Only Seven weekends?

Yesterday, I passed a business whose outdoor sign read, “Only seven shopping weekends before Christmas,” and all I could think is, “But I’m not done with summer!” And yet, the leaves are on the ground, the garden is dormant, and we’re approaching the end of harvest.

The lightning speed at which winter is hurling toward us seems compounded by the late spring and a crazily busy summer — on both the home and the work fronts.

On the farm, my summer days were filled with landscaping projects and wedding plans as we prepared to host the celebration of one of “our neighbor kids” (what an honor!). Along with a million other tasks, thanks to a Woods BrushBull and Mow’n Machine, we transformed a pasture into a manicured parking lot with a 200+ car capacity.

As for work, this summer marked the launches of our relationship with Massey Ferguson and our expansion into Brazil. For a marketer, these are monumental projects, wrought with excitement for the opportunities ahead — and achievable only with the talent of a strong team!

It’s no wonder that summer seems to have slipped by and dragged autumn right along with it. Now the farm is fully focused on getting the crops in (hopefully before Thanksgiving) and my work focus has turned toward 2015 planning, first quarter tradeshows, and a myriad of deadlines that all seem to align around 3/31/15.

Somewhere between now and then, I’ll need to take advantage of one of those “seven shopping weekends” to ensure Christmas doesn’t slip by.

Affects of the drought

With harvest in full swing, we are still trying to answer the farming question of year, “How has the drought affected yield?” Agrinews and Farmweek are filled with crop reports from throughout the midwest and the results are dismal in some areas, and confusingly high in others.

We finished beans last week and were pleasantly surprised (that’s an understatment… I was in cartwheel mode) when they averaged just under last year’s yield. Now we’re picking corn. The first week, we were averaging about 100 bushel/acre — definitely not a stellar performance, but acceptable in a drought year — and then yesterday, Tommy picked a field that came in at over 200. Meanwhile, a neighbor’s field averaged 14 bushels/acre and our maintenance man here at Woods pulled in a crop at 285. Confusing.

With so many variables at play — tillage practices, inputs, seed variety, weather — it’s no wonder we’re not seeing any patterns yet. Time will tell, and perhaps then we can get a definative answer to the lingering “affects of the drought” question.