Farm Press Blog

If I were Santa Claus…


• For the U.S. Congress—how about a sack of common sense? • To the NCAA—I’d bring a map. • To my farmer friends across the Southwest—you get rain, lots of rain but not too much all at once.

If I were Santa Claus, I’d be generous this Christmas.

Folks have had enough bad news, bad weather, and bad harvests to have to put up with lumps of coal in their stockings. After all, ‘tis the season. So, how generous would I be? Pretty generous since this is merely an exercise in wishful thinking. So what would I bring to:

The U.S. Congress—how about a sack of common sense and maybe some bifocals that allow them to see past their own self-interests and look at the common good?

To the NCAA—I’d bring a map. Apparently they don’t understand that San Diego State is about as far from the East as you can get and still be in the United States. Okay, I’ll grant that San Diego is pretty far east of Hawaii.

And when did College Station, Texas, shift across the border to become part of the Southeast? I know we had a little tremor of an earthquake a few weeks back, but it wasn’t that big a jolt. I guess folks will move around a bit if the money is right.

To Southwest cattlemen—how about a year’s supply of hay? I imagine it’s getting a bit scarce by now, and what they can find is a bit pricey. We’ve even heard stories of folks baling up cotton stalks to feed cattle.

To big box marts and those do-it-on-your-own stores—you guys need a calendar. The Christmas season does not begin in September. September is for Labor Day and then we still have Columbus Day, Halloween and Thanksgiving to enjoy before we go full-out on Christmas. But this year I saw artificial Christmas trees on display while the temperature was still hovering close to 100 degrees. That’s just too early.

To my farmer friends across the Southwest—you get rain, lots of rain but not too much all at once. I’d bring it in manageable amounts, say two inches every two weeks until planting time then about a three-week respite until all the seed’s in the ground. We resume the schedule shortly after planting, but with a slow, gentle rain that soaks into the soil without packing it down.

Come July, we might ratchet that up to a weekly shower just in case the temperature begins to soar again. And we’ll shut down for a while at harvest time to get the crops in without undue stress. We’ll bring a few more showers in time to wet the soil for wheat planting and take a break until planting is done. Then we’ll go back to regular rainfall, as needed.

A little snow will be in order around Christmas but not enough to disrupt traffic much.

I’d bring these folks some decent prices for the crops they grow, a bit of appreciation from all of us who benefit from what they do for us and perhaps a lot less downtime for equipment repair.

And maybe a new truck.

I’d also offer all of you my personal thanks for allowing me to visit your farms and ranches and for taking the time to share your ideas and production techniques with me. Thanks, too, for allowing me the privilege of telling your stories.

A Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year to you all.

Discuss this Blog Entry 2

Roger Haldenby (not verified)
on Dec 22, 2011

Thanks Ron, for all the good articles, editorials, humor and pathos that you bring throughout the year. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year - and Chuc Mung Sinh Nhat!! Roger Haldenby

Kim Anderson (not verified)
on Dec 22, 2011

Ron: You’re a talented writer and all around good guy. The agricultural industry is fortunate to have you as one of its representatives; someone who presents agriculture to itself as well as the entire nation. One of my Christmas wishes is that you have a long and fruitful life serving those you love. God, family and the people in ag.

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