Here Comes the Rain, the Leonard family

March 19, 2012

It’s just after lunch and the rain that has been promised has started here in Afton, OK. This has been another busy week around our farm with the kids and their FFA crop judging

Kody feeds cattle in the rain.

practices and my meetings.  As with all farms in the area, the warm weather has brought green grass to those that have fertilized their pastures after last year’s drought.  We are most likely on our last week of feeding hay to our cow-calf operation.  With this week being spring break, we plan on working and moving cattle around this week so that they have had their shots and are wormed – ready to take advantage of the green grass we now have.  We will still have to bring them back later in May to fly tag and give booster shots to the calves.

On the farming side of our operation, the warmer weather has things one to two weeks ahead of normal.  We have wheat that will have the flag leaf out by the end of the week, which means to us that it is time to put fungicide on to protect the plant health from foliar diseases.  This costs around another $10/acre so our breakeven has gone up by 2

Kody and Katy help their dad, Greg, on the farm during spring break.

bushels per acre to pay for the cost of the fungicide.  We are all praying that we do not have any more freezes this year. If we do, all of our investment in the wheat will be ruined by just one late cold front now.  In corn, we started planting late this week as the ground temperature is warm enough and we are past the beginning date for crop insurance coverage, but with the forecast of 8 to 10 inches of rain this week we just planted 3 fields and chose to wait and see what mother nature does next before spending that $65 to $70 per acre on corn seed only to have it washed out by that kind of hard rains.  I guess Mary and I really don’t need to gamble too much this week

Greg planted a couple fields of corn last week in anticipation of the rain.

as we planted 180 acres of corn betting that it will get up and growing before that chance of heavy rain.  Its a gamble either way as if you wait and it rains too much you may not get it

The wheat Katy is standing in will head out in about one week.

planted in a timely matter so that it can grow and mature before the summer heat, and if you don’t plant and it doesn’t rain then you have lost valuable growing time.  Welcome to farming 101 – it’s always a gamble, just a very high priced one these days.

We had great news this week for Kody. He won the Ottawa County Farm Bureau scholarship after being interviews last Tuesday.  It was a very tough competition with his good friend from Fairland being announced as the runner up.

The Leonards

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