We had a pretty dry winter,
Near-record amounts of no snow.
Now with a short shot of sunshine,
I’m getting anxious to go.
The calendar says it’s too early,
But it seems like the ground is dry.
Perhaps I should put my seeds out there
To wait for some rain from the sky.
It’s time to open up shed doors,
Pull out a tractor and truck,
See if the discs on the planter
Will spin or are they froze stuck.
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Most of those jobs are quite simple,
You can tell just by taking a peek,
Where you should weld up a frame crack
Or where an old hose just might leak.
Now we get to the tough part,
The things that against me conspire:
The boxes all covered with switches,
With bundles and bundles of wires.
For every machine there’s a flat screen
That needs to be mounted each spring.
I forget even how to get started;
The manual won’t tell me a thing.
Where in the field is the A line?
How much for this drill to offset?
That I’ve forgotten all I need to know,
Well, that is a pretty safe bet.
Electrons are angry and spiteful,
Not doing the job that they should.
I scroll through screens like a mad man,
But it’s not doing me any good.
I wish Nathan was here in my cab door
Telling me just what to press.
Instead I have him on my cell phone
Trying to straighten this mess.
The tractor now talks to the planter;
The planter is answering back.
I don’t even dare turn on the radio
Or things may just get out of whack.
My kid says he read up this winter
About a planter that talks to the cloud.
If I had a clue what he’s talking about,
Well, that would sure make me proud.
He tells me I’d need a new cell phone
With a screen that reacts to my touch.
Then I could call up my field maps
Of planting and spraying and such.
The thought of changing my cell phone
Does not make me feel all that good.
I’m pretty used to my old one:
It’s efficient, it burns coal or wood.
Write Field column is written by David Kragnes. David farms near Felton, MN. He is a former Chairman of American Crystal Sugar Co., and currently serves on the board of directors of CoBank.