Two years ago, on a gloomy, overcast day in early November, I drove through northwestern Minnesota and looked at the crops.
What I saw was a little scary. Few of the row crops had been harvested — even most of the soybeans remained — and soggy fields ruled out any immediate harvest blitz. For many area farmers, November and even December that year required a grueling fight against the elements and the calendar.
Things are radically different going into November this year. Our beautiful September and October allowed farmers to make rapid progress, and harvest is on the home stretch now.
So this promises to be a good November. Farmers and others involved in ag still have work to do, of course, but they’ll also have some time to hunt deer, watch high school and college sports and even follow the development of Minnesota Vikings’ rookie quarterback Christian Ponder.
This is the way November should be.
It’s a virtual certainty that the federal government will reduce spending on U.S. farm programs. What’s still to be decided is which programs are cut and how much.
One of the biggest questions involves the so-called “safety net,” which gives farmers financial assistance when times are tough. There are a number of proposals to refashion the existing safety net, and trying to understand the various alternatives isn’t easy.
So the American Farmland Trust, which advocates for farm and ranch land conservation, commissioned Ohio State University agricultural economist Carl Zulauf to analyze the various proposals.
His analysis can be be found at at www.farmland.org. Look under “What’s New” on the right side of the web page.
Good news for folks with ties to ag, especially people who live in or visit the Washington, D.C., area.
The Farmers Restaurant Group has just announced that its new Founding Farmers restaurant will open Nov. 8 in Potomac, Md. The existing Founding Farmers restaurant in Washington, D.C., will continue to operate.
The new eatery will seat 241 people and “offer classic, heartland-inspired dishes,” according to a company press release.
The North Dakota Farmers Union is part of the Farmers Restaurant Group, so some folks in this part of the country have a direct stake in the new restaurant.
Area farmers have suffered through some wet, dreary falls in the past few years. Too often, harvest was long, frustrating and memorable for the wrong reasons.
This spring was wet and cool, which delayed planting and slowed crop development. Another wet fall would have been even more troublesome than usual, given the less-advanced-than-usual crop. So warm, dry weather this fall is really appreciated by farmers. Farmers generally are making excellent harvest progress. Yields are nothing special, but there’s value in getting the crop off in a timely fashion.
To be sure, recent warm temperatures aren’t ideal for all crops– area potato farmers would prefer cooler weather during harvest, for instance. But on balance harvest conditions have been wonderful.
If you’re a city resident, enjoy the beautiful weather. Our farmers certainly are.