Saturday, May 7, 2011


When you think about farmers planting crops, what do you picture?

It's a studied process. There's the technology of the seeds, the equipment, the fertilizer. But what hasn't changed? Dependence on the weather.

Last year was perfect, weather-wise, since we had all of our corn planted before calving started.

This year was a lot wetter, which seems more normal to me, and a lot more stressful for Kris. It just got dry enough to get into the fields. What does that mean? Before you plant you often have to work up the ground. (There are a variety of tools you pull behind a tractor that do different things to it. The basic goal is to turn the dirt over to get it best-prepared to grow seeds.)

So now that it's dry enough Kris and the employees have to prepare the ground (once or twice over) and plant. All while doing the regular feeding, plus calving and taking care of calves.

It always seems like a race. The weather is only dry enough for a certain amount of days. You have a specific amount of acres to plant. You have limited time. Every farmer in the community is in the fields as much as the moisture and the daylight allows (longer for the ones that have lights on their planters.)

So far 17 heifers and 17 bulls have been born, including nine yesterday. So it's action-packed around here! I'd say it's fun, but I'll wait until every field is planted until Kris breathes a sigh of relief. After that, it's the race to cut, rake, and chop the alfalfa ...

Farming has depended on the weather since the beginning of time! There aren't any more hours in the day, no matter the technology. But it is nice to have tractors with air conditioning.

No comments: