Sid decided last spring that we needed a division of management. He suggested that I take leadership for the livestock and he would be in charge of the crops. Then, as a rather tongue-in-cheek follow-up, he put forth that he was in charge of income and I have responsibility for the expenses. To this idea I teasingly told him that he just wasn’t keeping up on his side of the deal. It has become a running joke, and we love to see people’s faces as we explain our management style.
Honestly, we have equal input in nearly every decision for our farm. We discuss ideas and plans, with each of us contributing. Sid is much more analytical and data driven, whereas, I tend to be an idea generator.
This all works fine as long as we communicate. It is okay to specialize but we need to remember that having some understanding of the other person’s area of expertise is necessary. Without that understanding, things can grind to a halt. I have seen other businesses that stop functioning when one person is gone because nobody else knows anything about that person’s job.
This week, I will be managing the last irrigation for our soybeans. They continue to fill pods and are using lots of water. Just north of us about 20 miles we saw some bean fields that appear to be out of water and are prematurely yellowing. Sid usually oversees the irrigation, but while he is teaching I get the task. Our corn water use has dropped significantly, as nearly all our corn has reached dent stage. I would expect our fourth cutting of alfalfa will be made within the next two weeks as well.
On the livestock side of things, we are getting ready for weaning the calves and managing the end-of-season forages. We primarily calve in the spring, but Anna has a couple of heifers that will have fall calves. She is slowly building her own herd and chose to use some artificial insemination to bring in certain genetic traits. Fortunately, she knows enough about what Sid and I do with the farm to be able to fill in when needed.
We try our best to communicate, include each other and share as we make decisions for the day-to-day goals and long range goals for our farm. It doesn’t always work but like everything, it gets better with practice.
November soybean basis is at $1 and December corn basis is $0.28 at the Scribner CVA. — Ruth Ready