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Hurry, Hurry, While the Sun Shines

Jan 25, 2024Jan 25, 2024

Hurry, hurry. Time's a wastin’.

The sun is shining and a light breeze is blowing. So much to do and so little time in which to do it.

That's farming in the pressure-driven spring planting season. And, after a prolonged stretch of relatively warm, dry weather, it's pretty much predictable that, as spring work got underway, Mother Nature threw her usual "monkey-wrench" into the mix: moisture.

Hurry. Hurry.

With pallets of sweet-corn seed already tucked into the ground, and the last bag on hand dumped into the planter boxes, it was determined we would plant yet a few more acres. So, in a hurry, a few extra bags of seed corn were rounded up from a local seed supplier and hustled into those unplanted fields.

And, rain was coming. The TV weather maps depicted the ominous storms heading our way from a couple of directions — orange and yellow blotches of impending wind and rain, already dumping their soggy load on farmers trying to plant in distant states. Here, as day turned to dusk, and faded to darkness, the hum of the planting rig could be heard in the distance.

Hurry. Hurry.

When the tractor and planter were eventually parked below the house at a late hour, it was a relief to know all the corn acres were covered. It was another job completed.

But, another crunch-time awaited by morning — fields of alfalfa and grass destined for baleage for the beef herd. Unfortunately not located in one large, efficiently made field, the forage acreage to be laid down was scattered in smaller plots among our fields.

Through the rush, our grandson discovered that his cellphone — a bridge of life for farmers working across scattered fields — was ready to die from battery depletion. Running one of our old, "almost classic" tractors, he had no USB port in which to plug for a recharge. Fortunately, his mom keeps a couple of those portable charging banks ready to go, allowing him to recharge while mowing after he stopped to retrieve emergency power.

You gotta’ love technology, at least sometimes.

Hurry. Hurry.

With several acres of forage drying, a sunny and breezy afternoon became a plus. With multiple rainstorms aimed our way, I mowed the lawn, before it resembled a pasture. That finished, I hurried to put down more cardboard and mulch in the garden, aiming to keep weeds minimized until warmer temperatures allow more planting. As clouds began meandering in our direction and winds picked up, I had one more hustle. A few short rows of flower seeds went into a prepared spot in the border, the tiny "acreage" was covered with a wire hoop and clear plastic fastened over it with clothespins. Some planting can be done with minimal technology.

Hurry. Hurry.

A neighbor waved as he passed by on his way toward our meadow with his tractor and round baler. He was headed to custom roll the semi-dried forage, to be later bagged on the mown section near the feedlot. In just minutes he was gone, en route to the next small plot drying in the breeze.

While I grabbed a sandwich for supper, The Farmer called from where he was moving rolled bales in a distant field. His loader equipment to stack bales on the flatbed had quit, pitching some sort of technological temper tantrum. A shuttle back home to retrieve another front-end loader was needed.

Hurry. Hurry.

With everyone scattered in fields tackling forage harvest, loading, and moving bales, I did my evening chores. I put an extra layer of row cover over the tender lettuces in the raised beds, chased the pair of dawdling guineas into the pen and locked up the feathered flock. It had been about enough hurry for the day.

The Farmer arrived back after dark, while the rest of the crew was still hard at the baleage endeavor, hauling bales home to be bagged. When I headed to bed later all was quiet and dark. But, when I woke a few hours later, lights shone in the meadow. Someone was hurrying way overtime to finish.

A long, white row of plastic in the meadow the next morning attested to the job having been completed, despite a glitch that created problems with the bagger. It was a good thing, too, because the morning was still young when the first raindrops spattered on the basement porch, soon becoming a steady downpour.

Hurry. Hurry. It's one of the earmarks of this super-busy, spring planting and harvest time.

And, through it all, everyone please be extra careful. Hurry safely.

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