Which reminds me of an age-old question: Is a tomato a fruit or vegetable? What if it’s a seedless variety, how about watermelons? The answers will bring a smile to your face but regardless it’s all about the journey and the fruits of your labor.
Just like your garden, crops in my farm fields continue to mature, though my harvest is still several months away. Field scouting continues to focus a watchful eye on invasive insect populations. And not unlike how we occasionally deal with athletes’ foot, it’s possible when conditions are right that fungus will attack my corn and soybean plants.
It can quickly draw the life from my crops, but through timely crop scouting, preventative or curative applications can be made quickly if needed. Airplanes, helicopters or high-wheeled sprayers are options to quickly address the need to treat targeted fields. Have you ever watched a helicopter land atop a water truck with a portable landing pad, refill and return to a field in only minutes? It’s quite the show – like watching a race car make a pit-stop as it receives fuel or new tires. Time is money and acres per day pay the bills, so efficiency is the name of the game and agriculture often leads that charge.
Comfort and Health
Murphy made an unexpected visit to the vet recently, when I realized that she was obviously not of her normal, follow along nature. A smaller dog would’ve been easier at this point when I realized I had to lift her into the truck for her trip to town. She was stiff, slow and running a temperature but all other tests were negative. After prescribing a week’s worth of antibiotics, Murphy is slowly returning to her old self.
Not unlike dealing with illness with our children, farmers don’t take lightly the use of periodic antibiotic or medication use to maintain proper animal health, whether it’s our pets or livestock. Sam and Caleb use a well-structured vaccination program in our hog facilities to prevent disease outbreaks. Pair this with daily chores, checking feeders and waterers as they walk the pens to spot-treat or isolate pigs that need a little extra TLC.
During the summer months when heat and humidity can be stifling and often nights can turn chilly very quickly, our modern hog buildings are computer-controlled, allowing for five phases to maintain animal comfort and health.
We even have timed sprinklers, which spritz the pigs periodically, when temperatures reach pre-set point maximums, all to cool the animal without raising humidity levels. The buildings are also equipped with floor to ceiling curtains which raise and lower, allowing for abundant fresh air circulation.