Unless you have been driving around with your head down, there is no way you could have missed the fall colors. Perhaps it has been the long hot summer or the lack of a killing frost but this has been one of the most colorful Octobers I can remember.
At Sunrise Acres harvest is almost complete. Carol's brother, Andy Smyth, made short work of combining our 18 acres of corn this week. The yield appears to be quite good although we don't have the official weights back yet. Shipping the harvested corn worked really well with the buyer shuttling trailers to the field for Andy to fill. For those of you with older trucks, you know what a challenge harvest can be.
Upon arriving home from work late Monday night I was greeted with the lights of the harvester working its way down the rows of standing corn. Carol was disking ends with our tractor, adding to the light show. The sights of the night work combined with the smell of disked earth and corn stalks brought back memories of harvests past. After we harvest a few pheasants this weekend, cattle will soon be grazing the leftover cornstalks. Carol's long summer of irrigating and spraying is officially over!
While our alfalfa hay is safely in the stack, the grass hay is still sitting in the field. Showers and cooler weather have not been conducive to getting the grass dry enough to finish baling. About half of it is baled, if the showers continue the rest may have to be grazed. On the bright side, hay prices are holding with good demand. I have heard all sorts of prices for hay and predictions that range from high to really, really high. This will be a burden for livestock producers as well as horsemen but with higher input prices for raising hay, prices are finally where they need to be.
With the weather cooling off I am hoping to finish a few of the weekend projects started earlier in the year. We have an old cattle "loafing" shed that is being remodeled to become a storage shed for some of my antique tractor collection. With the help of a fellow Wilder fireman, Dee Enrico, the old support system is being moved to make bigger openings in the front of the shed. Then a concrete floor will be poured, making for cleaner storage. If my limited budget permits I will add garage type doors on the front to finish the job. Also to help with the winter chill, Frank Klinker (another Wilder firefighter!) and I are installing a propane furnace in our shop. The old woodstove still works fine but the new one will help warm the shop up more quickly and keep the ice off my bird dog when the wood fire goes out!
Harvest in the Treasure Valley is moving along at a rapid pace. Onion, sugar beet, and potato trucks are shuttling load after load into storage and production plants. Tractors and disks follow the harvesters closely and next year's wheat crops are being planted. Fertilizer and other inputs are being applied to freshly worked ground. New beds are being formed for the 2008 crop cycle. Even before a producer receives income from this year's crops, he is spending money on the next. Farming takes a great deal of faith and dedication. Those who are left in full time production deserve our respect and admiration.