Upon completion of corn planting April 26, our attention turned toward soybeans. The rollercoaster temperatures gave us pause – especially the cold nights. As soil temperatures plummeted we waited.

About 10 days after planting the corn we dug up a kernel to check for germination. In the black soil of that field the seed had indeed found enough warmth and moisture. It was sending out a tender shoot we hoped would stay buried while the weather sorted itself out.

Some of the time between planting our two spring crops was spent clearing a short boundary fence line of immature trees and brush. An extended over-the-fence chat with a neighbor resulted in a fair exchange of information. Talk of milk prices, grain contracts and weather gave way to a lively conversation of family dynamics amid the pandemic. We grudgingly parted to resume our chores.

After some supply snafus fertilizer was applied and incorporated in the remaining cropland, made ready for soybean planting. There was rain predicted May 7 but dust rolled once again this spring as our grain drill went to work May 6. Aside from one quick trip to the co-op for more seed, we were golden; everything was in that evening. The loose fine seed bed provided excellent coverage for us. As predicted we received .3 of gentle rain the next day.

After many consecutive nights of temps at or less than freezing, the weather finally began to look favorable. We expectantly watched the cornfields for points of green. We spotted just a very few May 13. A good rain was forecasted for that evening, but became only a heavy drizzle before arriving; it garnered us another quarter-inch of rain.

During a tour of the fields afterward we could see rows appearing. Many of the tips were touched with those final nights of frost, but our soldiers of summer were coming. More moisture overnight and 52 degrees into the morning of May 15 was welcome.

The majority of cropland in our area has been planted, although no-till and low-till fields are difficult to discern sometimes. There isn’t a lot of wheat in our area, but what there is looks great – deep green and good growth with little to no winter kill. Alfalfa is 8-10 inches high and healthy-looking, on pace for its first cutting about Memorial Day.

Ellie and Rich Kluetzman own and operate an 84-acre cash-cropping farm near Columbus. Both are semi-retired but are steadfast in continuing to farm. The acreage is small, the equipment old, but they love nurturing the deep fertile soil in step with nature – whatever the challenges. They cherish being witness to the Lord’s miracle of turning seed into a bountiful harvest.