Around the Farm – Planting Patience

Posted: April 25, 2019

Years ago, my mom received a coffee mug as a gift. All the adults hooted and hollered over it like it was the funniest thing ever. On it, it read, “God, grant me patience and I want it right now!”

As a kid without a care in the world, I didn’t understand why it was so hilarious. Then I became a farm wife and I have to say, a truer sentiment may never have been written. I’m not sure if it’s funny but it sure is true!

Let’s take our current situation on our farm here in Waterman. Planting season on the farm is headed into full swing and I say that completely tongue-in-cheek.

The idea of anything consistent is an anomaly on the farm. Our work requires patience and A LOT of it because truly, much of our schedule is out of our hands.

Work, stop, work, move fields. Work, stop, change the planter over from corn to beans. Change the planter back to corn.

We practice our patience as we monitor the soil conditions until they’re fit for planting.

If a planter breaks down while we’re planting and parts are on backorder, we’re stuck until the part comes in or we find a workaround. These are the days when I wear my hat as parts runner. I’ve been known to throw the kids into the Suburban and head wherever the parts may be. Sometimes that’s hours away. If you have kids, you know that requires patience!

Work, stop. Work, stop. When we work, we work hard. We know conditions can change in a heartbeat. My husband always says when Mother Nature’s your boss, you don’t get to call the shots. Rain and storms can delay our progress. Even when the rain passes, fields may have wet spots that keep us from working in that particular area.

Speaking of Mother Nature, here’s a tricky one… If we get too much rain, it may wash out our crops which requires replanting. Additional time, tractor hours and seed expense.

On the other hand, if we don’t get enough rain, the soil becomes dense and hard and the seedlings can’t break through the soil and thrive.

Planting season is a lot more than firing up the tractor, drilling the seeds in the ground and sitting back to watch crops grow. Yes, it is a real exercise in patience and I’m willing to bet every farm and farmer has their own stories to share.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m headed out to find that coffee mug. I’m gonna need it.