September 9, 2009



Man, am I glad we are into late fall. Because that means my farming days are pretty well done for the year. The harvest is running late, and last night’s rain will have farmers pulling their last, thinning, gray hairs out.
I have put the sprayer away. And I suppose I should have drained everything, but then, what would you have to look forward to.
 The drill is put away, although it looks like maybe the lid on the grain tank is open. Which doesn’t make a lot of difference. In fact, it may keep the mice from living in the drill if it is unprotected!
The harvested grain has been sold. Which, since we don’t have a granary, makes out marketing plan a simple one. Oh, I will admit, there was not a lot of grain. Usually, I figure if we get out seed back, we did pretty well. In spite of the drought, we did manage to get more than our seed back.
And our crop insurance agent was here last week. He has been here so much over the years, we are considering having him over with the rest of the family for Thanksgiving dinner.
This year I raised durum. Now, if you are a town guy, you might not know what durum is used for. It is the grain used in making pasta. And there are several grades of durum. Like No. 1 Hard Amber, Milling, or Terminal. And they talk about stuff like “falling numbers” or “bleached.”
Trust me, if you live in a drought area, and are determined to make it rain, you plant durum. It may not rain all summer, but two days before that No.1 HAD is ready to harvest, the skies will open up and God will bless you with a downpour! And I honestly think He will smile as that durum begins to lose color! But then, maybe I deserve it.
 I used to raise malting barley. Cause I felt you should produce what you consume. My idea of a supper would be a plate heaped up with steak and macaroni. A bowl of beer cheese soup for an appetizer. And wash it all down with a mug of beer.
But, my malting barley days were also somewhat of a disaster.
I mentioned earlier that I don’t have a grain bin. Well, a little one to keep oats in for the horses, but that is about it.
 So the year I harvested my malting barley, I just piled it on the ground. It was only going to be there a little while. I took a five-gallon bucket to an elevator. An elevator that was a hundred miles from the field. Cause he paid the most for malting barley. The results were outstanding. This was premium-malting barley.
I quickly called a trucker to fire that semi up and start hauling that malting barley. And he did. He called a couple other truckers and they cleaned that pile up in no time. We hauled that barley a hundred miles to Discount Dan.
A week later, I received the settlement sheet. The only barley that made malting was the five-gallon bucket Dad had hauled up! The rest was feed barley. Which I could buy back for twenty cents a bushel more than I received for it. And the trucker would give me a ten percent discount on the back haul!
You can see why I look forward to winter!