We’ve been harvesting for two weeks now, and we’ve just finished all our dryland acres. It turned out okay; we saw 160 on some fields and around 130, 140 on others, which is okay. We’ve definitely done better, but we’ve also done a lot worse. I think it was more a compaction issue than anything. The field we harvested is our heaviest dirt; it’s a clay soil.
We’re right in the middle of planting out here, and so far things are going well. I’ve been working with a new AYS, Colt Halloran, in addition to Mike Davis and Brian Maxwell. Colt and Mike came out to my farm on our third day of planting corn and walked behind the planter, checking seed depth and spacing. They said I was a bit too eager, and the ground was a bit too tacky to plant.
We’ve been going through a rough time lately. Two weeks ago today, my father of 93 years passed away. He was my business partner, my mentor and a big part of my life, and I feel lucky to have had a dad like him for so long in my life. So many people don’t get to have their dad with them near as much as I had mine.
He worked with me on my farm up to the end, as long as he could. He was very proud of the fact that he had grandsons that farmed, and myself. I guess he was proud of me too.
We’re in the middle of a bit of a wet spell right now so we’re in the shop today. We’re about on day three of rain — we’ve probably only gotten 3/4” total, but it’s enough to slow us down. But planting is going well. We got our corn finished up and planted on the 3rd, and it went fairly well.
Even though the Farm Bill deadline has come and gone, it really didn’t have much influence on my planning. I updated my yields, which we haven’t been able to do for a long time, and I took most of the industry professionals and universities’ opinions. The vast majority of economists believe that the ARC-County level was the best option for most individuals. We don’t raise a lot of wheat, so that helped narrow it down some more. We updated some base acres and moved some things around to get a more accurate representation of what we’re doing.
The Farm Bill deadline is coming up at the end of February, and I think most people are up and counting on the ARC option. But the bigger question is whether or not to change any of the base acres. Everybody has to update yields, but it’s probably split down the middle as far as whether they’ll change base acres or not.
Right now we’re overcast and foggy — it’s kind of a miserable day. I’m doing a couple of maintenance things and paperwork, just trying to get ready for the season.
We had a couple big snowstorms roll through a few weeks, but it was pretty typical of our winters — the first one was probably 6 inches, the second one was maybe another 3–4. It was a wet snow, and we’ve had nice weather since so a lot of it’s gone now.
We are warming up and drying out quickly here in the Delta. We’ve been in the 60s this week — just warm enough for the mosquitos to come out. I just had to run up to Dulaney’s and pick up some planter attachments and there were planters in the field doing prep work.
Everybody’s already gearing up for planting. We usually shoot for the first couple weeks of March to get out there, depending on the temperature and forecast and all that.