Sunday, August 18, 2013

Hurry Up & Wait

I am supremely qualified to "hurry up and wait" after 20 years in the military.
Count your blessings if you haven't heard the expression before; it's one of the more frustrating things that Uncle Sam taught us in the military.  Hurry up, get ready as quickly as you can...and then wait for the event to happen.  If there was a chance of a military inspection, everyone would bust their tails to get ready as quickly as possible...then sit for a week waiting for inspectors to arrive.  When flying on military aircraft around the globe, we would show up bright and early...and then wait for five or six hours for the jet to be ready.  Hurry up, get it done, quickly!  Okay, good job, now wait...
I am doing the same thing right now on the farm.  Due to the cool and wet summer, the crop is taking it's sweet time in ripening up.  I've hurried up and gotten ready for harvest...and now I get to wait for it.
Lentils slowly ripening
The lentils look good and are slowly ripening.  I would say they are about 50% ripened, but really how do I know?  I've never seen lentils before, never grown them before.  The lower pods on the plant have firm, red lentils in them; the higher pods are still soft and mushy and the lentil is still green.  Luckily the local agronomist is keeping an eye on them for me and coaching me along.  He says they aren't quite ready for dessication yet.  They get dessicated at about 70%.  Once that happens, it will take about 5 or 6 days for all of the lentils to harden and be ready for harvest.
Three lentils from the same plant
My wheat is a couple of weeks away from harvest.  The color is just beginning to turn now, with the hilltops being amber and the bottoms still green.  There is a very good stand of wheat out there and I am excited to get it cut and put into the bin.
I have my harvest crews all lined up.  A neighbor is going to harvest my lentils.  He also raises red lentils and his were seeded at the same time as mine, so they should all be ready together.  For the wheat, I have a farmer who lives north of me lined up.  His wheat was seeded after mine so he will be able to cut mine and then move onto his own crop.
This wheat was the last to get seeded
The grain bins are cleaned and ready to go.  I don't have enough grain storage, so I am renting a building from another neighbor to use for the year.  His building holds about 20,000 bushels and that will handle most of what I can't put into my own bins.  The trucks are cleaned and serviced, the sample buckets are lined up, the auger is ready...
I've hurried it's just time to wait.