March 2022 - 36

Saving oil and possibly money for crop chemicals
Mills Apple Farm
Saving the drips. How many times
have you emptied jugs of engine oil
or hydraulic oil into a machine and
grumbled to yourself about all the
residue clinging to the insides of the
jug, but you do not want to take time
to salvage it?
Here is the answer. Fasten two
Weird winter. Below zero one
night and almost 50 two days later.
We are far enough south that we get
these sweeps of warm weather about
every 10 days. It has to be hard on
perennials. Nice for working in a
sweatshirt though.
New crop. I have always wanted
to grow flowers. This year I'm going
to try it. The scheme is to lay a weed
barrier four feet wide on a slight slope,
plant the seeds or bulbs through holes
along the centerline of the barrier, lay
a drip irrigation line down the next to
it and when the drought comes water
the flowers. We'll grow gladiolus, which
I have done before, and also a wide
assortment of flowers for bouquets, etc.
I tried it last year but there were not
enough flowers at any one time to do
more than decorate our dining room
table at home.
Tool of the month.
jug caps together back-to-back
using good quality glue. Drill a hole
between caps.
Now, next time you empty a jug
into an engine, screw a double cap on
it. When you use another jug, pour
it into the engine and then screw it
onto the cap on the original jug. Stand
them up and let the one on top drain.
I notice I get anywhere from a
tablespoon to a quarter cup from each
empty jug. I'll bet there will be a full
gallon by season's end. And that is just
from one tractor.
Outsmarted by a chemical
company. The news was predicting
shortages and price rises for farm
chemicals this year. Maybe I should
order some extra before the price
There is a special chemical I don't
want to lose, because there is only
one source, Attune. They claim the
On the other hand, I used
Ampersand each of the last three
years and there was no significant
scab on my apples. Very little sooty
blotch or flyspeck either. This, in spite
of using the same basic chemicals
to control diseases. Each spray gets
a dose. So many parts per million
but I have forgotten as I write this.
It is ideal for people like me who are
erratic in their spray programs.
However, true to form, I sometimes
Two jug caps glued together, with a hole
drilled between them, is a good way to
collect leftover oil from one container
to another, at Mills Apple Farm, Marine,
Illinois. Photo: Jerry Mills
product uses advanced science to
break down water and chemical
molecules to make them spread more
evenly from the nozzles and stick to
plant tissue and be absorbed better by
the target crop. It's called Ampersand.
It is more expensive than Roundup, so
six cases did not come cheap.
forget to include it, and in each of
the last two years we had rots, lots of
rots but little insect damage. This year
we'll try extra hard and maybe we'll
have a perfect crop.
Anyway, after I placed this big
order, I commented I was ordering
early to beat expected price increases.
It was then that the lady told me their
prices were not going to rise this year.
Oh? Maybe I'll put this batch away
to use when the price does go up.
(She also said she was a faithful
reader of these columns and every
time I mention Ampersand, they will
send me a $73 jug. (Who said I could
not be bought off ... if the price is
right?) But seriously, the product does
perform as advertised. FGN
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March 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of March 2022

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