About this time of year, my husband and I get asked a certain question on a daily basis from colleagues, friends, neighbors, etc.
How do your crops look?
Typically in agriculture, we call this the growing season. I think it's the hardest part about a farmer's job.
Seed is in the ground. Pesticide and fertilizer have been applied.
Then, it's time to watch the crops grow.
What makes this the hardest part about farming is the unknown. We don't know how much or how little rain we'll get over the course of the summer. We don't know if once the seed is planted, we will have a late frost. What kind of storms will we get? Will our crops have hail or wind damage? What about insects and fungus? Will there be a weed that takes over?
It's all up to nature.
I think this spring and summer have been exceptionally hard on our local farmers here in Northern Indiana. Four years ago we had no rain. This year we have way too much rain. Too much rain could be just as bad as not enough ironically.
We drove around some tonight and checked on the status of our corn and soybean crop. We're sitting a lot better than we thought. About a month ago, we were scared to even see what was out there. It had rained day after day after day much of May and into the beginning of June. Many of the surrounding fields were struggling. Most of the corn in the area was starving for the nitrogen that had been washed away. Corn planted late is having a hard time taking off.
Young bean plants were drowned out in the tall water.
For us, honestly, it could be a lot worse. We farm many low areas and it was getting scary when all the rain came but the crops are making a turn for the better.
It's hard telling what the rest of the summer will bring.
Will it be hot? Cool? Rainy? Dry?
Will aliens come from Mars and create crop circles?
There are so many things that we have no control over. We've always been taught to not let ourselves worry over the things we can't control.
Easier said than done.
I guess that's why all the county fairs are going on in July... to take farmer's minds off the status of crops.
Maybe we can get lost in an elephant ear or a grand champion steer and just not care for a little while...