Good intentions. High expectations. Ambitious plans.
Spring always comes with such anticipation and optimism after a long, cold winter. Naturally, those happy feelings carry over into planting season on the farm. This year will be better than any year before! But there are certain things that just inevitably go wrong. It’s probably better to resign yourself to the reality now.
1. You’ll want to cut your ears off before listening to the radio again
Planting season means spending countless hours in the tractor going back and forth down the same field. With all that extra time available, this is the perfect opportunity to download some new podcasts, order a couple audiobooks, and catch up on some talk radio. But, no. Those good intentions turn into you listening to whatever music radio channels actually come in way out on that remote farm. Two hours later and you’ve heard the three songs topping the charts at least 18,000 times. When all the crops are planted, you decide to take a six-month break from music in general.
2. You’ll end up hating fast food
Planting season is usually a bit hectic and there are more than a few lunches and dinners that get eaten in the tractor. What could possibly be as motivating and refreshing as a hot, homemade meal delivered with a warm smile? We always start the planting season with good intentions of making healthy, field-friendly meals. We buy some extra tin foil and Tupperware. We do some meal planning. We grab a few new recipes online. Then reality sets in and it just gets easier to run to the nearest fast food joint to grab a quick burger and fries (or even the occasional taco). By the end of planting season even the idea of the fountain drink makes you a little sick.
3. You’ll feel obligated to start a local suicide prevention program
Not every farmer has the convenience of having all his acres located in one field. Sometimes you just cannot help but take your equipment on the road to travel to the next location. Tighten up the slow-moving vehicle sign. Make sure all your flashing lights are working. Check for traffic and wait for all the cars to go by. Signal your escort car to get ready. But it never fails: As soon as you pull out into the road, there’s some impatient driver that catches up behind you. No matter you’re headed around a curve with no visibility and your equipment takes up most of the road, this vehicle decides to pass. Whew. He made it. Barely. By the time you’ve moved to a couple different fields, you’re pretty sure everyone in your town wants to commit suicide, because why else would they take those kinds of risks?
4. You’ll develop a love/hate relationship with the television meteorologist
The weather has to be right for planting. Warm and mostly dry is great. Definitely no active raining while you’re trying to drill soybeans. That’s why you were so excited when the meteorologist on the nightly news predicts that the weather for the next week will be moderately warm and dry. Perfect planting weather. That meteorologist is your new best friend. That is until you’re in the middle of a 100-acre field, cruising along and a pop-up thunderstorm that is completely and utterly unexplainable makes its appearance. That night while watching the local forecast, you’re pretty sure that guy is nothing more than fortune teller in a suit.
5. You’ll inevitably start planting late
That’s because when you got the bill for all that seed your ordered, you were certain that price must include labor. So you wait. Maybe the seed dealer himself is going to show up and climb into the planter. Before long though, you resign yourself to the fact that the price was really only for the seed and you’re really on your own. Better get going …
Amanda Zaluckyj blogs under the name The Farmer’s Daughter USA. Her goal is to promote farmers and tackle the misinformation swirling around the U.S. food industry.