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TONGUES WAG WHEN YOU TALK AG

Probably with the recent rain, we are hearing more talk about the spring crops than ever. Although I don’t have a big background in agriculture, I talk to my friend Gary Gollohon fairly regular and try to keep abreast of what’s going on in the field. Gary tells me that’s he been in direct contact with his custom cutting buddy down south and he’s moved on from the Vernon/Harrold, Texas area into the Clinton, Oklahoma area to do some move harvesting. As of Tuesday, none had been cut, at least nothing along the highway. Last year harvest started on the 25th of May in Vernon and the 4th or 5th in Clinton. The crops in Vernon, Texas have averaged a low of 16 bushels per acre (total individual farm) to a high of 22 bushels. In Oklahoma, the terrace tops are burnt down to a great degree but the bottoms of the channels look fine. If you have never seen the terraces, they look like a big trough, lying perpendicular to the slope of the fields, to prevent erosion. It looks like the heavily fertilized fields caught the brunt of the drought and the less fertilized fields survived better. I think perhaps seeding dates had some bearing on the crop yields also. In the case of of how much fertilizing, it appears to me that “less is better” in this particular case. Road diesel down in Clinton was $3.78 and farm fuel was $3.50. Clinton caught some 1.70 inches of rain a week ago at this time while Texas had a little over three inches. In Texas, everyone is getting set to plant haygrazer to try to combat the shortage of livestock feed that is in Texas at this time. Haygrazer is a fast maturing hay crop that’s badly needed by the stock men down there in order to maintain their herds. It appears that there are more cutters in the Clinton area and their harvest should be starting soon. They’ve already put 100 hours on the machines and have had all four machines running in Texas, as well as Oklahoma. Meanwhile, up here in north central Montana, Gollohon is busy trying to figure out why his old truck engine keeps overheating. Farming has to be one of the toughest jobs in the world and probably here in the Golden Triangle, we live and die by what “old mother nature” brings on way all 12 months of the farming year. Keep on truckin’ and farmin”, guys and women.

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