Farming: Of Grasshoppers and Cutworms

Of Grasshoppers and Cutworms

This is an article I wrote for the June edition of Hi-Line Farm and Ranch which covers the Hi-Line!

I remember our first harvest.

Newly married living in our camper with a front row view of all the happenings in the yard.

I was getting my first real taste of farming. The worry, the highs and lows, the dust, the numbers, the ever present “checking”, the long hours, the stress, the excitement, the repetition.

Then the grasshoppers came and as my little galvanized tub of potted flowers disintegrated to mere sticks before my eyes I envisioned an Old Testament-type grasshopper massacre of our wheat. The realization that there was no control over the grasshoppers and their destructive mouths set in. It felt like our lives were hanging in the balance until it was finished and all the bushels in the bins were added up. Whew. We actually came out ok, grasshoppers, new full time farming, and all.

This year it's cutworms.

Before we had our air drill in the ground, word from the neighbors was that there were cutworms in the ground this year. This year is different than our first. We are going into it with a tighter pocket book. There is no $9 a bushel wheat. Even peas, although a bit better, aren't going to be great. So I recognize the familiar stress in my farmer's voice as he scrambles to do something to save our peas that are so gorgeously and delicately coming from the same ground that is housing cutworms.

This year I have more experience more understanding. The stress? it's still there! Maybe a bit more.

But this year, I ask, “what are our options?” I think, “Well, it's not going to be cutworms that do us in.” I don't really know that, but I do know that we are strong! We are determined. We are ultra conscious of our funds, assets and all those wonderful ratios.

I know we'll be doing this well into our “elderly” years!

Because it will take more than grasshoppers and cutworms to take us down!

If you liked this post, I'm sure you'd like the post I wrote on Becoming a Farm Wife! Check it out here!