photo of the week

Which Way Does the Wind Blow?

The rains will be here tomorrow, and this field needs leveling before much else is done.  This giant tractor is pulling a land plane to knock the high spots down.  In the top frame, the wind is behind the tractor.  In the bottom frame, the breeze has caught up with the tractor.  It is the pits when that happens — you are surrounded by dust and it is completely out of your control.

It's Gonna Rain

Sunday, April 17, 2016
Pine Buff, Arkansas

In the springtime here in the Delta, nothing lights a fire under the agri-community’s pants like a forecast of imminent rain, and lots of it.

There are three related reasons, the first being that after a rain, there’s nothing that can be done in wet fields except look at them and wish they were not wet.

Secondly, since spring is planting time, one wants get ahead of the game and get seed in the fields.

Thirdly, seed needs moisture to germinate, so if you can plant one day and get a rain the next, you are ahead of the game.


If your fields are not quite ready to plant, getting them ready is the order of the day before the rain.  This tractor is pulling a “scratcher,” which aerates the soil and knocks down dead vegetation and any weeds that may have cropped up.  This is one of the first steps in preparing a field for planting.


Since rain is predicted tomorrow, farm operators are planting corn as fast as they can get it in the ground.  They will plant until dark and hope the job is finished in all the appointed fields . This tractor is pulling an eight-row planter to deposit seed corn uniformly in 38-inch rows.


The tractor you saw coming toward you above is now going away from you.


You are looking at the business end of the eight-row planter the tractor is pulling.  The boxes with the green tops hold seed corn.  Below those, the big wheels plant the corn and the little wheels cover up what’s been planted.


Here in LA (lower Arkansas) and other parts of the South, our genetic code has been altered.  This alteration makes us park our vehicles in the shade — even when there’s not any but should be.  So that’s where the truck with the pallet full of seed corn is parked.

The next day the rains came as predicted.  As anticipated it was a deluge for a few moments.  But the corn was planted and the other fields were one step closer to planting.


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