July 18th, 2015
I always like to stay positive about farming, but I also want to give you a realistic picture of what we are dealing with this year. This has been a year like no other…I know, there are no “normal” years, but this one is pretty extreme. We got another .8 inches of rain at the farm yesterday. Anymore, anything under an inch is no big deal. Our eastern farms got 1 inch and our southern and western farms got right at 3 inches. Most of our farms are getting close to 20 inches of rain since mid-May. I noticed from our spray records that we have only sprayed for weeds on 4 different days since we completed planting. All of our fields have some nitrogen on them, but we still have 4 fields that we are trying to get into for a late shot of nitrogen. In some of those fields, the corn is getting too tall to get through, even with our tall Hagie.
We were able to finish harvesting our wheat. Our five-year average yield for wheat is above 90, and our average for this year was 72. We are just thankful to complete the harvest in-between the rains. We started at 4:00 on Wednesday afternoon and ran until 10:30. We weren’t able to start on Thursday until about 3:30 because of wet conditions, but we were able to run until 12:30am and finished it up. A special thanks to our guys. We normally never dry wheat, but there was no choice this year. For us that meant a lot of cleaning of our grain system and a lot of trucking as we had to transfer the wheat from our drying facility to a different bin system that Pioneer has approved for seed storage. The guys really stepped it up and put in extra effort.
We just don’t know what kind of potential our corn and soybeans have. It has definitely taken a hit. At the same time, we think some of the crops still have potential to be excellent. It just depends on planting date and whether a field is well-drained or not.
It is easy to become frustrated about our situation, then God gives me a gentle reminder. I received a newsletter from Megan and Michelle Moss who are missionaries in Tanzania. We have worked with them in the past through AgriStewards and teaching “Farming God’s Way”. They were reporting on a recent training they had for a group of women in their area. They sent us pictures of each of the women along with their prayer requests for their businesses. As an example, there is a lady named Nageli. She plans to open a small store selling food staples. A difficulty for her will be the temptation to use the food for her family without paying for it. Ok, I have to step back and make sure I keep some perspective. Isn’t it amazing how much of the world truly doesn’t know how they will feed their families each day. We get pretty stressed out, but seriously…
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