|2014 crop layout plan|
I don't mention the corn area because I'd talked to a local guy who grows a lot of corn in this area last winter, and I'd arranged to have him come out and plant my test plot of corn. The idea was to plant it and start practicing growing organic corn with tillage vs herbicide. You can read all you want, but there comes a time when you want boots on the ground, and hands in the soil and to see what works and what doesn't.
So around the 1st of May (which is the start of corn-planting season around here) I called this guy, who I'll call Albert (not his real name) and asked when he'd be out. Actually, I texted him, and he texted me back, and said he was down the valley, and he'd be up my way soon. So I waited a week, 2nd week of May, and texted him again; "I'll be up there soon".
Now when I said "I waited a week"... I wasn't really waiting. Stuff would germinate, rain would cake the soil, and I'd have to go over the field again to get rid of the weeds and fluff the soil back up... again. and again. and again. This is getting annoying. But it's also giving me time in the saddle with the tillage tools and by the time I've covered this field 7 times, I'm also getting to know what the ground is like. What's clay, and whats sand, and whats dry and drains and what's wet.
So the first week of june rolls around, and I text him. "The weather is unpredictable", he says. Screw you, albert! you planted the 40 acres RIGHT NEXT TO ME. Look, if you told me you didn't want to plant my small plot I would have made other plans. If you'd said you would plant it, and you'd crossed the fence from the other field to plant mine... great. Job done. I pay you, we both win. But this is the WORST thing you can do to me; shine me on and tell me you're coming for a MONTH and then you're just gone.
|looking north-east, at border of corn and alfalfa/grass|
|looking south-west, border of corn and alfalfa/grass|
So my cows got out last week, and they ran over to a field of corn that Albert had planted, and they trampled a bit, and ate some. I got the call, and went over, and there was Albert and his whole crew, maybe 6 guys, and he's pretty annoyed. And I thought about calling him out on the planting thing, but I figured my cows had gotten my revenge, and didn't.
Look, if you tell someone you're gonna do it, then absolutely do it. Don't shine them on and then flake out weeks or months later. Particularly with PLANTING. ALBERT.
I chose a 71 day corn variety, and I think I'll get good enough weather to get it to harvest, but my real hope was to compare my corn with Alberts corn across the fence. But that's a little messed up right now; I'm 3 weeks back. So even if I wanted Albert to come back and chop it for me it won't be close to his corn.
And I'll be darned if I'll contract with Albert to do any other work for me. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. You don't get a 2nd time Albert.