Talking Over the Fence

The country is  a great place to live.  For many acreage owners moving to the country, is like moving to a new and different neighborhood.  Many times your neighbors will live a quarter of a mile or more away or just might be the farmer whose field is next to your property.  Getting to know your new neighbors and letting them get to know you is the fastest way to be accepted as a new arrival in the community.  Like any situation, building good relationships is key to avoiding potential conflicts.  This blog is intended to help acreage owners and farmers better understand each other and to hopefully help to build strong relationships between them.

Here is a look at what’s happening on the farm in May.  This year spring was slow to come again. The soil was slow to warm up for spring crop planting. Corn needs soil temperatures of at least 55 degrees to germinate and soybeans need even warmer soils more like 59 degrees. Farmers will be busy planting this month. Timeliness of planting can be a key factor in how well the plants will perform and produce. UNL research has shown that for every day after May 1 soybeans are planted there is a reduction in yield. This is an important time for farmers and their business so please give them some room on the roads and keep a sharp eye out when coming to the top of a hill or an intersection. Just keep in mind that you have moved into their working environment. A friendly wave when you meet someone on the road is always welcome and appreciated.

The dry winter and relatively dry April have emphasized the importance of conserving soil moisture. Using a no till farming system helps to conserve surface moisture which can be especially important at planting time. A no till system uses crop residues to protect the soil, aids in moisture conservation and improves soil quality. So if you see a farmer planting directly into corn residue or soybean residue, you know they are using a no till system.

Other farm activities include hauling and spreading manure on fields. Manure is an excellent soil additive. It adds nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium to the soil. It also helps to add organic matter to the soil. Applying manure to the soil helps farmers to use less commercial fertilizer and save money too. Composted manure is a good addition to any garden.

The spring is a great time to live in the country. The grass is greening up, trees are leafing out, cattle are on pasture, fawns are appearing and farmers are busy growing food for the world. The smell of wild flowers, freshly cut hay, trees and shrubs in bloom are some of the benefits of living in the country.  Also a good time to visit with the neighbors.

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