Prepare, prepare, prepare. That seems to be what we are always doing on the Ready farm.
Currently, we are preparing for the next growing season even as we are tucking everything away from this past growing season. We are taking soil samples and getting fertilizer and soil amendments put on according to the recommendations. We try to lime at least 40 acres each year so that will be done once the ground freezes. As no-till farmers, we try to minimize compaction as much as possible.
Since we have been continuous no-till for over 20 years, our fall prep work does not include any tillage. We have found no-till to be excellent for improving soil health, water infiltration, soil tilth and overall crop performance. Not to mention, it makes the diesel and equipment bill a lot less.
We have gone to using some herbicide control in the fall to manage winter annuals and this fall the weather has been more cooperative than last for us to get that done.
Preparations for our livestock have centered on getting hay feeders in the right locations, making sure water stays accessible once the cold hits and winterizing in general. We have continued to make improvements on some yards so we can keep the cattle comfortable and well fed regardless of the weather.
By the time you are reading this, the turkeys I raised will have been on our friends’ and neighbors’ tables. Supplying a holiday main course is a very rewarding part of what we do on the farm. Frequently, we don’t see our end consumer of the crops we grow, but with the turkeys, we have direct contact with the people that will be enjoying the products of our preparation and work.
With all this preparation we need to be sure to take time to enjoy those around us. The holidays provide a wonderful chance for all of us to share and celebrate. Let’s remember to relax and take a break from preparations so the best moments together don’t pass us by. — Ruth Ready