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View from the Cab: A happier time

(CIFN file photo)

After nonstop action in the tractor and combine this fall, I was in my happy place much of last week.

I enjoyed the much more laid back responsibilities of running the chisel plow. There were no instructions on where to go next, who to unload or what combine to catch at the other end of the field. It was just me enjoying the hum of a tractor engine on a cool autumn day. It’s hard to make a mistake when tearing up ground – especially if it is something you have done since childhood.

Some of my earliest memories driving a tractor involve ripping through corn stubble. Back then, I was taught to keep a straight line and to count rows whenever possible. Now we rely on GPS technology for accuracy and I can see why. The biggest worry growers face today is running out of fuel or, heaven forbid, something breaks on the tractor or implement.

As I knock on wood, we really haven’t had any major breakdowns to speak of this year. Anyone in farming knows this is rare. Usually, something goes wrong at some point. I certainly hope this streak continues through the upcoming spring planting season, but we’ll see.

It isn’t quite as fun to work out in those fields now that we have turned the clocks back and it gets dark shortly after 4:30 p.m. The night seems like an eternity, although it is nice to have the sun rising as the kids are getting ready for school. There’s something about seeing the sun this time of year that makes everyone feel good. We can all rejoice in the fact that the days will start to get longer in late December.

Speaking of December, it sounds like we could be in for a wet few months from December through February if the long range forecast from the Climate Prediction Center is any indication. State Climatologist Jim Angel reported the news in one of his recent weekly weather summaries. Forecasters are waiting to see what kind of weather pattern sets in for the winter months. That will tell us a lot as far as how much precipitation to expect and what the temperatures will do.

(The View from the Cab blog is sponsored by Petersen Chevy-Buick in Fairbury)

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