I’ll just say it. If a farmer doesn’t care enough about the land they are entrusted to care for to create waterways to carry water properly off their land, they shouldn’t be farming.
What the heck! When it rains, it pours! The weather has not worked with us and it has been extremely wet and cool this spring. Usually, the crop (both corn and beans) is planted before the end of May. Not this year.
May is the time we all think about graduation. Maybe you have someone near and dear to your heart graduating from pre-school, high school or college. It’s such an exciting time for all! As a high school teacher I attended many graduation party venues congratulating many seniors. Here’s a speech I gave at the school I taught the year I retired. I made sure it was only 90 seconds.
Who wants to listen to a long speech at graduation? I don’t see any hands up!
It’s time to plant corn. This is an important event on our farm.
This year’s planting season is not ideal. We’ve had a lot of rain and the weather is cool. The truth is, we have two choices to plant; corn or beans. The deep dark soil of Iowa and the humid nights and days of summer are well suited to growing bumper crops of corn and beans. Twenty years ago we also planted oats that also made straw for farrowing hogs. Those days are long gone.
Planting in last year’s bean field doesn’t take as much preparation as planting in last year’s cornfield. Bean fields don’t have as much trash as a cornfield, as bean plants aren’t as big or as tough as a corn plant. They are less than half the size and don’t have as large of a leaf structure as a corn plant. Less stuff creates less work!
Decades ago I impulsively went to a garage sale at a house I drove by on my way to the grocery store twelve miles away. I was looking over the items on a table in the driveway. A man sauntered up to me. He had on a tight-fitting shirt unbuttoned to the middle of his chest. He wore diamond rings on each of his fingers and had gold chains displayed around his neck. He checked his gold watch for the time.
There are several pieces of equipment we use to put in the crop. For planting corn, we use a 9-shank John Deere chisel plow (1996), a 28-foot John Deere soil finisher (1988) and a John Deere 4-row planter (1985). We use three different tractors; a John Deere 4755 (1992), a John Deere 4040 (1980) and a John Deere 4440 (1979).
Planting beans requires all the equipment listed except a 450 John Deere bean drill (2000) is used instead of the corn planter.
March is a good time to figure out the garden. It’s too cold and windy to do much else. There are several garden catalogs that arrive in the mail every winter. So much to choose from!