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View from the Cab: Generations in ag

Kent's view the other morning while preparing to harvest another cornfield / CIFN photo.

As I was waiting in the tractor for another load of corn the other day, I couldn’t help but wonder what previous generations would think of today’s large machines and impressive technology.

We spent some time in a field near Weston recently which always means a lot to me and brings back memories. My great-grandfather farmed this ground with his son (my grandpa) just like my dad and I farm it now. What would those previous generations think of auto steer or the large comfort cabs of today? I’m sure they would be amazed at the yields farmers here in Central Illinois can produce.

Those growers before us didn’t have the luxury of seeing corn and soybean yields displayed in real time on a computer screen in the combine cab. They wouldn’t know what to do with an automatic header control on the combine or a bean platform that spans more than 35 feet, but they got along just fine. Semis to haul grain from the field weren’t even thought of in their time and an auger wagon wasn’t around to constantly chase after a combine like today.

It might not have been all that bad to live in those good old days. Times were much simpler and I’m sure they didn’t always rush through life like many of us are guilty of doing today. I need to remember to step back, enjoy harvest and treasure those moments working on a family farming operation. Even though we put in countless hours each spring and fall in the face of depressing corn and soybean prices, the end result of bushels in the bin is well worth it.

As this year’s crop continues to come out of the field, we are already busy making plans for what will be planted next season and where. Some of us have to be aggressive marketers of our grain in order to make it in this day and age of low prices and trade wars in the world. Farmers are a resilient bunch and pretty much have to be in order to keep going. We face our profession with optimism because if we didn’t, we would not keep raising crops in those fields.

Last week was among the busiest times of the harvest season around here. Grain elevators reported record numbers of loads coming in and it sounds like the bushels are still there despite some weather concerns over the summer. Let’s keep chugging along to the finish line. I’m sure our grandfathers and great-grandfathers are up there cheering us on.

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

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