For a moment take a step back in time with me to understand why harvest is such an exciting time of year. Not back in time when you remember being on your ancestors farm or the nostalgic red barn period. I am talking about back to the beginning of this year’s crop cycle.
It takes a team of experts around a table to put a full plan together for a crop. Roughly 12 months ago decisions were made and further refined on what to plant and how to nurture it to maturity. To keep your soil and nutrients on the landscape it may take an engineer to design a terrace to slow the water flow down or an agronomist to help select the right seed for each field. It takes a knowledgeable banker to understand the operation to provide the operating capital and the accounting and tax experts to assist with accurate record keeping. Lastly, it takes multiple pieces of equipment to strategically place the seed in a perfect seed bed. All the while being connected to satellites to track, monitor and limit overlap reducing inputs. These are just a few off the whole list of experts that a farmer would work with in this time frame.
A seed is more than just tiny seed. It is a bundle of technology, life and hope in the eye of a farmer. Throughout the summer farmers have cared for this seed that came to life and has grown in to an amazing plant. This plant is like a little factory that purifies the air and makes 1000’s of products that are used in your daily life. So as harvest gets underway farmers are able to see what they did right and what things they could have done better. So as you are thinking about fall and harvest think about the trillions of little factories out there that products are being collected from. The soy based foam used in Ford Motors seats, vegetable oil, Ethanol, renewable plastics, corn starch, vitamin e sometimes used in chap stick and food for your pet are all examples of products that can come from a seed.
In addition, if you are wondering what is happening in a field near you take a minute or two and speak with a farmer to get a glimpse into the process of harvest, you may even be able to take a ride in the combine and see how everything comes together. (Be sure to be alert and make sure they see you before you get to close to the machines)
Let me leave you with a fun little factoid: Soybeans are an important ingredient for the production of crayons. In fact, one acre of soybeans can produce 82,368 crayons.
Enjoy the smell, sounds and background of fall it is a great time of year.