Saturday, May 21, 2011

Goin' Gamblin'

This post was written by Adam.

Planting the last field to corn.

Farming is a risky game that we all play as soon as we put the seed in the ground. No one knows what is going to happen over the very long growing period it takes for the crops to mature. We just recently got finished planing corn and soybeans for the 2011 season. It was a real relief to get done and to finish in a timely manner. I finished planting soybeans on the 18th of May, which is considerably sooner than we finished last year. I didn't even start planting beans last year until the 29th of May, and didn't finish until the 20th of June. That's a whole month sooner this year than last and it gives this year's plants more time to grow and produce more beans.

Planting is very important part of the farming process. It's how the growing season starts for each kernel of corn or every soybean seed. A lot of time, money, and effort is put into giving every seed the chance to emerge and become part of the many that will grow and make grain for us to sell. After everything is planted, it's out of our hands and up to Mother Nature to determine the outcome of the crop. There are so many variables that can affect the way the plants grow and how they turn out in the fall. Too much rain, not enough rain, hail, tornados, heat, and wind are many of the examples that nature can throw at us to affect the crops. Just tonight, we had a storm pass through our area with strong winds, hail and heavy rains and even a few tornados to the south of us. I'm sure every farmer in the area was glued to their television set hoping that the weather would not devastate their newly planted crops. The corn in our area ranges from 2-6 inches tall and is very vulnerable. Hail and strong winds could wipe out a whole field in a matter of minutes. Hopefully in the morning the corn will still be in rows growing like it was the day before.

Planting corn.

Farmers can buy crop insurance to protect their crops against weather and the devastation that can come with it. Every year crops are destroyed by weather and natural disasters and crop insurance helps ease some of the pain. However, there is no feeling to describe seeing your cornfield that has been flattened by wind or shredded by a hailstorm. To a farmer, every corn plant or every soybean plant is important to the final outcome of the crop; that's how we make our living and if the plants get damaged or destroyed, we will not have anything to sell in the fall. Think of it as if every corn plant is a child. 26,000 children per acre and we don't want to lose a single one. Or 155,000 soybean plants per acre and each one is just as important as the next. All the seeds work together to make the final yield when we harvest the crop in the fall.

The three-week-old corn plants at our house.

Planting the first field of beans.

It takes so much money these days to put in a crop. A small example would be going to the craps table at a casino and throwing down $100,000 and having to wait 6 or 7 months to find out if you won or not. Don't get me wrong, I love what I do and wouldn't want to do anything else, but there is a lot in this business that we dont' have control over. There is so much risk that we take on every day that most people outside of this profession don't think about. So next the next time you are on your way to the casino, and you see a farmer in the field, remember you are both goin' gamblin.'

1 comment:

  1. Love this post! I tell my farmer hubby all the time that I'm supporting his gambling habit! Nice to know we aren't the only ones who feel that way!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...