Wednesday, October 22, 2014

An Iowa Harvest

Even though farming in the 80's pushed me to pursue other avenues of livelihood and is why I became an engineer, I still miss it and dream of returning to the farm someday. Fall is my favorite time of the year mostly because the dreams of harvest become a reality. Whether or not the seeds were planted in good shape, whether or not we got adequate moisture, heat and sunshine, whether or not we missed hailstorms and late season winds, all matters not anymore. The cards have been dealt and all that is left to do is harvest the grains and see what hand you've been dealt.

To continue on the card analogy, this year the farmers in this region have been dealt a full house with ace's high. The crops are spectacular which makes harvesting slow. The only problem is that corn is as cheap as it every has been which is like everyone else being dealt nothing in their hands and folding early so there is nothing in the pot. At the end of the day, you rake in what chips you've won and keep on dreaming for that day when you've got the hand and everyone else at the table is thinking the same thing... but are wrong!


Rich said...

It still amazes me that I can put one little seed in the ground and it will grow and turn into so much more.

Even when the price drops, it's almost like growing money on a tree (especially when you try to ignore the whole equipment and input cost thing).

Anonymous said...

It's the very same over this side of the Atlantic. And I believe the Australian and Argentinian crops are on track for bumper harvests too.
Usually what happens is you in the mid-west would have a goodish harvest but the Ukraine and Europe generally would be poor. But this year we've had silage being wrapped as late as two weeks ago. That's unheard of, ever.
It is a joy, albeit bittersweet, when a farmer sees his/her crops thriving. It's like when a dairy farmer or a beef farmer sees that sheen of health on his animals and sees them gamboling about his fields.

Ed said...

Rich - I get the same feeling. It is like discovering gold or what I'm guessing it feels like anyway. Harvest is and has always been my favorite time of the year.

Vince - Having grown up on a farm, I think farmers are much happier growing a huge crop and having poor prices than a poor crop with great prices. When it is the former, at least you feel as if you did your part well and it was the market that is out of your control that let you down.

warren said...

It would be so nice if you could farm and on good years, hold enough to save for bad years when prices are higher to sell then...but almost no one can do that...everything is so tight margin-wise and good as well as bad years put farmers out of's a shame

Ed said...

Warren - My parents are probably a bit more fortunate than most because they have enough storage for their entire crop. They generally sell it over winter and in the spring when prices are better. Others though have to pay to store theirs at local grain elevators or take the going rate at harvest.