with a large shower with grab bars and handicap seat. The floor was rotted out under and in front of tub and wall around window over sink also rotted out. Sink was hanging off wall as angle and I removed it. When I opened up the wall all the studs were rotted out too! LOL Replaced window, floor joists, walls, installed insulation in all walls, ceiling, and under floor, and installed a wall heater for her. She was able to enjoy comfort for last few years of her life. We should have done it sooner but had been working on gutting and remodeling all 7 units in our apartment building one at a time for past 8 years. Luckily sold that to move our properties to TX several years ago. With pandemic and people not having to pay rent we would have lost the whole building!

3rd and 4th doors are the doors that close across our 48" opening into our laundry room. The laundry room opens off the front entry so needs to be closed for company, but needed 48" access for our W/D, freezers and large 36" standard 2nd fridge. These doors were not special order - got them at a building supply here and they were primed white with frosted glass inserts. This was a bonus since there is a skylight in the laundry room and the hall is dark. Needed a larger double opening bar and double hardware but easy to install. These doors were solid core doors since they had glass inserts.

After DS1 and I installed the first one in the apartment, they got very trendy and you could get "kits" at Lowes and home Depot. Save yourself money, buy the hardware on Amazon Prime, and buy stock doors. The standard doors cost about $35-45 in the hardware store while special order tall doors are about $100. The doors that are sold as "barn doors" may look fancier but are about $300-600 per door. No need to spend that since the hardware is what makes the door look good. Actually if you like the look of Spanish or medieval type doors, you can buy decorative kits for gates and garage doors that look like strap hinges, etc. I like the look of the plain barn doors. I love the price of the plain barn doors. Installation only takes a couple hours, and you can use a roller to paint the door before mounting the rollers and hanging.

IMG_20180731_115221059.jpg Double doors closed on laundry room IMG_20180731_115148279.jpg Opening to Laundry

IMG_5985 (1).jpg Here is picture of doors closed from inside laundry room. When open they slide into area between wall and fridge on right and freezer on left. When hanging shelves over freezer I allowed 6" space for doors to slide open. Once doors are up open them and measure how much space you need on the wall for door to open if hanging shelves or cabinets.
Hardware comes in many finishes, colors, and prices. Matching flat knobs and locks are available.
I love these doors for ease of installation We have several pocket doors we put in and I wish these had been available for the one in the LR/hall. We installed heavy doors and they work fine because the door is 40" wide and heavy. the double closet doors in our bedroom to the walk in closet, are only 18" wide and constantly need adjustment. We just leave them open since they are located in small walkway to MBA so not visible from doorway. I would like to take them out and just mount a standard door there but no point now if moving to TX in a year or 2.
 

Ridgetop

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Farmerjan: I really wish you lived close enough to where we want to move. We plan to buy hayfields for the sheep but our main love is breeding and raising the sheep and lambs. We don't know enough about hay farming for me to to feel comfortable about it. If you were close we could let you do the hay raising for the crop, only taking enough for our sheep. No rent. We have only 25 sheep now. I can't see us having more than 30 breeding ewes as we are getting older, even with DS1 to run it for us. MOVE TO EAST TEXAS!!!!! ;)
 

farmerjan

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Couple more things, sorghum/sudan is a hybrid grass, so the stems are not anywhere near like thicker corn stalk type stems so they cut okay with the discbine. We normally try to cut it at about 5-6 ft but we kept having rain and to leave it lay would be a waste of very decent feed. It would get slimy and moldy and be alot of "money" lying wasted on the ground if it were to get soaked days in a row. So you just wait. And it grows..... it has started topping out so would not get much taller.

