Travelling around rural Iowa and Minnesota, this weekend, I saw something which I cannot remember seeing before. At the very least, I do not remember seeing it often. Now do not be alarmed, I did not see anything so crazy as to alert the tabloids. There were no flying pigs or unidentified flying objects. What I saw was perfectly normal, but at the same time it was not normal.
Audio: World of Agriculture
I have been living on or near farms for as long as I can remember. I come from multiple generations of farmers who do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done. However, this has not been the year for getting things done on a normal time table. Therefore, I witnessed something I may not have seen before, or at least not often.
This weekend I made yet another trip to Minnesota for graduation celebrations. In many areas of northern Iowa and southern Minnesota, I saw the corn and beans making progress, albeit behind schedule. I also witnessed a few farmers still finishing up the last of their soybean planting during this first weekend of June.
Not only was I seeing planters and tillage equipment still rolling, I was witnessing hay being cut, raked and baled. I also saw haylage being cut for feeding cattle.
These events are not unusual for rural residents to see. They happen every year. What IS unusual is seeing them happening at the same time. I spoke with one farmer who said the late season heavy snows and rains were “bad for planting crops, but good for making hay.”
Alfalfa and grass always grows when it is ready. It never needs our help. In this strange combination of timing, we can see the beauty of agriculture. On one hand, spring work is behind schedule. On the other hand, summer work is right on time.
I guess you just have to make hay when the sun shines.