It’s Our Life

We’re farmers. Cattle and grain. It’s in my husband’s blood. It’s his passion. It’s not easy, most days it’s really hard. There isn’t such a thing as downtime, unless it’s raining.

We don’t get sick pay. Or maternity/paternity leave. There are no paid vacation days. Actually, we don’t have much chance for vacations. And if we do go, we’re paying a family member or neighbor to feed cows. It’s cold, wet, dirty, or hot work. It’s sun up to sun down most days of the year. It’s high costs of new machinery and parts. It’s good grain prices and low cattle prices or vice versa. It’s kids that don’t see their Daddy all day. It’s me not seeing my husband for more than 10 minutes in 24 hours. It’s a lot of sacrifices and being broke for much of a year.

But, it’s freedom with no boss. It’s family dates in the truck driving through gorgeous pastures to check cows. It’s that first newborn calf in the barn. It’s a whole huge yard to explore. It’s baby kittens in the Spring. It’s walks down a gravel road. It’s the rush of moving cattle to different pastures. It’s the combine filling up with grain every Fall. It’s the amazing feeling of seeding being complete in the Spring.

It’s hardships and happiness. It’s wealth and poor. It’s good weather and bad. It’s aggravating and amazing. It’s smiles and tears.

It’s our life and I wouldn’t change it.

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He Doesn’t Realize How Great He Is

Last week, my husband exclaimed how lucky we were to finish combining our durum before the first freeze. He repeated it and I just smiled at him.

This week, he’s saying we’re lucky to finish our canola before another rain and freezing temps.

I’ll tell him it’s not lucky, it’s all his hard work and a blessing from above that has made these two great things happen for us. He’s worked relentlessly to finish harvest and I’m so proud of him.

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It’s been blood, sweat, my tears, and setbacks this year but we made it through once again. And with that, the 2013 harvest is finally done. Hallelujah!

The Start of Harvest

We’ve started harvest for 2013 and so far so good. A couple of minor breakdowns and setbacks but we’re chugging along. Barley was our first crop and it was seeded at our other farm, about 40 miles away. Yes, 40 miles. One way. I’ve been making the trip everyday in the evening to feed the menfolk supper. It’s hard with two small children. I’m sure it’ll be harder when they are in school. My 3YO son has been gone most days with his Daddy and Poppa cause he loves to “help”. He manages so well with being in the combine or semi all day. It amazes me because I get can easily get bored sitting in a small space riding around a field.

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The barley ended up running about 40 bushels per acre. Pretty good for some of our poorest land. One and a half of our new grain bins are full up with barley. Some will be cow feed instead of selling it all.

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Today is the start of canola combining and I hope it yields just as good if not better. It’s mostly all swathed so a different header on the combine is used. It was also seeded on better land so this may help the yield.

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Definitely a few more weeks of harvest to go and I hope it’s smooth and safe.

A Trip to the Terminal

Yesterday my husband and I hauled a load of durum to the grain terminal. He got the price he wanted for it and this was the 3rd of 4 loads of durum to haul.

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You pull up and a vacuum comes down and sucks a small sample from your trailer. They test it for moisture, diseases, bugs, protein. All these make up your dockage and determine how much grain is in your trailer.

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Our total haul yesterday was about 1200 bushels. With one more load going tomorrow and then a cheque 😀

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Once your sample is done being processed, you pull up to a grate and open an unload hole under the trailer. The grain dumps down into the grate which only takes about 10 minutes.

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Close the unload underneath and put the tarp back on top. All done!

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Reward Time

It’s that time of year again!!!!! The reward for our hard work is coming in off the combine. We seeded peas first so they are being combined first.

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Brad tried swathing them first but a little bit of wind came along and blew the swathes all over. So off he went to town and wheeled and dealed for a new (to us) John Deere combine. He got a good deal and it works like a dream.

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Brad’s Dad came out and drove the semi and unloaded so everything is going smoothly and quickly. Hooray! By tomorrow, I do believe all our peas will be in the bin. Such relief!

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I really like the ruddy, red and brown colors of ripe standing peas.

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Next stop: Canola!

The Weevil Got It

The hay crop around here this year sucks. Big time sucks. There are weevils in the alfalfa and they eat the pretty purple flowers.

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So on the same field where last year we got close to 800 hay bales, this year we got 300. Pretty dismal. So we’ve been scrounging up hay all over the place.

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The haying is getting done. It started earlier than normal and it’s taking longer than usual. So enjoy some haying pictures!

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Seeding

We have hardly had snow at all this winter. Which is incredibly weird for our area. Last year we had so much there was flooding everywhere on the spring.

Husband has looked at the 14 day forecast and is depressed. It looks like rain every second or third day which means no seeding. He is not a sit in the house and pass the time kind of man.

For the past six years we have been grain farming organically. Unfortunately, due to many reasons husband has decided to go back conventional farming. This means more work and more cost involved. And this is the main reason why he is so stressed out about seeding. We rented land from a neighbor this year as well so we have more acres to put in.

I really hope the forecast is wrong. We have big input costs to cover that require all our land getting seeded. Even if we grow the bare minimum of bushels, we will do well.

Good thoughts to all farmers out there and all you gardeners as well.

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