On the farm however, the crop cycle continues. The harvest is now finished and we are working to finish up the processing and sale of last year’s production and finalizing the plan for the upcoming year.
Many think of the crop being harvested and distributed as ending at the edge of the field. However, for many crops this is the beginning of the process of moving to the consumer.
For example grass seed is harvested from the field and stored in bulk. Throughout the fall and winter the farms clean the dirt and straws from the seed with screens, air, and gravity. They then may either package the seed for sale or in some instances blend the varieties seeds together to make the perfect mix for the golf course or our backyards. In many cases this will begin the long journey for the product that could move it to other states or oftentimes onto ships that will carry the product to far away countries that need our seeds.
Oregon is very special in the grass seed industry. When buyers see our blue label on the packaging, they know that what they purchased is up to the exacting standards of the Oregon Seed Industry. The growers in Oregon decided that they wanted the world to know that what comes off of our farms is truly what is labeled in the bag. This program is unmatched in the world and something the Oregon growers are proud of.
It is important to plan far ahead to have weed-free fields in which to plant the next crop. Some grasses are planted in the spring and will not be harvested until the summer of the following year. These intense cropping systems require detailed plans years in advance.
So if crops are so well-planned for “years in advance”, why are we still planning in January? Because, this is a never ending cycle and decisions are constantly being made for the future, both near and distant. Farmers are meeting with crop consultants, learning about the latest fertilizer technology, or learning about the best methods for weed and pest control. At the same time they are planning for what will be planted in some fields this spring that will then affect what they may be able to plant this fall, next spring, or three years from now.
As unpredictable as the world gets, it keeps turning. The crops keep growing. We plant, water, fertilize, harvest, process and sell. Then we do it again. Our forefathers did it before us, we do it now, and our children will do it in the future. Remember: always look forward.
Good times are there, we just need to find them.
Oregon Aglink President