Windbreaks prove their worth on windy spring days | Producer reports

By Krista Podany, Verdigre, Neb.

Hello, from our little part of the Bohemian Alps near Knoxville, Nebraska. The dirt has been flying for days, the wind gusts are extremely strong, and we no longer ask if there is wind today – it’s more like “Where is it coming from now?”

When I was a young girl I remember hearing how great it was to have lines of windbreak trees planted in a field to reduce the wind from the good and precious land. Now I see those rows of trees being hollowed out to make way for circular pivots and other upgrades. I wondered how long it would take before I saw the effects of such activity. Now we see windrows of earth filling our ditches. It is believed that our ancestors knew what it took to be a good steward of the land.

The news is packed with information on all the wildfires sparked by above-normal winds in the region and beyond. We have so much to deal with in this spring season. We’ve been busy cutting down the trees that end up in the fence and the low water areas, which are abnormally dry.

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We noticed that the ground is quite dry under these roots. We had plenty of chances of rain and saw thunderstorms brewing and then leaving us with a few immeasurable drops.

True or false, fertilizer will be applied anyway, since weeds apparently don’t need a lot of moisture to thrive. We will try to continue to do as much no-till as possible and look for forage corn to plant that can survive low moisture levels after the small kernels are out of the fields.

The deer have gathered in fairly large herds and they appreciate our small grain fields. The turkey hunters are out. Our turkeys seem to have iridescent feathers that are redder than usual. I think that’s how the morning sun hits them – very colorful.

Krista Podany and Carl Dobias of Verdigre, Neb., keep busy with farm work and caring for their grandchildren. Podany will serve as the Tri-State Neighbor Crop Observer for northeast Nebraska this year.

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The store here still operates equipment inside and outside its doors. Some are waiting for parts, others are finished and ready for field work. The guys have witnessed that some parts that should be pretty easy to get are no longer available and they have no idea when they will be stocked and ready to ship. Maybe that’s why Carl has a graveyard of equipment to change or recondition something.

Took a day to get some of the last calves through the chute. They also don’t like the wind in their ears. It made some of them a little stubborn.

When I came back from running some errands, I saw evidence that the calves weren’t in the feedlot. These little rascals had been so loud that they pulled out a corner post and gate and were exploring my yard and coming down the lane to pile up the yard. It took a little while to get them all together, because they hadn’t finished jumping yet. The wind was not helping.

The gate we don’t use was the one we needed to get them through, but a few trees had grown there – hence why we cut down trees after this incident. The calves just wanted to sleep the next day after their little excursion. They were lifted by rubble to reach the line of bunk beds. They disturbed our sleep the night before, and fair is fair.

April is coming to an end and family activities have slowed down a bit. Now, the mailbox has received some announcements about May’s high school and college accomplishments that need to be recognized. May 1, Mother’s Day and the end of the school year are just around the corner, and we’re about to switch gears again. Life on this farm is pleasant and this girl loves the smell of fresh earth – it must be time to go to the garden and the fields.

Have a blessed and safe spring in all you do.