From the Field: Spring is Finally Here

From the Field is a bi-monthly column written by Mark Campbell, Farm Bureau Field Services Director for the Central District. He writes about Farm Bureau member benefits and County Farm Bureau activities.

From small town country stores to the national nightly news; winter’s long lasting grip has been the topic of discussion this year. Just less than one week ago, some parts of the state experienced several inches of snow. Today, the temperature is in the upper 80s. Which leads me into the topic of this blog.

For a while now, row crop farmers have had all the equipment greased and prepared for planting. Fields were prepared and the seed corn was in the sheds. So when the weather turned warm and sunny, the planters were turned loose. Some county Farm Bureau meetings were lacking a quorum earlier this week, but for good reason. We have had good moisture so far this year and soil conditions seem really good. These high temperatures will raise soil temperatures in a hurry.

For the livestock folks, the warm weather has been a blessing. Hay feeding lasted longer this year because pastures weren’t really growing until we got some warm days. Needless to say, the grass has turned multiple shades greener and is growing. Most livestock producers had a surplus of hay from last year which allowed extra feeding days without a problem.

Fruit producers have fared well so far as the trees didn’t bud out too early to get snapped by a late season freeze. One fruit grower mentioned that strawberry production may be on the light side this year since the cold weather lasted into April and has now turned hot. She thinks the season will be a little shorter than normal.

Spring really is a miraculous time of year. Just taking a few minutes to observe nature really makes me appreciate the grand design of things. Trees, flowers, grass and other plants seem to have an internal clock that signals them when to wake up from their long winter’s nap. The animals are more active and almost seem to have a pep in their step. Just this morning, I saw a flock of wild turkeys on the back part of the farm with a tom strutting and spreading his tail feathers in the most impressive display of poultry bravado you ever saw. I know that in June and July I will see some baby turkeys as a result and their mothers chasing grasshoppers and June bugs.

One of the best things that I like about spring is seeing baby calves stretched out soaking up the sun on a vibrant green pasture without a care in this world. It truly is amazing how everything in nature works together in a symbiotic relationship. I am so thankful that we as farmers and ranchers are able to care for and be an integral part of nature and the cycle of life.

Even in rural America, technology has sped up the pace of life. My wish for you is to take a few minutes this week and stop. Stop and take in the sunrise. Listen to the peepers down at the creek. Listen to the quiet yet rhythmic sound of cows grazing on new pasture after you opened up the gate. Spring is a wonderful season when everything makes a grand proclamation of life. Here’s hoping that you get to enjoy nature’s display. If you read my last blog post, then I encourage you to share some pictures of your farm in the Spring on social media such as Facebook. Our fellow citizens that don’t live on farms would especially love seeing some of the sights you get to see every day.

Until next time,
Mark

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