Monday, September 20, 2021

It's rarely a straight line from A to B

We are trying to get the last cutting of hay out of the fields before fall. The hay fields are spread across several farms, and are many separate fields. In my mind, it went kind of like this. We would move from field to field cutting, drying, and baling the hay. When that came to a nice neat finish, we would get out the planting equipment and start over going from field to field planting the cool-season grasses that we'll harvest in the spring. Again, nice and neat. Honestly, I should have known better. Maybe I did. The thing is, I probably could have predicted that the process wouldn't go as smoothly as I described. However, with so many variables and moving parts, it's hard to know where the kink is folded into the plan. One of the most important skills to develop as a farmer, and probably for life in general is flexibility. We have to be able to roll with the punches so to speak. We got the first 35 acres harvested and put away, but the forecast had changed. Rain was imminent sooner than expected. With the weather getting close, we couldn't cut down any more hay. I thought, "It hasn't rained enough to keep us from seeding yet. If we act fast and work long hours, I think we can do it." So I called my friend Josh at Southeast Agriseeds. I asked if I could come get some seed on short notice, he said sure. As I did that, Ricky got out the planting equipment and prepped it for the field. We loaded seed into the planter at 3:30 on Friday afternoon, honestly in a light drizzle of rain. I ran that tractor until late Friday evening. I finished in time to get the tractor back to the farm and parked under the shed just before dark. Saturday the rain came as predicted, and now those seeds will be sprouting soon. We should have a very early spring crop (possibly even a late fall crop) of ryegrass and clover for the cows to enjoy. Why? Because we didn't stick to our plan. Plans are great, but when circumstances and information change it is ok to adjust the plan. Actually, it's more than ok, it's your obligation to adjust based on relevant information. The path to progress is rarely a straight line.