What do farm families do in the winter to prepare for spring planting?

February 26, 2024

Answer: We are staying busy this time of year with equipment repairs, office work, and hauling grain.

Winter projects are in full swing on our farm. We are eagerly awaiting to get into the fields but there is a lot of work to be done before we can start planting. We are spending our time working in the machine shop, running numbers in the office, and hauling grain.

Shop work is one of my favorite things to do this time of year. We are fortunate to have a heated place to work on equipment and get it ready to go to the fields.

One of the most important tools farmers use on the farm is the planter. It seems like we have one shot to get the crops in at the right time. Because this timing is so important, every year we will go through our planter ahead of time and make adjustments as needed or replace parts that are worn out.

I love working in the shop this time of year. It’s important that our equipment, like this planter, is ready to go as soon as we can get into the field to plant.

It is important for the seed to be properly spaced apart so we will also check the seed meters that determine where the seed gets dropped into the soil. We will also look at the disc openers which make the trench in the soil where the seed will be placed. We will then ensure the closing wheels, which close the trench, are working properly so the seed has proper soil-to-seed contact. All of these parts have to work together so that the seed has the best opportunity to grow.

We are also busy working in our office reviewing and analyzing results of last year’s harvest and making decisions on what to implement this year. We want to confirm we are placing seed hybrids correctly on the appropriate fields. We are currently planning our fertility programs so we are not wasting fertilizer. And of course, we can’t forget about Uncle Sam’s request to get taxes done this time of year!
One more task that is on our to-do list is hauling the grain that we harvested last year to its final destination – the feed mill or an ethanol plant.

As the warm weather arrives it’s a welcome feeling as we get ready to go to the field. With this year’s mild winter, it looks like it could be an early start to planting or field work. That being said, a strong game plan with equipment field-ready is vital to a successful year.

Sometimes it’s a short window of opportunity to plant, so we must be fully prepared yet flexible for whatever may come our way.

KEVIN FAIVRE IS A 5TH GENERATION FARMER AND RAISES PIGS, CORN AND SOYBEANS. KEVIN AND HIS WIFE LIZ AND CHILDREN ALEX, JOE, AND GUINEVERE RESIDE ON THEIR FARM IN RURAL MALTA.


Share: