Wednesday, October 3, 2012

With Apologies to Otis Redding

When Randy sat down to wait on the 100-gallon diesel tank to be filled the other morning at the co-op, that old Otis Redding song, "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay" flashed into my mind. (My mind is strange. I know it.)

So, with apologies to Otis Redding and his popular song, "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay:"

Sittin' in the morning fog
I'll be sittin' there like a log
Watchin' the trucks roll in
And I watch 'em roll away again. Yeah.

I'm sitting on the edge of the slab.
Waitin' to get back in the cab.
Watchin' gas numbers roll
The bill will be quite a toll.

Sittin' on the edge of the slab.
Markin' time.
I'm sittin' on the edge of the slab.
Rain instead of fog would be fab.

Sittin' on the edge of the slab.
Markin' time.

It's amazing that I'm not in Nashville writing songs, isn't it? Or perhaps I've found my calling as parts runner, Meals-on-Wheels lady and part-time fertilizer/fuel hauler.

We have gone through a lot of fuel as we've been planting wheat. We use dyed diesel in our off-road vehicles (tractors). Dyed diesel doesn't have a road tax, so it is around 30 cents less per gallon. It is treated with a dye, so if someone is caught using the dyed diesel in a road vehicle, there is a hefty fine.
The pump at the co-op turns itself off when it reaches $250. Since that was only 69.5 gallons, we needed more to fill the 100-gallon tank on the back of the pickup.
We fill the tank at the co-op then take it back to the field to fill the tractor.
Randy had to run the card through again to fill the rest. Ca-ching!
The sad part? The 100 gallons fills just one-third of the diesel tank on the STX375 Case tractor pulling the disc. Yes, it holds 300 gallons. Ca-ching! Ca-ching! Ca-ching! That's about 2 days worth of fuel just for that tractor.
The drill tractor holds about 80 gallons of diesel, enough to drill for a day and a half.
You can even watch the fuel level drop from the cab of the tractor by watching the gauge on the right below. 
That wasn't the only thing we spent money on while we were at Zenith. We also had them fill the nurse tank (the white tank in the photo below) with additional fertilizer, also part of the cost of planting the 2013 wheat crop. Each tank of starter fertilizer costs about $2,400.  We use about one tank of fertilizer per planting day. (Maybe I didn't want to ask that question and find that out. Ah well! Too late now.)
Fuel and fertilizer make for hefty bills from the co-op. (Our bill doesn't come in a business-sized envelope. It comes in a bigger manilla one. Randy pointed out that our co-op bill last month was more than we paid for our house 27 years ago. Sad, but true.)

It may not be as fun as spending money on a book or a new skirt. But it's an investment we are making in hopes of a quality wheat crop next summer. Now, if we could just order a nice, soaking rain. That would be priceless.

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