Friend of Fair Weather - Illinois Farm Bureau Partners Friend of Fair Weather - Illinois Farm Bureau Partners

Friend of Fair Weather

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Farming and weather

“No, no, no! Please stop!” I pleaded with Mother Nature one hot summer day.
I stood defensively at my office window. I wanted to grab the 55 mph wind like a basketball and throw them in the outdoor toy box. It could play another day.

Summertime showers may earn the title of “Million Dollar Rain” when farm country’s valuable crops desperately need it. Yet, intense summer wind when the corn stands tall earns as much admiration as flies at a picnic.

No matter how much you plan ahead, the weather may ultimately define a crop’s success. It acts as our friend and foe on the farm. And for those of us who practically live the summer outdoors, its extremes can make a gal moody. I need to more closely follow Grandma’s advice to make my own “sunshine” on a cloudy day.

Generations of my farm family have lived in concert with the weather. Together with this climatic companion, we compose a memory book of our lives.

“You need to write all this down,” my dad said one day at lunch. We had just engineered a lengthy conversation that started with high-velocity wind and our farm’s corn.

We have scripted some in the form of a farm newsletter in the office. But a few heads put together at the dinner table seem to adequately rehearse the growing seasons: For example, the cool, wet summer that ravaged soybeans with an infestation of white mold, or a June when sunny, calm days allowed us to finish controlling weeds in time to wholeheartedly enjoy a family vacation.

The weather influences our mood. It dictates schedules. And we try to plan ahead of it, yet we more than once express some “wish I wouldas.” For that reason, a television commercial caused me to burst into Super Bowl-caliber laughter as it showed a farmer and a time machine. He wanted to relive the week ahead of the present rain that ruined his chances for a timely application of weed control. If only.

I absorb and attempt to average multiple weather forecasts. The convenience of weather information on smartphones manages time.

While I am not old school enough for a Farmer’s Almanac, I still own a traditional weather radio and watch the nightly newscast. In fact, the weather dictates my choice in the TV channel. I establish a favorite morning or evening newscast based on the meteorologist who consistently delivers the most valuable report from a rural viewpoint without annoying me. If the soybeans need a soggy Saturday, so be it. Sometimes precipitation improves my weekend.

The intense wind and hard rain continued to rage as I ran downstairs to look at the soybean field behind our house. The plants, a short crop relative to corn, appeared tousled. The corn would fare much worse.

Just 24 hours ahead of this storm, my family rejoiced in the much-needed rain. Now, we felt a bit glum at the downed corn. A relationship with weather turns rocky on occasion, but friendships improve in times of fair weather.

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