Around the Farm – “I Remember When”

Posted: March 16, 2022

Most of the time you will see me “around the farm” with my dad, so I thought I would get his input on this month’s article. My dad has been farming forever and is a wealth of knowledge.

This is especially true since farming has changed so much over his lifetime. He has had to continue to learn new technology and farming practices over his 60 years of farming.

I hear a lot of “I remember when…” statements when we are working together. One “I remember when” statement refers to the fluctuation of corn and soybean prices.

According to my dad, “If the prices of corn and soybeans fluctuated a penny or half a cent in a day, that was a pretty big day.” Now prices can easily fluctuate fifty cents in a day or a dollar in a matter of weeks.

Grain prices and inputs have certainly changed significantly over the years. This year seems to be an extreme example of grain prices fluctuating two dollars or more per bushel over the last several weeks and months.

Another “I remember when” statement is about the drastic change and the advancement in farm technology.

“Driving an old Super C back then is a lot different than what you’re driving now,” my dad explains. He learned how to farm with a tractor that was about 25 horsepower and now you don’t really see much below 200 horsepower.

The tractor I learned how to drive was a somewhat larger John Deere tractor that had a cab, a radio and air conditioning, which is much more than my dad had when he was learning. Now most tractors come with that and more.

A large number of tractors doing field work now have GPS auto steer, which is a really nice feature that I am definitely not complaining about! Even over the last 20 years, when I started to drive tractors, things have certainly changed.

I often wonder what the next 20 years will bring on the farm. Most people tend to worry what the future brings or what the outlook might be, especially farmers.

I don’t think any farmer wants to guess what the grain prices will be in 20 years. Most (including me) would be content to know what the prices will be next week!

Perhaps the next “I remember when” will be from me talking about unmanned machinery doing fieldwork and robotic types of technology in agriculture.

I’m sure I’ll make these “I remember when” statements once I am my dad’s age. And, hopefully, I will have the same wealth of knowledge as my dad.

Dad and I talk regularly about our farm work – he continues to give me advice and reflect on how farming has changed during his lifetime.