Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Big Farmers

Big farmers get picked on. Big farmers get picked on a lot. They are called BTO's, Big Time Operators, hated for bidding up land prices unless you are the land owner and avoid small time conversation with small time people. They don't have time to anyway.

Think about what the farmer does:

planning a crop

planting that crop, usually at least 2 or 3 different ones and often many others

scouting that crop

spraying that crop

praying for that crop

marketing that crop

harvesting that crop

storing that crop

watching those bins

hauling that crop

That mandates the management of labor, capital, machinery, parts, repairs, fuel, government, reports and more reports, insurance, taxes and the list goes on forever every day.

Multiply the headache of an average farm whether 300 acres or 700 acres by ten or more and you have the freedom to farm and all the headaches that go with it.

A year likes this one is hard on everybody but use that or any multiplier and I haven't seen any larger farmers stop to talk very long. They and we all have our hands full. The weeds are outgrowing our intended crop and it rains every other day.

That big machinery may impress you and you may not like it when it is in your way but it feeds us all and is a living for a debatable one percent of our population.

Those are big, risky shoes to walk in.

Farming is still a dignified, necessary occupation, large or small. The average age of a farmer is around 60 years old so we are busy training the younger generation with that drive and desire we once had and maybe still have.

My hat is off to the big farmer but someone farmed it before you got there and someone will farm it when you are gone, regardless how large you are.

Big or small we all are tall when we do the right thing. I think we are doing the best we know how.



  1. I think I need a better big farming picture. I think I deleted the 48 row corn planter and the 60 foot combine because I will never own them. Anyone got a better picture?

  2. Do you have any information about the setup (the roller and fertilizer? combination) in the picture you posted? I don't think I have ever seen any thing like that before.

  3. Sounds like we are having similar weather Ed. Another 2 to 3 inches predicted for us in the next day or two so the already saturated fields will just get worse. The big farmers here are putting an extra sprayer in the field. And not just a little pull type like mine, no its the big quarter million dollar high clearance rigs.

  4. We don't have many of what you call "big farmers" in West Virginia. Here, the distaste is for "agri-biz" enterprises where the owner never sets foot on the land "he/they" farm. We don't have many of them either, though.