Like most things on the farm, planting is a team effort. The main team members on our farm include my dad, my mom and me… and our ag retailer who delivers our seed and helps us with various jobs.
Our teamwork was extra helpful this year since we were pushing pretty hard to get planting done early. I was trying to hurry because there was rain in the forecast (which never came, haha) and I had to get back to my other job.
In fact, one night I was in the tractor planting soybeans until 1 a.m. I don’t think this is uncommon for most farmers. I can think of several times driving late into the evening and still seeing tractor lights out in the field. There always seems to be rain that is coming or some type of pressure to get crops planted at just the right time before it gets too late into the season.
Honestly, I don’t know how other farmers do it. I was completely exhausted the next day!! I think my dad probably was too! I called him at one point to come out and help me fill the soybean drill with seed. There he came at almost midnight, out in the dark, to fill the drill in his pajamas.
And my mom packed me a bag full of snacks to help keep me awake. Finally, I gave up and went home when I figured out I still had another four hours or so to go before I would finish the field.
I think part of the pressure to get planting done was based on the past couple of years. Two years ago we had so much rain; many farmers were never able to plant their crops at all! I remember going to the farm and checking the field, day after day, to see if the ground had dried out enough for us to plant. Then, last year, we got everything planted, but had so much rain and so many little ponds in our field that we had to replant a large amount of the field.
We are hoping for an easier year this year. And so far, it seems to be looking pretty good. Crops are in the field and no flooding… yet! We will see what happens in the next several weeks!
ELIZABETH KOENIG – HINCKLEY FARMER, THERAPIST, AND ARTISAN SOAP MAKER