Most of us drive along country roads and give only a passing glance to the crops in the field. I always note the colors of the crop or try to judge the fields’ general health-maybe look to see if there is standing water. It really does not involve me very deeply. It is much different if you are out in the field.
Whatever your stress level is at work, farmers have more-at least this season. Spring was tough, planting was late but they got it done. I remember talking to people and hearing over and over how if they just had a few days, farmers could finish up their spring planting.
The problem is that there seems to be no break between planting, spraying, and harvest. Farmers might be preparing their sprayer at the same time they are still finishing up planting wet areas that finally dried up. It may seem like a small thing; however it is nice to fully complete one task before you begin the next. It’s just so much less mentally taxing to focus on one section of field work at a time.
One problem is that farmers, no matter how hard they work or plan, are affected by outside influences. Tariffs and other countries who supply the same product are a few influences. They also need to understand the markets some too. I think most get advice on marketing but they still have to know at least when to get advice. Getting the crop into a grain bin is the first step as they need to know when to sell the crop or else all that storage doesn’t help very much.
The harvest of 2019 is without precedent-at least to my knowledge. I’ve asked people, up to the age of 65, and none of them can remember a fall harvest as mean as this one. We’ve had incredible rain amounts however that typically occurred in the spring or summer-a time when plentiful sunshine can evaporate the extra moisture. I checked the Area Rainfall site on Facebook and September brought 5 inches of rain or more in September-just the time you don’t want rain. This is the time when farmers are finishing up grain harvest and really digging into the soybeans. I think most people thought we’d get a hard frost in October which would settle things down. Unfortunately, it rained in October too which, combined with that frost, made snow.
Everyone has a camera on the their phone so every event is documented and placed into social media. For this reason, generations will know about the harvest of 2019. They will probably be happy they didn’t live through it and take heart in the fact that their situation isn’t as bad as their predecessors. It’s always nice to have a high watermark of pain and misery to make you feel lucky.
Farmers will finish as much of the harvest and maybe finish it next spring. Some crop may just be left in the field. Tillage will be tough come spring but it will get done. I was driving past a field, just last week, and noticed a completed field of beans. I thought to myself how no matter what, the farmers always get the job done.