Crops are like children, they need consent tending and nurturing to turn out right. Diseases can affect a crop just like a child, so preventive measures help keep both crops and kids healthy. The progressive farmers of the world look at preventive and corrective measures as a way to ensure healthy crops for optimum results. It's simply safeguarding your resources. For me, as a mother, it would be like not inoculating your child against rubella, polio and other diseases that can strike and cripple a human, so why would you put your children at risk? It's the same with crops, we have the resources available to help the plants, so why risk not using them? So that my friends, in a nutshell, is why farmers use the treatments available (which are strictly regulated by the Food & Drug Administration) to keep our crops healthy. What does this mean to you? It means quantity as well as quality on your dinner table.
Due to the recent (and welcome) moisture that we have had over the past 2 months, the wheat around the region is showing signs of a fungi called Stem Rust. If untreated, this fungi will rob the crop of its potential yield, so farmers will incur an extra cost to get this herbicide flown on by air to treat it. Joe and Jay had anticipated the Rust showing up and this particular fungus is best treated if you can catch it before it shows up on the wheat blades. We are not complaining in the least, it is sort of a welcome expense as it means the wonderful moisture should mean a better wheat yield come harvest time. That really makes a farmer smile! =)
Shown below is brother-in-law, Jay checking one of the wheat fields on the Tammany farm. Besides looking for rust, we also look for bugs that can also rob the crop of its yield. So sometimes bi-weekly, but usually weekly checking of the crops is necessary for optimum crop health.
The products commonly used on the farm come in plastic jugs. Pictured above is Ryan, a high school lad who has been hired to help on the farm this summer. Ryan is stacking the jugs to be shredded for recycling.
This is the owner of the shredding machine and that comes to farms all over the region.
If you want to see more of the small town farm life, take a look at the page called At Home on the Farm.