I farm in eastern Ohio with my father. I am the fourth generation of the farm on a dairy and grain operation. We rotate corn, soybeans, wheat, and hay. We are milking about 65 cows and we stay pretty busy with that. We raise corn silage and mainly alfalfa hay with a little bit of sorghum-sudan and ryelage.
The milk prices are definitely climbing. We like this cooler weather for the cows as long as we don’t get too much temperature fluctuation. The manure has been tricky. With the weather we have had we have not been able to get as much spread on some ground as we would like to because field conditions have not permitted. We are also trucking it farther to try and cut down on fertilizer costs at different locations. These prices make you look at things a little closer.
The majority of our ground is rolling hills and we have a lot of strips. We’ll have a strip of corn or soybeans with a strip of hay in the middle to cut down on erosion. It does make wetter conditions trickier.
We had some creek bottom ground under water last month. We have a lot of debris and sand out there we have to go get moved before we can start working any of that ground. We were able to get those fields ripped last fall, but we definitely have some large piles to clean up before we start field cultivating.
We are excited about 2022 and curious about what will happen the next year. Should we be contracting more things ahead or holding out?
My dad started in 1991. He started with a repair shop working on equipment on different farm equipment. As ground would come along, we started farming a couple of acres here and a couple of acres there. We started with 40 acres by our house and it just snowballed from there. We’ve always been looking to grow and we take it one step at a time. Right now it is just me and my Dad. When we’re busy we’re busy and when we’re not, we are trying to get everything lined up so when we are busy we can rock and roll.
We are looking pretty good. Right now we are soggy and cold, but once the weather does break we usually get a nice window to get a lot done.
We range from anything from creek bottoms where it is sandier and it takes longer to dry out, and then we have heavier clays that also take longer to dry out and we have some sandy hilltops too. In 100 acres we could have 3 or 4 different types of soil. It really makes it tricky to try and find the optimal time to get in and get it done.
We’re actually sitting as good as we can be. We have some inputs locked in and others we are going to wait around a little bit on and see what the price does. It seems like everything is tied to the world market so much and it can swing both ways really fast.
We are excited about where these commodity prices could go. We did a good job of mitigating our risks and any time we see good commodity prices we really try to take advantage of those.
Things are a little wet. There have been some guys who have been able to get out and get some anhydrous on in some of the drier soils in this area. Our farm is located in Milledgeville. My dad and uncle started farming out of high school back in the 70s. They brought this operation to what it is today. I have been a part of helping with the operation since I was in elementary school and I came back to the farm after college. We farm in both Fayette and Greene counties. We do corn, soybeans and a little bit of wheat. My cousins on the farm raise show cattle too.
From the seed side of things we have most everything lined up. We price things early to get good prices. In terms of fertilizer, we have a decent amount. Once we get into the season, who knows what the prices will be? We have fuel storage on the farm and we have been loaded up for a while and have avoided taking a major hit on fuel costs so far.
Because of fuel costs and everything else, we are looking to do more no-till, so we are waiting to get out in the field. If it starts to dry up some, we may be able to get in during the next week or two, but with the wet weather it may be longer.
With the high prices, you have to spend money to make money. We want the other companies around us to be able to stay in business. We want their business and they want our business. We want them to be there for us later on. What scares me with these high prices on the input side is, most of the time when commodity prices and input prices go up, when commodity prices come down, sometimes your input costs do not. The fact of the matter is, these high commodity prices are exciting, but it is a double-edged sword. It can swing one way and really help you, but on the back side it could cut you off.
We’re pretty much ready. The equipment is ready and we are anxious to get started, but the weather has not been cooperating. We got some crazy weather this weekend with what they call grapple and snow. They are calling for rain again today and later in the week. I think we’ll be a little while yet, but hopefully we’ll be in the fields soon.
If the rain would quit and it would warm up, I think we could be in the fields in a week or so. We have gotten some teaser days where we get warm weather and go outside and do things in our yard and the next day I have to put a Carhart on. This weather has not been very cooperative.
We have almost everything we need to get started, though we still need a little bit of fertilizer. We have 85% of our seed either locked in or located — some of it is still on the way to the farm. We are ready to get started, we just have to get the weather.
I am always excited. I know there are risks, but I am excited to get started. This is one of my favorite times of the year. We do our research through the off-season and we are ready to put it to work. I always like getting in the tractor and going across the field.
We have to push in some trees that fell down over the winter. We have gotten some heavy rains and we have to go work some of those spots that got some damage. Once we are ready to go, I’ll take off and start working ground. My cousin will get the corn planter in the field and start following me once I’m about 100 acres ahead. Then we get my dad settled in the bean planter and my uncle works at getting the seed and fertilizer to the field.