5.11.15 / admin
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year: Planting Season
By: Sarah Wilson, corn and soybean farmer from Jamestown, North Datkota.
I love when the countryside comes to life during planting season. It’s so quiet all winter long, and then, BAM! It’s alive again. Unless you’re living out here in rural America, you might not get to experience this shift. So for those of you not getting your hands dirty in the field, here’s an up close and personal look at what planting season is like.
One thing we can’t control is the weather. We’ll have the equipment sitting out, all ready to go, and then the temperature drops and the ducks are out in the pond, walking on ice. “Hurry up and wait” is a common scenario around here. But until the weather warms up, there’s not much we can do. You have to be able to roll with the punches. We stay plenty busy with some of our main responsibilities, like equipment preparation and record keeping, until conditions are perfect. Then it’s a race to get everything done.
Our equipment is running around the clock. The longest stretch my husband ever went during planting season was 30 hours. My job is to keep the crew going during these long days and small planting windows. I keep them fed, clothed and happy. Some days that means running into town for a replacement part, and some late nights it means piling my three little ones in the pickup to deliver a healthy dinner and change of clothes. The next morning can be rough, but the kids love trips out to the field in their PJs.
Long before the tractor has hit the field, we’ve plotted out exactly which crops will go where. Because our equipment is constantly collecting data, we know how productive our land is, down to the square inch. Every field gets a “prescription,” which allows us to avoid wasting valuable seed and fertilizer. The better we can manage the nutrients going onto the field, the better we can manage the plants, and the better we can care for the environment. We believe we are stewards of this little piece of earth. It’s our moral obligation, and we take it very seriously. For us, it’s personal.