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CLAYTON RYE

By Staff | Apr 22, 2011

Tax day has gone. Depending on when you read this, Easter Sunday is either very close or was just a few days ago. According to the calendar, spring is here.

So why is there snow, of all things, in the forecast? Around here we are looking at a predicted 3 to 4 inches. With the temperature predicted, it will not last long but it will be able to be seen.

Stating the obvious, that means the tractors, field cultivators, planters, fertilizer application equipment, and everything else in position to start the planting season will be sitting still for another few days.

It also means the garden will not be tilled soon and our seed potatoes, which have little green sprouts showing, will remain in the bag.

Those green sprouts are telling us that, ready or not, they are going to start the growing season. They know that Good Friday is approaching, which is the day my wife says the potatoes are to be planted.

To top all this off, I do not believe Good Friday and Easter could be much later on the calendar than this year.

So, I guess that means this year will be like the other years when we start planting after Easter. Maybe we can draw some small comfort in that the proper sequence of things is first, Easter, then planting.

It does not help when last year’s memories are still fresh in our minds. Most years, we are on the verge of putting seeds in the ground on April 23.

Last year on this farm, the final kernels of seed corn went into the ground April 23.

We were done with corn planting on a day we usually try to start. Until that happened, I did not know you could do that around here.

I can also take comfort that with the size of today’s equipment and the technology behind it, once conditions are fit and can last a week or two, it will be amazing to see what can be accomplished in 10 days.

This is when I have to remind myself that in the 1950s and early 1960s, when I watched my dad put in a corn crop, if he was done by the early days of June, he was on time. If he finished by late-May, he was early.

I remember one year he finished on his wedding anniversary which was June 9 and that was not replanted corn. It was the first time planting for the year in that field. I watched him plant the last field because school was out.

He had about 200 acres of corn to put in back then so it took him a week or more to do what we can now do in a couple days.

This is what I will tell myself as the seed potatoes have decided to start without me, as I look across soggy ground badly in need of drying out, and while I enjoy the ham my wife bought for Easter Sunday dinner when our children and their spouses and children are at the dinner table.

The ham and mashed potatoes will be as delicious as always when our treasured family sits together Easter Sunday and we know that once underway, spring planting will be over in a matter of days.

While the days can vary, every spring we plant a crop and every fall, we harvest a crop. We depend on that.

Okay cold, wet spring, make your appearance. Do what you have to do, but do not plan on staying long.

The seed potatoes are getting impatient and so are the rest of us.

Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at crye@wctatel.net.

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