Soil & WaterThe weather in November was unseasonably warm which allowed farmers to harvest in pretty comfortable temperatures but all the predictors point to a rough winter ahead.  That got me thinking, WHAT DO FARMERS DO ALL WINTER?

  • Prepare equipment for spring.  The more the equipment is repaired during the winter and preventative maintenance done, the less work has to get done during the growing season, where finding time for repairs is almost impossible.
  • Transport grain.  Approximately every 5 acres yields a semi-truckload of grain.  It can take anywhere from 3-5 months to get all that grain off the farm.
  • Budget for next year.  Winter is the time to crunch numbers, determining profit or loss from the previous year and making a budget for next year’s crop.
  • Scheduling and purchasing inputs (seed, fertilizer and chemicals).  Once the crops are determined for the next year, the inputs can be pre-purchased to take advantage of discounts.
  • Continuing Education and Meetings.  Agriculture is an industry that is quickly changing, so winter meetings to keep up with new business trends are important.
  • Take a vacation!  It is next to impossible to get away during the growing season so winter is the only time to take that vacation and recharge for next year.

Of course many of today’s farmers have full time jobs off the farm as well.  Winter is certainly a slower time for farmers but there is still plenty to do.  Have you thanked a farmer lately?

By Debbie Palmer