This week I got the chance to talk with Shaun Glingle a bit about a new lightbar/GPS receiver combination he and his father, Randy, have installed on one of their tractors. We're working with the Glingle's on a "Precision First" program to talk about the issues of putting this kind of system in place on farms where producers haven't pulled the trigger.
Shaun and Randy are fun to work with. Talking with Shaun this week, I could hear a little excitement in his voice - of course that could be because he rushed back into the house to answer my call on a day when they were sending corn to town - but I take also to mean they're ready to plant.
In some parts of the country it seems the planting and harvesting season is almost never over especially when you're talking forage crops in the Southwest or specialty crops elsewhere. Yet a lot of times we pace our lives a little more like the Midwestern producer who ramps up for spring planting after a quiet winter (for cash crops, life is never quiet on a livestock operation).
There are times when I'm driving across country heading to a story in the spring when I can almost feel the excitement building. You'll see equipment outside the shop with one or two farmers doing work, you'll find more pickups outside equipment dealers as producers pick up parts for a planter or tillage tool, and essentially the talk turns to the first steps for getting in a new crop for 2009.
The math has been done showing that we can plant 86 million acres of corn in this country in about two weeks if the weather cooperates. Of course we have that kind of capacity because the weather seldom does. Instead we need three or four weeks to get the crop in.
As March unfolds and you're into your planting season (even if it starts in April) we want to wish you luck, and safety, for this season. As for the Glingle's? You'll hear more when they put that new equipment to work on their farm. Shaun has already been testing out the receiver and lightbar to make sure all the pieces are working smoothly together (they are). Let the spring work begin!