It’s almost February, and I’m sure each of us is ready to find that perfect winter holiday destination. No matter how busy we are, we know how much we’d love to get away to somewhere warm and sunny for a week (or a month). Do grain farmers take holidays, too? As the farming year dictates, farmers have a very limited window for holidays. Let’s take a look at the farmer’s work year.
It all starts in late winter, when equipment is pulled out of sheds and made ready for a busy spring. Once the good weather is here and the fields are fit to travel on, the farmer will have to work around the clock in order to plant their crops in the ground in a timely manner. This is so that the crop gets the best start possible in order to grow and mature to the highest yield. As spring winds down there is still no break for the farmer as they tend to their crops throughout summer, always keeping a careful watch for any insect, disease or weed pressure or any nutrient deficiencies that they may be able to correct throughout the season. Growers also carefully watch the varieties of corn, soybeans and wheat that they have planted making note of which ones are doing the best and which ones they will plant again next year.
When August arrives, the farmer is back in the field for many hours, this time harvesting their crop of wheat, then moving onto soybeans and corn throughout the fall. As harvest comes to a close (it could be late fall, or like this year spill well into the winter) the farmer must put away all of their equipment, making any needed repairs or changes for the next year. It is only at this point that the grain farmer, if harvest went well and they had a profitable year, gets to go on holidays. But as we’ve said here before, quiet fields never stay quiet for long.