North Platte, Nebraska
Hats off to all of the farmers and ranchers out there getting it done. To everyone in agriculture, forestry, mining, commercial fishing; anyone who harvests a product from the earth. Anyone with a heartbeat needs you every day. Well, I do it because the seeds planted somehow multiply: 10 times, 100 times, 1,000 times. This particular ear of corn I’m holding has 704 kernels. All from a single seed. Because the cows faithfully raise a calf every year. Through blizzards, heat, flies and drought. And the herd is always in good health. It’s nature’s way. Because we can take tons of alfalfa off an acre of land and it just keeps producing year after year. When I was a kid I was amazed at the speed at which the alfalfa would grow back after we cut it. The more we cut it, the more it would grow back. I would also wonder if it would eventually get tired of being cut and just decide not to grow back. Well, it always grew back. And as long as there’s a sunrise, there will be hay to put up and cattle to tend and seeds to plant. It has to happen.
Andrew and I have been rebuilding an old barn. This is barn number two for me. The first one was the barn on the place where I live, built probably in the 1890s. Well, this next one is a smaller barn, and it was in pretty sorry condition. We decided to fix it, and save it,
and make it into something useful again. And we needed something to do while the corn dried down. We did pretty good manhandling the old barn. It is cabled in five places, standing straight and tall again, and ready for a new coat of tin.
Speaking of the corn, we are off to a good start. I am surprised that the corn is all still relatively high in moisture. Our shortest season length is 103 day, but it is still about 17% moisture. It seems to be yielding about 250 bushel. I’m interested to see what the longer season will do.
The cows are still in the hills. They have been getting a little fifth cutting alfalfa for protein. The weather is supposed to be in the 60’s on Friday. We will bring most of the cows home then and probably give shots on Saturday. A week of fence-line weaning and then the cows will be headed for cornstalks. I think I will keep the calves on hay and grain until sale day in January.
Happy harvest everyone and don’t forget to vote. — Paul Orr