Monday, April 15, 2013

Weather...A farmers best friend and worst enemy

Weather in Kansas can be pretty crazy.  I have heard people say, if you don't like the weather wait five minutes and it will change.  That couldn't have been more true for the weather we had on Tuesday of last week.  At one point in the day it was 75 degrees and beautiful outside.  Then a little while later it was 40 degrees and the wind was bone chilling.

As crop farmers we have a love/hate relationship with the weather.  We love it when it is dry, with just the right amount of moisture in the ground and a sky that has a few clouds and a bright shiny sun.  The hate part comes in when that combination isn't just right.  Weather can either make a farmers day extremely long (getting every kernel of corn planted before the rain comes in a few days) or extremely short (the rain visited us today instead of a few days).

We started planting corn on Monday and the weather was just right.  Then Tuesday came around and this is what we woke up to on Wednesday morning.  Guess corn planting will be held off a few more days.

Yep that is ice on everything.  We went from having pretty green fields of wheat, to wheat fields covered in ice.

The other part of weather that makes a farmers skin crawl is the threat of sever weather.  We don't like damaging winds, hail, or the threat of tornadoes.  I felt bad for the farmers of Nebraska yesterday when I saw my cousin post this picture of hail that they were getting.

When my dad was still farming we had a huge hail storm come through.  We sat inside and watched the hail knock down the entire wheat field around our house.  We were devastated because that wheat field was going to be cut in just a few short days.  No wheat crop meant no money.  I remember looking at my dad and seeing anguish in his eyes.  All his hard work and dedication gone in just a few short minutes.  We saw that same look in my dad's eyes in April of 1991 when a tornado crossed five of his fields.  We spent a good portion of that summer cleaning up tornado trash.  Months after everything was cleaned up we were still spending money to fix flat tires on the tractor.  No matter how thoroughly we cleaned the fields there were still nails everywhere.

Last fall we had damaging straight line winds come through.  The picture below shows how a pivot is supposed to look.  But the next day when we were out looking to see if any of our pivots had survived, we saw tires in the air and mangled metal on the ground.  These pivots looked like twizzlers instead of pivots.

But no matter the season, no matter the weather we keep farming.  Why you might ask...well that is because we love it.  Not even mother nature and her unruliness can keep us from farming.


  1. I'm thankful our hail was the little bitty variety, not what your Nebraska cousins had. We went out yesterday afternoon and Randy surveyed wheat fields. He is cautiously optimistic. He found green growing points. We'll see what the next round of freezing temperatures this week brings. Farming is never the same, is it?

    1. I pray that everything turns out okay for your farm. I wish farming was the same but it never is.