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How many hats does a farmer wear?

Between the Fencerows: With rain limiting the opportunity for fieldwork, this farmer turns to electrical and plumbing projects.

Kyle Stackhouse, Blogger

April 12, 2024

2 Min Read
Silhouette of farmer in corn field at sunset
Getty Images/stevanovicigor

This week there isn’t much to talk about in the fields. With more rain the last couple of days, there won’t be much going on between the fencerows next week either. The ground was barely fit, but we did see dry fertilizer going on some neighbor’s fields.

Our two wheat fields were also sprayed by one of the custom applicators who works with us. When conditions get right again, it will be go time!

This week I was a plumber and an electrician. Not what you think a farmer does, right? But we have to be able to do a little bit of everything or nothing would ever get finished.

I began the week working to finish up that irrigation power panel upgrade I told you about last month. Before we left for spring break, we installed the new panels, but that was about it. The only wiring done was what was necessary to turn on the power.

Knowing field work is approaching, we had to get the pivots wired up so they would be operational to be moved back and forth. We took a few minutes off to view the eclipse but got to that point and a bit more by Tuesday afternoon. I’d say the project is about 90-95% done. It will probably take a good half day to test the control circuits for the well pumps and program the variable frequency drive. Don’t be surprised if you hear a little more about this once planting is complete.

Farmer’s law: Something will go wrong

Next, it was back to the new building. The concrete has cured. We had to get the boron and sugar tanks (which we moved inside) plumbed back into the mixing station. It’s never as easy as a person thinks it should be. A lot of primer, glue, a few trips for fittings, and we thought the project was complete. Then I found a waterline, one that was supposed to be drained, burst. Another trip to town, more glue and it was fixed.

Moving the tanks also meant moving the auxiliary pumps, which also meant more electrical work. As we’re working in the building in the evening, getting some lights up became a priority. So hopefully by the end of the day there will be basic lights and power in the building. Basic is all we’re planning to do as this is a loading pad and storage building.

Hoping everyone has a great weekend! Hoping some warm and dry weather is coming soon!

About the Author(s)

Kyle Stackhouse


After graduating from Purdue University in 1999 with a degree in Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Kyle Stackhouse began farming in Plymouth, Ind., in northern Indiana. Kyle farms alongside his father Brad, not as an employee but as an owner who runs separate businesses in three counties in a 20-mile radius.  Kyle shares insight into day to day operations, current issues, and management of the family's mid-sized grain farm that specializes in NON-GMO and Identity Preserved crops.

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