The little seeds who couldn’t

So it is one of the major decisions farmers need to make, the difficult decision to replant. Due to the hardness of the topsoil after the heavy rains, a crust developed over much of the field that was discussed in the previous post. In addition, the seeds planted in areas with little tile mixed with the cold and damp weather that continued for a week or so after planting the field around April 26-27, didn’t stand a chance.

After some thorough scouting, we decided to replant around 50 acres of the field. It isn’t the most pleasant job to do because you are tearing out some very good plants while preparing the soil bed for new seeds, but we had to weigh the pros and cons. The seed companies pay for 50% of the seed for a replant and crop insurance assists with 45% of the cost. You still end up losing money with labor, but replanting is done in hopes of a better yield, and depending on ones marketing skills, could make up for any losses and may in the end seem like it was never replanted. We are hopeful for that outcome.


We just got accepted to be a part of the mentor/mentee program for 2012 through The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES). Our mentors are the Frantzen’s, who grow organic row crops and raise organic pigs from farrow to finish, a farm operation that we would like to mimic. I attended a field day they held at their farm through Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) last summer and learned so much from that one day, so we are very excited to have some hands on learning of organics and how to make money at it while being good to the earth.

In late February, MOSES holds their annual conference in Wisconsin. We know it will lead to a wealth of information for us AND it’s free for mentors and mentees! Woohoo! For more information on the conference, visit the MOSES website.