Giving the farmstead a good cleanup

It’s no one’s idea of fun, but cleaning up the place before harvest can put you in a better frame of mind.

After several years, I caught the bug just before Labor Day. It was spring/summer of 2012, just before we hosted the Indiana Farm Management Tour when we gave the farmstead a good cleaning.

 Honestly, cleaning never tops my list.

Operating light on labor force doesn’t help. But, at some point it has to be done.

Five days was a good start toward catching up. We were able to take care of much of the small stuff. But we didn’t get done, as harvest preparations called once again. Hopefully we can finish up before another four years pass.

We cleaned out the old shop, barn, and open-face building. We had pallets of parts stacked on pallets of more parts. You know, the parts you hate to throw away because you know they will be needed as soon as they are gone. Well, a plan was devised this time around. A new rule is also in effect. Since the price of scrap steel is down, we found a use for those 250-gallon fertilizer totes that have been stacked out back. We removed the container and used the steel frame to sort the steel into.

In accordance with the plan, these totes will sit out back until the price of scrap goes up. It’s all pre-sorted and crated for easy loading and recycling. And since it will be there a little while, if Newton comes calling and we end up needing that part, we can still retrieve it. The rule we came up with is this: if the pallet has rotted out from underneath, it has to go!

Harvest around the corner

Harvest will start soon. Quite possibly before you even read this. Though everyone thinks farmers are always up at the crack of dawn, that isn’t always the case. Generally, I’m up around 7 and out shortly thereafter. Over the last week, despite the physical demand of clean up, my wake time has crept up to around six. Even though harvest is coming 7-10 days early, you can’t fool the subconscious.

Right now, the only thing holding up harvest is the 3 inches of rain we had late last week.

As far as work hours, we try to be reasonable. Though I tend to be goal orientated, we don’t burn both ends of the candle. I guess that is the way I’ve always been. You can ask my classmates from college. There were very few nights we worked on projects after 9 p.m. Dad doesn’t feel the need to work obnoxious hours either. He has been there, done that. It’s also hard to find guys who want to work that many hours. Not to mention, equipment tends to get torn up in the dark.

As a rule, we don’t start fields after dark. Following one of grandpa’s rules, we don’t start projects on Saturday we can’t finish. We take Sunday off.


The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Penton Agriculture.

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