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Business

From the Fields: The bright side

Sweet corn harvest is finished. It was a busy two weeks, especially with our corn crew back in school, but we estimate we did about 150 bushels of sweet corn and fed 100 families. One of the things I love about being a food producer are the messages you get from customer saying, “The corn is just perfect for freezing,” or “You all have the sweetest sweet corn.” We appreciate the support of this business venture for our kids and the life lessons they are learning.

Silage chopping has started in the area for the guys who do still chop silage. One neighbor said it is the best silage he has ever chopped. If the quality of the silage and the sweet corn is any indication of the potential of our corn crop, it is going to being a big one. Corn is at half milk line and we are probably still two weeks out from maturity. Early beans are turning and they will be ready to run in about three weeks.

Hemp is a fast-growing crop. It was planted, for the second time, about three weeks ago and is already chest high. We are really pleased with our stand and have had good luck keeping weeds out. One of the challenges of hemp can be weed pressure since there is no approved chemical to use on it. We do a burndown pre-planting and no till our seed in. It has been working for us and you know what they say, if ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Fall calving has snuck up on us once again this year. Every year my husband and I say we are going to move the fall herd back to the farm before the kids go to school. But every year that deadline seems to slip by us as we are busy with other things on the farm and before we know it the cows have started calving. Such was the case again this year. We discovered we already had four calves on the ground.

So, as soon as we finished putting up our own freezer corn, we grabbed the leftover sweet corn ears from freezing corn, hooked up to the trailer and headed back to the pasture. Sweet corn ears are like candy to cows and we used them to entice the girls into the corral. We quickly got two loads back to the farm and then set to work gathering the mommas and their babies, the harder part of this project. The pasture didn’t get mowed down, so little calves are hard to track in tall ragweed. It took a couple trips and probably looked like a bit of a rodeo, but we eventually got everyone back to the farm. As of today, we have six calves on the ground and the markets are up, so we are hoping for a good week. Optimism feels good.

Salem, Ind.

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