We’re never done with field work. There is always more that can be done. We can always do more ditching to improve surface drainage. Maybe we need to haul gravel for a field crossing. If the weather cooperates, we’re in the field. Now we have snow, and cold temperatures, and we’re done in the field because Mother Nature says we’re done.
Winter is here, and the job responsibilities change. We have a heated shop, grain in storage and a seed plant. Everyone stays busy in the winter.
Like most farmers, we wish we had a bigger shop. If a shop is 20 years old, it’s too small. Machinery gets bigger but that 20 year old shop stays the same size. It seemed big enough 20 years ago, and now it’s outdated. Shop envy is pretty common among farmers. You’ve probably watched home shows on HGTV. Did you know there are similar shows, but for farm shops? We have those shows recorded on our DVR.
There is already machinery to be repaired, and grain to be hauled. We had a great wheat crop this year, and now we must haul some of those bushels to the elevator. Plus our corn and soybeans go to the elevator, and our navy beans must go to East Grand Forks. We keep the semi trucks running all winter.
Since we raise seed wheat, we have to clean those bushels in our seed plant. We run the bushels over many different machines to clean out the weeds, foreign material and small broken kernels. We clean our wheat, and also wheat for our neighbors. Most wheat varieties allow you to keep your seed and replant the next year. If a farmer bought wheat seed this spring, and liked the variety, they may set aside a few bushels and clean them for planting in 2018.
Off the farm, this is meeting season. This is when the extension service tells us what their experiments showed during 2017. This is when private companies try to explain their new products for 2018. We try to stay up to date on new technology, products and ideas that we can use in 2018.
The pressure of harvest is done, but the work is never done. We are already selling seed for spring 2018, and buying new seed varieties for the farm. We only have 10 months until our next wheat harvest!