Spring is just around the corner, hopefully! It is such a busy time for our farm, and we thought we'd give you a little insight into what spring on the farm is like. And of course, once all of our planting is done, we reward ourselves with Red Lobster!!
Michelle: What is spring like on the farm?
Danny: Spring is crazy because it’s planting season. But we love it. It’s what farming is all about. We work hard, and the hours are long this time of year.
M: How does Schrader Farms prepare for spring?
D: It really starts in the fall. We have ground that we till (plow) and some that we don’t till. As long as the fall weather cooperates, we try to get all of our plowing done then. It’s just one less step to do in the spring when it’s so hectic. Plus, it sometimes means that we can get our crops in the ground sooner.
This time of year when the weather starts warming up, we have to start getting the equipment ready. We have to pull the planter out of the shed where it’s stored all winter and bring it into the shop to replace parts that are worn out. We try to do some preventive maintenance too.
Once the planter is ready, we do some maintenance on the tractors. We have a White 160 that we use for planting because it’s our biggest tractor and the only one strong enough to pull the planter.
M: What crops do you plant and when do you usually begin planting them?
D: In the spring we plant corn first and then soybeans. We try to start planting corn by the 20th of April, but it really just depends on the weather. It’s important to get planting early because there is a strong correlation between higher yields and planting early.
M: What else do you plant?
D: After soybeans come off in late September, we try to plant wheat. Then after the wheat comes off in August, we sometimes plant hay.
*"comes off" is a term farmers use describe harvesting a crop
M: How do you feel going into this spring?
D: I feel optimistic that this spring will be an early one because last year it was so late.
M: Who usually does the planting?
D: Dad (Keith) mainly because he’s around the farm the most, but also he’s really good at it. There is a lot of detail and precision that goes into planting, and he’s very good at paying attention to all of that.
I did all of the planting in 2012, the year we built the meat shop. We had really good weather that year, and I had a lot of fun doing it. But, at the end of the day, Dad is the best one to plant and Aaron is the best one to harvest.
If you want to learn more about each of our family members, you can click here.
M: Anything else you want to add?
You can follow us on Instagram to see more pictures and stories about spring on the farm!