OK, I don't raise crops, except a garden. But I talk to lots of people who do. And I do raise livestock, and know others that do too. I can think of a lot of things to do with extra time while the weather is still good, and even when it's not, besides tilling fields and exposing soil to erosion. It's even worse when you till them so wet in early November that you drag mud on the road!
Here's my list. You can make your own.
1. Clean up the combine. One farmer said he couldn't talk to us until his combine was cleaned up and put away. That included going over it and making repairs now, not later when the memory gets cold. Now that's dedication. By the way, he did talk to me.
2. Get a jump on marestail. One farmer was thrilled to be in his sprayer in November! He was spraying in hopes of getting ahead of marestail for 2016. "I never have had a chance to do it before because we never got done and still had good weather," he says.
3. Talk to your seedsman about hybrids and where they should be placed on the farm. Results from some fields this year made it clear – some hybrids do better on some land than on other land, no matter what anyone says. Find a knowledgeable seed rep, and do some planning now.
4. Pull soil tests. My son-in-law works at a soil testing lab. They need to stay busy; he needs the work. So help him out and keep pulling soil samples. Fall is still the ideal time, especially when soils are relatively dry.
5. Clean up the shop. Almost everybody's farm shop gets a bit messy during harvest. Now there is time to put things back where they belong.
6. Sort your mail. One farmer sorted mail that had stacked up for six weeks during harvest. He found a check someone claimed they sent him, but which he thought was lost in the mail. It was lost in the mail – on his desk!
7. Get ready for winter. What an opportunity! You can check anti-freeze in tractors and other vehicles, and check insulation around pipes in the shop and barns, maybe even without a jacket on. How many years do you get to do that?
8. Take in a field day. If you haven't been to one already, a whole mess of them will be starting up soon. You don't have the excuse that you are in the field. Go see what you can learn. And enjoy the good food, too.
9. Reorganize your filing cabinet. OK, it must be a real slow day if I get down to this one. I've got leaves to mow and fences to fix first. But sooner or later I run out of excuses why I can't clean up my office. The same thing might happen to you.
10. Buy your spouse flowers. A wise old farmer has told me many times that the best thing you can do for your marriage is buy your wife flowers, just for no reason at all. You've certainly got time to run to town and pick some up.