When we first got going into the cattle we did alot of the small field custom cutting for a few "small farm acreages" . The problem is getting help today as opposed to always being able to find kids that wanted to load hay bales in the summer... and now as we got more cattle, the various pieces of equipment get bigger in order to get bigger fields cut faster.... a rat race so to speak. Plus, just the logistics of getting the bigger pieces of equipment into and out of small gates and such. That is why I still use the Farmall H on a couple of places.... the getting in and around the fields. But there is not the available help to do small field haying anymore. All of us that have gotten older cannot do what we did.... and this younger generation will not get out there and sweat in 80-90 degree heat to load hay on wagons, or even to unload the ones that are kicked on the wagon at the barns. It used to be considered pretty good money to get $5 or $6 an hour... CASH money.... kids won't even look at it nowadays. And the buyers of hay don't want to pay what is in the hay. We have at least $35 in every roll of hay we make.... so would have to sell for $45 to $50 to make a bit of a profit. We have more than $4 in every square bale, and then if you add in paying help on the wagons or in the barns.... we have to charge $6-7 just to break even. Every single thing that has gone into our hay making this year has increased except for fuel costs from last year. If one type of fertilizer has gone down, another has gone up. And that is figuring our labor at $3.00 per hour.... you want to pay me the $10 hr that I ought to be making???.... to tedd and rake and all that.... Then the hay is worth at least $7-8 a bale in the field. Add in like last week when we got showers the 3 days they said less than 30%, and the subsequent EXTRA times I had to tedd it.... plus the fuel and wear and tear on the tractor...
That is why there are more and more mechanized ways to get even the square bales done. Accumulators, the new accumulator that puts it in the cubes.... but you are looking at $35,000 for that equipment. You can't do alot of small fields as the time and travel is killing any profit you can make. It is a sad reality of life and the "get bigger" because of the profit margins.
I used to help in hayfields for "older farmers" when I first moved down to Va and worked it off as barter.... 3 bales per hour as I wanted the hay. That was the "equivalent" of $7.50/hr back 35 yrs ago. And that wasn't the improved type of hay we make as far as an all orchard grass stand. It was decent but had various grasses in it. And don't forget, even then, I was not as good a help as a guy with their stronger strength to lift bales into hay wagons, or to stack it on wagons that the bales fed off the baler right onto the wagon; no one had kickers hardly because then you had to have wagons with tall sides built on them.... but I was reliable and worked as often as I could. These farmers were in their 60's plus back then, all dead now.... but I was better help than none and always gave them honest effort. I had several that always wanted me all at the same time. Had 2 that worked together to make sure that they could both get me to help when I wasn't at my waitress jobs and then when I was milking, I would help until I had to go milk in the afternoons.....I was simply decent help that showed up and didn't cry and complain about the heat.... wah wah wah because I had animals to feed. I got those jobs just from being a hay customer and then offering to help make hay on occasion.
 

farmerjan

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Thank you @Ridgetop for the idea of the hanging "barn door" on rollers. Definitely something to think about. There is a small mounted cabinet above the toilet, but that could go. I like the pocket door to have the available wall space.... but the rolling door would also do the job. I will have to measure the space and see how much wall space there is to the tub. It is a very small bathroom. I really don't have the space for a bigger "normal swinging door" into the bathroom... the one from the bedroom and the one from the utility room are directly opposite each other, and lack about 1 1/2 ft of touching if both opened at the same time into the bathroom. the bathroom is 60" as the tub takes up the whole wall length on one end and the bathroom sink cabinet takes up the opposite end right to the door frames. There is a free standing toilet paper holder in there also... towel holders next to the tub on the wall where the door opens from the utility room and above the baseboard heater. I don't know how to do it on this computer to draw a "floor plan" and then show how things are arranged. And no digital camera and don't have a smart phone to take and post pictures.
 

Ridgetop

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Sadly, there are not many kids today that will work hard for their wages. And the schools don't help as they are telling all the kids "Go To College" and you can get a high paying job doing nothing with a nothing degree and not have to work hard. The good money these days in in the blue collar trades but the kids don't want to do the hard, dirty work. DS2 and DS3 followed their dad into lineman work. STBFSIL, aka Doofus, now has a job as a cable installer and likes it. He is actually planning to try to get on the apprentice program like DS2 and 3. He is working hard and supporting DD2 and his daughter. I guess since he has now stepped up to the plate and is working hard to make a life for them I will have to stop calling him Doofus. He is doing hard work with his hands and that merits respect.

Too many video games, too little household chores, too much unmerited "self-esteem", and too little expectation from parents has resulted in kids that don't believe they should have to do hard work. WORSE, THEY DON'T KNOW HOW TO WORK HARD OR DO MANUAL LABOR!

I know I am getting old when I hear my grandmother's words coming out of my mouth! "I don't know what this world is coming to" and "Kids today just don't know how to work".
:old :clap
 

bethh

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Yeah, glad that there is no charge on cc .... but it would have been nice. Need to concentrate on getting some of this other stuff done and getting the boxwoods out so I can get a storage building. Couple of the companies are 90 days same as cash.... which would give me the wiggle room to pay for it and not finance... but if I get the balances on the other 2 cc paid off, which are scheduled for the next 2 months anyway.... I can put it on one of them for a month or two.... there will be a few more calves going... I have a couple left to go.
Friend suggested a pocket door so when we tear the existing door & frame out to get the tub/surround out and the new tub in, I am going to see if there is any possibility to put one in there. It is a solid wall, just don't know if it possible. Toilet is against that wall next to the door to bedroom, baseboard heater on other wall next to door into utility room and there is a baseboard heater on that side too, so no way to enlarge that door, even for a pocket door as you would have to step over the heaters:th:ep. nope, but maybe on the bedroom side..... I am thinking walker/wheelchair also for the knee surgeries. Carpet will be a pain for the wheelchair.... we'll see. I like the idea of the pocket door and this door is in the center of the wall so don't think that it will be a problem...:fl:fl

I’ll post a few pics of what we did in our master bath. We’ve been renovating it. We put in a barn door from bedroom to bath and a pocket door from bath to closet. If you plan to remove walls, the pocket door was an easy install with the studs exposed. We purchased the pocket door kit from Lowe’s, it think it was $98. The doors were purchased from second hand store.
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