so it's november 8 and it's beautiful outside. Well for most of you it's extended deck beers and long walks along the river with your loved ones. BUT FOR MOST OF SASKATCHEWAN, my family included, it's long ass hours in the combining driving slower then molasses can migrate, with buckets of stress on our shoulders praying that we can can get 2016's harvest in the bins.
that rapid snow dump really fucked us. like really. In all the years of being a farmers daughter I've never seen my pop's and bro so stressed. They hide it well but things were going lovely and then BOOM mother nature shit on us! And just when things would clear up, almost dry to the point of getting back out there... it would pour rain for two days. Thankful that my profession does rely on the weather but there are ways around it. I can be artistic and work with it and in some circumstances... just reschedule. NOPE... not farmers. I still feel the stresses of it. It's a huge part of my life. sadly I don't get to help out near as much as I want too.... but with work and 3 little kiddos... few years yet from being hired help... I just can't get there. I'd do ANYTHING to be burning the midnight oil with my dad, mom and brother right now.
It's also not just the folks running the machinery. It takes a team. There's people needed to run the combines, the semis to haul the grain the grain cart to collect grain on the fly and someone in the kitchen pretty much 24/7 making meals, prepping for a crew of 6+ men. If it doesn't get out to the field it's usually consumed at 10-11pm at night when they come in. Then some crash and some head back out. then wake in the early morn and do it all again!! Unless you're my mother and a fricking rockstar. you guys.. my mom is a machine. She does all the meal prep's, hops in the grain trucks makes a load, moves trucks, teaches LPN nursing course, keeps her yard stunning, takes time to teach my not even two year old how to make buns, is an RN of 40 years.... yes A MACHINE!!! mom, if you're reading this... you're my hero. you set the bar damn high. xoxoxo
SO how does this affect YOU you ask?? Well let me give you a little insight. If we can't get this crop off the way we'd like... mind you there's lentils and barley and wheat that are pretty much toast.. crop insurance will take care of that but it's no where near what you'd be getting had it just got into the bin. This means less going out for nice dinners in the city. therefore my friends at the drift and ayden kitchen are slower.... this means they won't be upgrading that gmc to a newer model this year... so my friends at mercedes and wheaton GMC are slower.... this means less hot holidays- as much as EVERY farmer I know should be gifted one from the level of stress they've been under. This means LESS BARLEY TO MAKE YOUR BEER!!! do you see where I'm goin with this...
So here's some little tid bits for you:
before the snow fall. there was an average of 2-4% of farmers completed.... to those that got done. GOOD ON YOU! phew.
•preferred moisture to take crop off is 10% and currently doing between 15.2-15%... yes it's like porridge.
•what does one do when it's this wet.. Well they scour the neighboring province for a glycol heater to attach to theaeration fans that are currently running full boar on the bins. these can run new 65k i think all said and done my bro found a sweet deal on a second hand one about 20k or so. Not to mention my macgyver brother converted this heater from natural gas to diesel. (thats more available for us right now) The canola can't be bagged so therefore 4 new bins went up at 25k a piece. I'm talking a wee bit about numbers as I have SO many friend and aquaintances that are very uneducated on what farmers make to what they actually profit. Sure there are some very successful farmers but at 250-300k per combine..., 140k+ just for fertilizer sometimes twice a year... yup just use your imagination.
•farming is an ALL YEAR profession despite what most of you think and have said to my face numerous times... it's ok. you just don't know. It's 365. once it's in the bin. it has to be hauled to the terminals. That could be like 30+ semi loads to duck lake or the local P&H. The machinery has to be maintained. The orders and contracts go in for the following year. Figuring out your crop rotations, order the fertilizer and plan out where it's needed and if you're lucky come spring have this list completed and do some soil sampling with your fav agronomist such as my rad sister Lara de Moissac.
SO point of this post... if you know a farmer and have time to spare. GO HELP THEM. give them a hug. make them a meal. just listen to them. this has been a doozy of a year my friends. and holy batman this beautiful weather could not have come at a better time. WOW. I think this is grandpas doing getting one last year of harvest under his belt from the heaven's. Thanks grandpa.
Please note that if you're having a hard time with this years harvest. there is a stressline that is open 24/7 that you can call. They are there to help you!!! use it. Have a SAFE a healthy rest of your harvest dear friends and family. mucho love and respect!!
*please note all these pics are taken when it was lovely out in september.