So Much Work, So Little Time
Vermont has suffered its wettest spring on record, following a winter with unusually high snowfall. This has put spring work several weeks behind schedule. Without considering the animals, the price of milk, fertilizer or grain, the three big concerns are getting 1st cut hay in, getting corn planted and spreading manure. Here it is, June 15th and 1st cut is finally underway; the grasses have headed out, so the quality is not what we’d hoped for. Many fields are not tilled, and many still have wet areas. The last I heard, about 2/3 of the corn has been planted (some is being re-planted); farmers are switching their corn seed for shorter-day varieties hoping it will have a chance to fully mature before fall harvest. Much of the winter stores of manure were not spread on schedule because of the wet conditions; thankfully 1st cut is coming off so that manure can be spread on those fields.
I am fearful for our farmers’ health and safety; the weather-related delays, and now these brief windows of wonderful weather mean that they are working mega-overtime to get things done. Our farmers are even more sleep-deprived than usual; this affects reaction time, ability to focus on tasks, as well as over-all health. I am afraid they’ll be rushing and taking unnecessary chances, increasing the risk of injury to themselves and others. Last week a man was killed in a tractor rollover in Illinois and a 13 year-old boy was killed by lightning while helping his father in Pennsylvania. Please be careful out there; take time for rest stops, don’t skip meals, drink plenty of healthy liquids and don’t take chances.
I also want to make sure that our farmers are aware of the VT Crops and Soils website. There is a ton of information here. The green buttons for each topic (hay/haylage, nutrient management, corn, grains, etc.) takes you to many, many articles and topics within each subject. Check it out.