On days like today when an inch+ rain is forecasted overnight into Monday, we have to start strategizing for the next few days and where we need to be before the rain hits. This could mean an array of things:
This is "In the life of AF^2" straight from our brain into words for your entertainment.
- One inch of rain can stall an operation for several days, especially during the fall where the days aren't as hot or long. So with that in mind, we don't want to have rotobeated sugar beets sitting in the field unharvested because the leaves will slowly grow back, thus forcing us to re-rotobeat them. This is not an efficient process and it may not be a big deal either way...however, it's the principle, the mindset that pushes us to prepare for the worse. Plan for the best, prepare for the worst.
- Wheat harvest is effected largely by rain, because the product has to be dry for harvest to work appropriately. There isn't much prep work in preparing a wheat crop for rain other than ensuring all storage bin tops are closed, tarps on the trucks are rolled out, all harvest equipment fueled up and parked close to the road in the likely event that a field from other regions didn't get as much, or any, rain. With rain, oftentimes comes wind so we also secure our grain conveyors by taking them down and lowered to the ground so they don't have a chance to tip over. (Check out the picture)
- To plow before the rain or not to plow before the rain, that is the question for whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a Sea of troubles. Ok, it's not that important or dramatic, but it does raise questions:
a) Does the field need drainage maintenance for the upcoming fall? If so, it sure is rough driving around the field after its plowed. ( the soil sample agronomy team would also appreciate this)
b) If we plow it this early, will we have to plow it an extra time before winter to kill all the weeds and volunteer plants?
c) Does the ground need moisture before we till it up, or would a hard rainfall help loosen up the chunks?
d) Does the soil type blow worse than other soils? Maybe we ought to consider not plowing this field this fall.
e) do we want to fertilize prior to plowing? It depends on the current weather, current crop and next crop.
- 4) A rainy day also means an "indoor" office day.... talk about laaaaaame. Our "outdoor" office is much more enjoyable, much more gratifying and surprisingly.. much less stressful.... for some.
- 5) Most importantly, rain days give the team a much-needed regen day. We may still be doing some shop work but with a much more relaxed environment. It is very easy to get burned out quickly when we have a multi-crop harvest taking place. Can you believe that we could even have 3 or 4 crops harvested at the same time? I have a headache already. Rain days in the shop are very important for maintenance on all harvest equipment. We will usually bandaid booboos (look again fellas, it clearly says "boo boos") until a rain day and then we will fix said equipment appropriately.
This is a vague look into the mind of a farmer on a day to day basis. There is no trickery and no advertising, there is, however blips of humor throughout the day. Were concocting this posting throughout the whole day, I have been adding to it and editing it all day in real-time as these decisions arise. It wouldn't be an "In the life of AF^2" experience without posting the mistakes as well...so prepare for some head scratching, humorous and some not so humorous mess-ups.