Whats Happening on the Farm

There are times on the farm when nothing goes right.  Much like life, there are times when it would have been better if I had just stayed in bed.  Of course, if that would have happened, something would have gone wrong there too.

plantingcornBut, there are times when things just go right.

Many in the Midwest (Indiana, Illinois, Ohio) were having an extremely difficult time planting corn due to continuous rain.  Here on the extreme western fringes of the corn belt, we began with cold weather, but, it has warmed and the corn has gone in without a struggle.  In four days, I planted all of my corn in amongst small rain showers.  After the corn was in, I sprayed it with fertilizer, hoping for rain to incorporate it into the soil.  A few hours after I pulled out of the field, the rain came!  I couldn’t have planned it any better!

I have received many questions about the farm and the practices here on the plains of western Nebraska.  In this picture, I am planting “no-til corn”.  The ground has not been tilled.  It has been sprayed with herbicide to keep the weeds controlled from robbing our stored moisture.  This practice also protects the soil from wind and water erosion.  In these parts, that is a good thing.

In this picture, I am planting corn into last summers havested wheat stubble.  If this was Iowa or even Eastern Nebraska, we could expect yields of 150-200 bushels per acre.  In this area, we think anything over 100 bushels is incredible.  We just don’t get the moisture here that they receive.  Therefore, we don’t plant it as dense as they would there.   It’s a nice addition to help rotate crops from our traditional staple crop of wheat.

Western Nebraska 2I have been following the ag scene on twitter.  Tuesday nights is #agchat night.  Much of the discussion is centered around getting the word out about what is right with agriculture.  I must admit, most of the common folks that frequent this blog or follow me on twitter are fans of agriculture and todays food production systems. They like to eat.

I understand there are those who are the loud silent minority, advocating all sorts of changes to the established system.  Many of those advocates for change need to understand the truth.  It would be like me trying to grow oranges.  I have no clue about growing oranges, therefore, I am not going to tell them how to do it.  Trust me, I am not going to imlement a practice on my farm that jeapordizes my livlihood or the future of food production here.   I think I can speak that for all of my colleagues in the food production industry.

On behalf of the food production specialists of the world, thank you for eating!


9 responses to “Whats Happening on the Farm

  1. problems wetting the bed, huh?
    probably best you dont’ stay in bed

  2. Thanks for feeding the United States. I for one will keep eating. I had this week I have had many meals from corn and wheat products. In the words of Randy Owens, Jeff Cook, Teddy Gentry, & Mark Herndon, “Let me thank you for your time!”

  3. Amanda Sanders

    Loved this post for all kinds of reasons. Pictures and farm wisdom make for a great post.

    Somthing I wrestle with all time… How do we instill the goodness and providence of God into children that have never had their hands in the soil? Who think that food originates at the Chick Fil A drive thru?

  4. Loved the farm pictures … and I love being fed. Thanks!

  5. What is it that scares the primary players in today’s conventional food system that dominates retail channels?

    Is it the “loud silent minority” that has reached a pitch that is finally caught people’s attention in the press, media and otherwise?

    Is it the rapidly growing prevalence of “Western diseases” racing through our communities that is reducing life spans for the first time in history?

    Is it a lack of understanding of how farms can financially migrate from subsidized commodity crops to “specialty” food crops (as defined by the USDA)?

    Or is the “loud silent majority” talking out the side of its neck?

    Whatever the reason, it seems to me that the problem is that the sides have dug in their respective heals and stopped listening to each other.

    That is really a shame since we are talking about a Maslow hierarchy of needs (i.e., food), our health, and our environment.

    It will take all of us to find a better, more sustainable path forward.

    Food for thought…

    Rob Smart
    a.k.a., Jambutter on Twitter

    • If you read deep into this post and understand more about farming you will see that Steve lives in a more arid region of the United States. He struggles to get enough water for his wheat and corn to make half of the crop that other parts of the US gets.

      Now to suggest that he should be growing vegtable crops? This would mean financial ruin. Think about trying to grow a garden and never watering it, now cut your rainfall in half and dont water it and see what you get!

      Steve, I loved this post, it shows that you as well as the rest of us farmers love what you are doing and are going to continue to work hard to feed America!

      Happy 4th!

      M. Haley

  6. I will continue to eat in order to support you. In fact, I could be called an Over Supporter.

  7. I support you from Argentina. Here we have the same problems of comunication with ignorant people who try to give us a lesson from your pride. Only the farmers have the knowledge for maintaining your farmland productive for many generations. What´s more, is your own interest to do it.

  8. was an article I liked. Thanks for sharing.

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