Lassy Fair

I’ve been cutting beans on the last farm I have beans growing on. But it’s not the last field on that farm. I’m cutting on the thirty five acre field across the creek. There is also a fifteen acre field on the hill by the road. Both fields were tiled with drainage tile this spring. The fifteen acre field had a wet spot where the ground water came seeping out of the hillside. It’s not a very large wet spot but the soil conservation service says that hill should have two terraces built on it and that it should be tiled. We’ll try the tile first. Terraces make hillsides wetter, we’d better see if we can keep it dry first. Terraces make the whole hill wetter all the way to the creek if there are any areas where water is sometimes near the surface. Adding a terrace can create a wetland.

That’s the case across the creek. The neighbor added terraces up hill from that patch. Added water infiltration from no till farming increases the effect on my side of the fence even though the slopes are low enough to require no terracing. Five or more acres in the thirty five there would sometimes stay too wet too long to produce a crop. I had hedged my bets over there by adding it to the creek pasture for about fifteen years. For four years now I have been growing continuous corn there because it’s less sensitive to excess moisture than beans are. This is the first time it has been planted to soybeans in about twenty years. We couldn’t have picked a better year to lay down the tile lines. You wouldn’t know it could ever be wet. In one of the wettest years I’ve farmed out of thirty one.

Well, I have cattle to move and another quarter mile of barbed wire to roll up this morning while it’s too wet to combine beans. Or more importantly I should move rocks down to the creek crossing so I can cross it with the twenty foot bean head still on the combine since it won’t fit across the eighteen foot county road bridge only a stones throw away. It may be called a quick attach head but it’s still a pain in the ass having to do it to simply cross the creek. My next door neighbor says the county is going to put a new bridge in to replace the one there. I hope it’s over twenty feet wide. That would save me some hassle every year.

Have a great day and hey, be careful out there. This is one of the most dangerous jobs in the country.

See ya then, see ya there.

Cc

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Solvent Green

It’s hard to call it a dry lot when it rains every day. Now it’s a mud lot. Pity the cows of summer. I’ve been letting the herd out to graze during the mornings. They have started coming back into the lot to drink on their own. Two days ago the whole herd came in and all I had to do was shut the gate. Yesterday they congregated just outside the gate and a few came in to drink at a time. Some weren’t going to try it after being “caught” the day before by the gate. Once my oldest at home daughter and I ran the whole herd in they all drank heartily, since they were already caught. I’m running out of firm places in the yards to place the hay rings. I may have to move outside the yards into the loafing lane that we were running them down to drink in when we started this dry lot experience. I don’t know who will give up first, the rain or I.

The fence on the north farm is two thirds torn out. We would be pulling the rest of the “T” posts today had we not been rained out by 9:00 AM. With the rain came the chance to post this. It had been coming in the afternoons like the monsoons but today we are strait into the rain forest. Thank God for the new tile lines. They are running full time. Now if I can convince the absentee landlord to lay some tile on the five plus acres of his that amounts to nothing on these wet years. Even if it turns back dry like last year the damage is already done on those soaked and standing water acres. This spring when we laid the tile and I was saying to the contractors I’d be better able to point out where they needed to lay the line if it was still wet they said the stunted stalks and cobs would show them. Their the experts. The division of labor paying off Adam Smith style.

Speaking of the division of labor I’m still waiting on the truck to haul the corn out of the storage bins. I may have to divide that labor up into more than one trucking firm. If my older brother can’t get to it my other older brother has a son who started farming last year and he has bought his own truck. The boy went to college so his truck business card reads “Commodity Relocation Specialist”. Newspeak for trucker. College loans, where would we be without ’em. Oh that’s right, solvent. Out of the red and into the black. Making the green. Solvent green. Aka capital. Yes, that’s capital. Not loans. Debt is the opposite of capital. It leads to farmers working for the shit when it comes to hogs. I can remember when the shit was the by product and the farmers got the money for the hogs. Now they don’t even own the hogs. Some communist Chinese corporation does. The other white meat is now Red meat.

It’s still raining on the scarecrow.

See ya then see ya there …….

Cc

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‘Tween The Sheets

……. of RAIN !!!

Round two was as bad as round one. That makes three severe storms since we started planting. Or is the new word extreme. (Extra meme???) Extreme weather is here to stay or so they say. I say extreme weather’s been here a long time. Maybe forever. I remember extreme weather my whole life. Anybody ever read an old newspaper? The sky’s been falling since the chicken’s been little. There truly is nothing new under the sun. Nor under the moon for the nocturnal amongst us.

The storm toppled Mid American’s new metal power poles south west of me. Along with a neighbor’s new machine shed. The two brothers, who farm together, were reportedly in the shed at the time. They had gone out to put the machinery in the shed to get ready for the storm. They were inside when it hit. One climbed into the dual hub of the big four wheel drive tractor and the other wedged himself in between the dual and the other tire. They could feel the large tractor shaking as the daylight flooded the area when the shed lifted away.

We ended up with another four or five inches of rain. Hard and fast the way she likes it. It came in sheets again. The wet spots are back. It ran down the gullies again. It didn’t look like the water ran as high or as fast as last time. But it ran a lot longer. The initial downpours were three times as long. In three consecutive waves. Then it rained a nice gentle rain for hours. The creek was up out of the banks covering the whole bottom pasture. It never topped the road or washed out much fence. I was able to mend it in a day. Until it recedes further. That may take some time as all the tile lines are running full bore. Thanks for the rain God. We needed it.

Cc

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