Farm Industry News Blog

Mother of all winters

Team FIN farmer Daryl Bridenbaugh reflects on what has been the longest and most brutal winter he can remember.

There was a cute ad on television a few weeks ago. A furniture store advertised that after the mother of all winters they were going to have the mother of all sales! I feel sad for a lot of businesses that lost sales that they will never regain. Restaurants are a good example of that. Many days it was so cold and nasty that I just stayed in the house except for cattle chores. On the very worst days I was the busiest. I always volunteer at a nearby nursing home to take the employees to work with my 4-wheel drive truck. This year that became a big job. Sometimes people called at 5 a.m. and sometimes I didn’t get home until midnight. It was a nice opportunity to do something useful and gave me a chance to meet new folks and to thank them for the work they do. I was apprehensive at times because I knew that if I got stuck I would be stranded for a long time. An elderly man 16 miles from here froze to death in his home in early winter. His wife had to be hospitalized for hypothermia. 

One thing we really appreciated was the warmth from our wood boiler. It’s something I bought three years ago but it really paid off big this year. I learned about wood boilers while attending farm shows. They can burn large pieces of wood, and since they are outside away from the house the risk of fire is greatly decreased. The hot water is continually pumped to the house and makes delightful heat. The system is also rigged up to our water heater so it saves us money there, too, and we have piping hot water within 15 seconds after we turn on the spigots.

It was disheartening to read and hear about the problems pork producers are having with disease. I was fortunate not to have any pigs this winter. I am trying to catch up on working on equipment because I really didn’t get anything done on it this winter. I enjoyed the educational meetings that I went to and having a chance to chat with other farmers over a meal after the meetings were over. I learned that soybean seed is being developed to be resistant to heavy pre-emerge applications of Kixor herbicide. That will be very useful in battling marestail since Kixor is very good at controlling it. 

I enjoyed taking a week and a half off to visit relatives in southern California and attend the World Ag Expo there. The weather was perfect and we had a chance to learn a lot and see a cornucopia of new equipment.

Daryl Bridenbaugh

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The Farm Industry News Blog features commentary from Willie Vogt, Jodie Wehrspann, Kathy Huting, Lynn Grooms, Daryl Bridenbaugh and Jeff Ryan.

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