I went wading this morning.
I walk outdoors most mornings when the weather permits. This morning I could have used my barn boots instead of my sneaks. Yesterday, Jack Parent started trucking the first-cut hay down the road and neighbor Charley Smith’s Cottonwood trees began snowing. It wasn’t quite knee deep at the bottom of the hill but it is piled higher and deeper.
“The trees do that for Father’s Day each year,” Mr. Smith said.
It doesn’t appear that we can spin cottonwood seeds into yarn let alone loom a fabric and the lumber is lousy; it splits poorly, rots quickly, and offers about 12 BTUs per cord of firewood. On the other hand caterpillars love the wood as food.
Mr. Smith’s bigger issue is the chopped grass that sluices off the farm trucks. The Parent farm is divided. His new farm is about three miles north of his home farm and about half a mile north of me. I get to watch a regular parade of 8-wheel tractors and liquid manure trucks and open dump trucks.
“There ought to be a law,” he said. “Farmers have too much power. We should have a regulation to keep the roads free of debris.”
I’m not much for rules. I googled farm bureau regulations and found about 2,230,000 results in 0.21 seconds. Regulation > Policy & Politics > Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. “Farmers fear effects of proposed child labor regulations” at the Iowa Farm Bureau. Arkansas EPA regs. Suarez on Labor Regulations. Texas Farm Bureau Commodities and Regulatory authority. Guide to Lighting Regulations for Farm Implements, Guide to Open Burning, and Women’s Food Check Out Day at the Tennessee Farm Bureau. The Stanislaus County Farm Bureau also administers the ILRP on behalf of the East San Joaquin Water Quality Coalition.
And so on.
Heck, there were about 4,290,000 hits, nearly twice as many, for Vermont farm regulations alone.
Maybe it’s time for someone without a Ph.D. to wade through this mess. There is no way on this green Earth that any farmer could comply with every reg already on the books, let alone the 1,523 new ones under consideration right now.
Meanwhile, Mr. Parent probably should think to cover his dump beds; after all, feed is even more expensive when the road gods get that sacrifice bale every day.
This farm report brought to you by the letter G.