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An early-done harvest has its positives

An early-done harvest has its positives

With the 2015 harvest finished in record time, Mike and Sheilah go hunting, reflect back and plan ahead.

Sheilah: "Ever since Mike and I have been together, harvest has always lasted well into December. Our wedding and all of our Thanksgivings were planned around harvest. This year, we finished early – actually an entire week before Thanksgiving!"

Mike: "That's actually our goal every year. We had great weather, although our yields were far from ideal, we finished in record time, which was good and not so good.

"Lack of grain to haul away speeded everything up. Even being down four days with our busted combine axle didn’t really slow things down."

BUCKING UP: Mike didn’t spot this buck. But, the time-out for communing with nature is therapeutic in itself.

Sheilah: "I told Mike to enjoy being done. 'But don't get upset this time next year when we still have a couple weeks of harvest to go! Relax a few days before getting out that list of all the things that didn’t get done the last two months.'

"It’s rare for him to ever take time just for himself. So, I told him that he had to do that, too."

Mike: "Hunting season's upon us. I plan on taking a few days to sit in the woods, use that time to relax and reflect – and look for that black bear and the big buck.

"I have a notebook full of ideas and things to change for next year, a list of people to call, and things to order along with projects to start. But, as Sheilah says: 'It’s waited this long; it can wait another day or two.'”

Sheilah: "We didn’t have the best weather during growing season so our crop was far from being a bin buster. Crop insurance probably will help somewhat. But Mike is going to have to really work on our budgets for next year.

"We've already ordered some seed and are thinking of buying fertilizer before year-end. We’ve been comparing products and prices, searching for best deal.

"Mike's goal may be to finish harvest before Thanksgiving. Mine is to cut costs without cutting quality. That's more compatible that it might sound."

Mike: "It’s actually nice to have more time to think and plan ahead – to look over the highlights and the lowlights of the year. It also helps that winter weather has been holding off. Outdoor projects are going to be finished before it actually sets in. Finishing harvest early may not happen for another 10 years on our farm."

Sheilah: "Our yields may have been low. But, we're thankful for the extra time we have to spend together and get ahead on winter projects."

The Reskovacs farm near Uniontown, Pa. (No report on his hunting season success.) Read all their "Two Hearts, One Harvest" columns in American Agriculturist. This opinion is not necessarily that of

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