52 1/2 inches on 5/19.
I have this vision in my head of my favorite time of year. I am looking from the back of a tractor at the cultivator as it slices the ground. The soil has gone untouched since harvest and has not been cultivated since late spring of the previous year. The residue from the previous crop has been burned away and the new shoots of cane have begun to sprout from the center of the rows. The off bar slices the soil from the hip of the row filling in any ruts and cuts made by the tractor during harvest. Just behind the off-bar the hipping gangs pull just enough of the soil back to the hip of the row so that the excess water from the spring rains soon to come will flow out of the field and not drown out the newly emerging cane. The soil is not placed tightly against the cane so that there is a small cut to place the fertilizer which will nourish the cane in the coming months.
As a farmer I love to watch things grow, to till the soil, and smell the freshly turned earth. That makes spring my favorite time of year. Sugarcane is such a unique crop. When we plant a crop it is a commitment for four years. We care for and maintain this planting in a cycle that never ceases to amaze me.
Usually the crop begins to emerge sometime in March. This year we have experienced a very mild winter and the crop got up and growing in mid-February; this is rather unusual. We were excited at the prospect of several weeks of extra growing time. Unfortunately the week before last we experienced a light freeze. As a tropical crop, the sugarcane growing cycle was set back a couple of weeks. No worries though; the crop will persevere and, with adequate growing conditions, we still have the potential for a great crop.
It did rain last night and, while I would like to be in the field, today this means that the fertilizer and pre-emergence herbicides I applied this week are now activated. As soon as it dries up enough to get a tractor in the garden, we will plant our first round of sweet corn!
Plus Dana and I are glad to have some time to spend together without me working the crazy mad hours that spring often brings.
This notice appeared in our local newspaper:
This sounds all well and good, preserving our lovely Bayou Teche for future generations. However, as with all seemingly good government programs, there are drawbacks.
This is the official description of what constitutes a “scenic river.” What concerns me is the list of government agencies that must review a permit application for a number of activities: the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries; the Department of Environmental Quality; the Department of Agriculture and Forestry; the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism; and the Office of State Planning. There is not a clear statement about what to do if one of these numerous groups decides they don’t like what the permit application requests. This type of broad-stroke painting leaves me wary.
Also of note, the list of activities that require a permit includes, but is not limited to, a number of things that are quite likely in our future: bulkheads, piers, docks, and ramps; waste water discharges (does this include runoff from the fields?), land development adjacent to the river, aerial application of pesticides and fertilizers to fields adjacent to scenic streams, and water withdrawals.
We farm on both sides of the Bayou Teche, as do several of our farming neighbors. Therefore, we are concerned about this further regulation of a natural resource.
How about you? Have any of you been affected by such a designation? We’d love to hear your experiences and take them with us to these meetings.
I consider myself to be pretty good at Googling. I am familiar with the phrases to use, when and when not to use quotation marks, and how to determine which search results will actually tell me what I want to know.
I tend to assume that everyone uses search engines the way I do. Looking back at the search results that have led to this blog, though, I question that assumption.
How to cook crawfish etouffee
Eggplant parmesan from scratch
Crockpot chicken spaghetti
Cajun crawfish etouffee recipe
Those are just from the top ten search terms that have found this blog! I never knew we were a cooking blog! We do add in the occasional recipe, but that’s not the focus. Perhaps I need to add more recipes. Once folks get here, they just might stick around and learn about the farm.
Monkey and banana problem
Monkey afraid banana
Bunch banana with monkey
Family guy monkey banana
The monkey behind the banana
Monkey saying who took my banana
Monkey banana shop
Monkey chef with banana
These search terms just crack me up. I know how they ended up on our site from them (this post) but I am fairly certain this is not where they meant to go!
I hope that these people had their questions answered:
Cameco sugar cane harvester
Sugarcane hand planters
Sugar cane farm
How to keep sugarcane farm clean (can they share what they learned? We’d love to know!)
Can farmers go on vacation
Spraying sugarcane in Louisiana
Do black bears like sugar cane
Louisiana sugar cane
How to save my farm (if this was you, PLEASE get in touch with us!)
When do you harvest sugar cane
Burning of residue on fields
Full size picture of sugarcane in Louisiana being planted
Some of the search terms just made us laugh:
Shirtless man eating corn
Pepsi payroll check copy
Pictures of raisin food
United states government agriculture grinding projects
Why is hungry people bad (seriously!? Try going hungry and find out.)
Farmer is hungry wife
Men that leave there families hungry (perhaps it was because of bad grammar?)
Farmer’s wife marriage
Machine men hungry
Christmas porch trees
Guy surfing gnarly wave
Well, that last one’s not such a mystery.
Yesterday we burned; today we make a mess!