Southern Spotlight: The Countdown Begins

James Banahan

James Banahan

As you read this article today, you’re probably just about through with harvest.

And you’ve got 164 days until April 17, which is a Friday.  And everyone starts to plant on a Friday.

Unless you’re planning a major sale in those 164 days, you’re probably planning on farming again next season.  While 164 sounds, at first, like a whole lot of time, you’ll take two days off for Thanksgiving, 2 days or more for Christmas, and a day for Notre Dame football sometime in January.  Rain and snow are certain to prevent you from working another 28 days or so, so you’re down now to 130 working days between this glorious day we’re living now and the beginning of planting for next season.

130 is still a lot.  130, in fact, is enough time to get everything done.

That is, of course, if you use it.

By using it, I mean starting some work now.  A full 25% of those 130 days come before the new year.  Now is the time to pull soil samples, to put down your dry program mix, and to work whatever ground you need to.

Because there’s no way that it’s all going to get done in the spring when we’re all crazy busy and dreaming of that next cup of coffee.

I hear so often a grower’s plan to hire a man, or a son, or a nephew, or a neighbor’s kid for four weeks in the spring to help with all the work.  However, the plan never seems to pan out.  The kid has schoolwork to do.  The nephew is in love and going out on dates, or your son falls asleep after ball practice.  For all our dreaming about hiring a hand, no one does it because anyone worth their salt isn’t looking for employment for just four weeks out of the year.  Furthermore, who has the finances to hire someone full time when you need them for just a single month?

But…

You can hire the co-op.1

The co-op is a hired hand who knows his stuff and is willing to work for you just four weeks a year.  The co-op is a hired hand who can also help you finance your purchases.  The co-op is a hired hand who doesn’t require payment until January (and who won’t charge you interest).  The co-op is a hired hand who comes with his own equipment and knows how to use it.

The co-op is a hired hand without schoolwork to do, without dates to go on, and without ball practices that last for hours.  We’ve got 130 working days until we’re sinking seeds into the ground for 2015—we can use that time wisely by spreading the work out, which means starting some of it now, and when the going gets tough in the spring, as it always does, we can say we’re going to hire a hand and actually do it with the help of the co-op.

Heck, with some good planning, you might even be able to take an extra day off for your anniversary.  Or your niece’s birthday.  Or to sleep in.  Or visit your ma.  Or watch bowl games.  Or to do whatever your heart desires with those rare moments when you’re not working and don’t need to be.