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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Farm Management continued

The word is that farmers are making more money...
The answer is, some are-and some are not...
The most frustrating aspect of modern farming is farm management. You have to think ahead to get ground, plan crop rotations, set budgets, find the "next new and best thing," and so on. For an example of that click here...
I am setting in my pickup waiting for our impossibly slow pump in our diesel bulk tank to transfer enough diesel to the tank in my pickup to supply a day's worth of planting. It usually takes a little over 40 gallons a day. Unless, i get a really good and big field and can do 75 acres-whoop! whoop!
It is 7:30 a.m. here and the ground is white with frost. This will follow with pea-soup thick fog. I might as well have slept in as I have to move the tractor and drill through town, which is not as bad as moving down highway 18, but I don't like to move in the fog.
I see we are out of gasoline so I shut off my pickup, it has a 460cu engine.
The helper says he will be here today and so I have to find him a job.
This reminds me of my utter failure in employee management.
You see... This is the last day of nice weather. We have something like two acres of Buckwheat to combine, 4 acres of Teff, 20 acres of ground to work, and a whole list of swathers and balers to service and put away.
The pickup on the combine broke last Friday. My helper took off Saturday and Monday. Both were days he could have worked ground or worked on the combine. But, I was not here, and neither was my brother.
I will get to the point later. My tank is now full. It took 76 gallons. Yikes!
8:03 a.m.
Waiting for my cousin to call me. He is going to help me move the drill this morning.
My helper just texted me that he will be here in 5 minutes.
This just means I will have to spend a half hour telling him to do stuff I've already told him to do-which he can't do anyway because it is frosty and foggy.
What I need to do today.
I need to move the drill three miles though town to a new field. I have to take the truck with the fertilizer box (which we used to haul wheat seed) back to the Co-op. But, I need to keep the liquid fertilizer tank as I need that for the drill. I also need to fill the drill and possibly get more fertilizer but I don't know exactly how much. 100 gallons of fertilizer that is already in the tank belongs to the fellow I just planted for.
Once the fertilizer box is removed I need to put a pallet of ryegrass on the truck. The loader tractor won't quite lift the pallet so I have to divide it into two pallets which don't quite fit.
Then I have to get the truck into the same field as the grain drill.
Part of the field is plowed but finished. I will have to skip this part or work it myself or have the helper do it.
But, we still have Buckwheat and Teff to combine. The Teff will not get done. The Buckwheat is probably too wet but I thought we would spread it out to dry.
I MUST keep the grain drill busy as I have another job 10 miles away and it is going to rain.
It is 8:08, I am sure the good farmers who read this blog will have lots of advice. But, I am going to flush and go back to work...


  1. Budde, yes, making more money farming every year here. The problem is I am also spending more every year. Fuel , chemicals and fertilizer, it all adds up to a lot of expense. Of course if I didn't have those expenses I guess I'd just be giving the money back to revenue canada at tax time.

  2. Central Oregon RaisedNovember 3, 2011 at 4:56 AM

    Ever need help moving anything through town, ride back to the farm from the field or forgot
    your me....I am retired here in
    Ballston homeschooling a almost 14 year old boy.....I would love to escape! Heck I even
    work for free.

  3. Ralph, And yes that is the problem. I find I have to get $100 a ton for hay to basically break even. $120-$130 is really too much money for people trying to be self sufficient and raising a couple cows or kids with horses. Seeing how the money is wasted by the powersthatbe I guess losing money is really the "right" thing to do...

    Central Oregon, I used to live in Ballston. I fondly remember the first day my wife saw the fellow gardening in his speedo. She thought he was naked as his belly was covering the front. Oh how I laughed. I often forget my lunch!


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