Outstanding In Their Field

Outstanding in their field Stng Head-WEB

When I was a much younger farmer, there were some very difficult years for a row crop farmer to be profitable.

Diversification, not putting all your eggs in one basket, was the buzz word. Farmers could diversify by adding new crops or livestock to help spread risk and increase profitability. Well, I now feel like I have become a victim of my own diversification.

I started the day at 6 a.m. by cooking 2 eggs, 4 strips of bacon, reheating a piece of steak and cooking 2 pieces of toast for my wife Cora and me. While she cleaned stalls and fed the horses, I made us both a smoothie, and we both headed to work.

I proceeded to pull almost every piece of farm equipment out of the shed. I greased, fueled, serviced 2 tractors, a loader and a sickle mower. I loaded 107 bales of alfalfa and 3,000 pounds of cracked corn in a customer’s trailer.

I then chased my new dog, Bratwurst, through a cornfield to stop him from eating the 2 chickens that were visiting from the neighbor’s place. They were trying to clean up some spilled corn. I tied 150 bundles of corn tops and 100 bottoms and ground 4,000 pounds of corn.

I then filled my sprayer with 120 gallons of water and burndown chemicals. I harvested 3 rows of sunflowers and some sweetcorn and then took the dogs home and ate 9 reheated tater tots. Back at the farm, I tied another 150 corn bundles and unloaded a hayrack with 8 grain totes and weighed them.

I sold hay, straw and grain to 3 consecutive customers. I drove my sprayer a ½ mile to a field, only to have to turn around as I got there because another customer had arrived at the farm. Then I drove back to the 13-acre oat field to spray it, only to find myself about a 1/2 acre short of product.

Then I picked up my brother up from the hay field he had been raking and went home to eat 2 tacos for lunch. I then went over to another farm and removed an unloading auger from a bin and brought it back to the home farm to install it in a bin and proceeded to fill a wagon with 350 bushels of corn to grind for feed.

Next, I went to the storage shed at my neighbor’s and hooked up a trailer and delivered it to another neighbor for them to use for their retail Halloween stand.

I used my sickle mower to cut about 800” of corn for Halloween decorations. I cut about an acre of hay in 12 different small patches of grass around the farm, bins, barns and pumpkin and sunflower patches.

Throughout the day, I also picked and ate 2 apples and 2 raw ears of sweet corn. I also went to the bathroom about 7 times, drank water about 20 times and answered about 125 text messages.

I might be exaggerating about the number of messages; it seemed like thousands.

I beat my wife home by 15 minutes at 8:15 p.m. and did indeed wash my hands before I kneaded breadcrumbs, an egg and seasoning into a pound of ground beef and put about 30 meatballs in the oven while I boiled water to make spaghetti and meatballs.

That pretty much sums up my Friday, August 18, 2023. Miraculously, I was not even tired, even though my phone registered over 20,000 steps.

It caught up with me the next day; we baled 800 bales of hay, and I was wiped out by 5 p.m. Sunday was a brutal day with heat and humidity; we unloaded 750 bales of hay and baled another 900. Sunday night, I had to apply ice to a pulled muscle in my back.

I think this may be the best argument against diversification there could be. I cannot wait to get in the combine and be a grain farmer again.

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