As harvest was getting started around here, I was wondering about my role during harvest, as my role during planting was picker of large rocks, a job that was measured in mere hours. That was it.
My son teamed up with a neighbor and they worked hard for a few days with big equipment and made everything look easy.
I was more of a spectator than a participant during planting, but after unloading corn for five days last week, my days of observing have ended for a while, at least until harvest is completed.
Monday was day one and when I gently (emphasis on gently) lowered myself into my living room chair that evening. I knew my 65 years were all in place. Maybe being overweight and out of shape was not helpful either.
It did give me an appreciation for being a spectator.
Tuesday was back to work, and that day did not go too badly. At day’s end, I was weary, but not in any pain.
All of the days were marked by beautiful weather and no breakdowns. My son and I covered a lot of ground. It was a good week.
Helping make a good week better, yields, while not what we have had in past years, were better than the disaster I was afraid was coming this way.
Can you have a partial disaster?
An advantage of a short crop is that it requires a short time to harvest it. We seem to be running about three to four weeks ahead of usual. We’ve had October since the end of August.
Our good yields of past years have pushed our elderly combine to its limit, but this year the combine is handling everything with ease. That may be the only advantage I can think of for this year.
Another benefit of this year’s crop season is that we will have for many more years a new standard for bad news.
Future years will be dry, “but not as dry as 2012.”
We will have a short crop due to dry weather, “but not as short as 2012.”
When soybean harvest begins, for the next few years we will say, “Remember back in 2012 when we started on corn before the soybeans?”
When harvest ends early, we will say, “It wasn’t as early as back in 2012.”
Then when we get a flood we will say, “Where was that water when we needed it back in 2012?”
We have all heard the phrase of how a dark cloud can have a silver lining. The dark cloud of 2012 with its lack of rain had the silver lining of record high crop prices that will have disappeared in all likelihood in the coming year.
We will hear the farm broadcasters give the market reports and say, “That was a high price for that time, but not as high as the record set in 2012.”
2012 was too hot, too dry and way too dusty, and it is not done yet. The temperatures have moderated, but the dry, dusty conditions remain in place.
It’s been a long time since I have seen any soil stick to a tire. We have a severe shortage of mud.
When was the last time I complained about mud? I can’t remember.
The crop year of 2012 is one for the books any way you measure it. Most of the records that were set I do not want to break in the future and they can stay records for a long time.
Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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