October 2013
Howle's Hints

Document the Does and Get Wise with Wire

  Homemade steel carryall made for less than 150 bucks.

“All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.”      – Proverbs 14:23 (NIV)

We’ve all heard a lot of "talk" coming out of the federal government, but we haven’t seen the actual "work" involved with solving economic problems like an ever-increasing national debt, putting Americans back to work or holding government officials responsible when they are involved with each new scandal of the week. If a farmer sat around the breakfast table and only "talked" about the new fence he planned to put up or "mused" over the herd of cattle that needed worming, he would soon enter a world of poverty. Maybe a farmer could suggest we have a "national discussion" to bring public awareness to the fact he needs to fertilize his pastures without committing himself to the work of actually applying the nitrogen, potassium and phosphate to the fields to make the grass grow.

The spray holder holds a battery on front, the sprayer in the middle and you can raise the holder to attach a spray boom.  

Running a successful farm, business or country requires hard work. There’s no way around it. It might sound good to the ears of some to be able to give smooth speeches, optimistic oratory or motivational musings, but without the hard work required to get results, poverty, not profit, lies ahead.

Frame for Sprayer Makes Great Carry-All

I like to see equipment used for double duty. Take the hammer, for instance. You are able to drive nails with one end and pull them out with the other. I sketched out a plan to build a holder for my 25-gallon sprayer made by Agspray, a Co-op supplier. I knew I wanted it to be a frame that would hook to the three-point hitch of my tractor and I knew I wanted it to be lightweight enough to load the implement into the back of a truck by myself. Using quarter- inch angle steel, I had a local metal fabricator weld the frame, create the top link attachment, and reinforce and drill the sides of the frame so the lift arms could attach with pins.

  The carry-all not only carries a 25-gallon Agspray sprayer but can also carry heavy items around the farm.

I had the fabricator weld a flat piece of sheet metal on the base to hold the sprayer, and he welded a smaller section of sheet metal to hold the full size battery that powers the motor on the sprayer. If the implement did nothing but carry the sprayer, it would be a handy implement. However, the implement makes a great carry-all.

By having a wide platform, the holder/carry-all can haul a 55-gallon drum full of corn or heavy objects such as a tub of syrup for the cattle. Multiple posts can be laid across the frame or a 300-foot roll of field fence can be carried with ease. Parts and labor came in under $150.

Document the Does’ Locations

Deer season is quickly approaching, and you might be thinking about harvesting a mature buck. Here are a couple of tips. Look for the natural food sources at the beginning of the season such as heavy white oak acorn producers. The deer will work these areas regularly during the early part of the season. Chances are you may spot a few does browsing upon these acorns, but maybe you haven’t seen a buck yet.

Keep your eyes on the travel patterns of the does and the areas they bed and hang out. It won’t be long until the bucks will begin visiting these areas. You’ll be ready for the mature bucks once the rut comes in. Document the areas you frequently see does and, chances are, the bigger bucks won’t be far behind.

Left to right, Document where you see does during the early season and you will know where the large bucks will be when the rut comes in. Keeping a short section of electric fence wire in your chore coat can aid in making many easy fence repairs.  

Get Wise, Bring Wire

There are plenty of times you may have to fix the fence where a tree has fallen on the fence or the wire came apart. Keeping a small coil of electric fence wire in your bag comes in handy when you need a short section of wire to mend a fence. Unlike barbed wire, the electric fence wire bends easier and, since there are no barbs, you can carry it easier without snagging clothes or hanging it on everything in your path.

Recently, I was checking the fence lines and discovered a multitude of pine trees that had fallen down on the fence in various places in the woods. I had the smooth, electric fence wire and used it to make multiple repairs. On one section, all the strands that were nailed to a tree stump were lying down because the stump had rotted out.

Once I realized there was a nearby live tree to nail to, I knew I could attach to this tree without going to the house to get posts. The only problem was the strands wouldn’t quite reach the live tree. I started a staple in the live tree and drove it about halfway in. I then used a section of electric fence wire and attached the barbed wire strands to the half driven staples with the wire. By only driving the staple in half way, you can loop the wire through the eye of the staple and drive the staple flush with the tree once you have looped the wire through a couple of times.

This October, be sure to do more hard work and less idle talk. This will help your farm run more smoothly, and maybe our leaders in Washington can learn from your example. n

John Howle is a freelance writer from Heflin.