Sunday, June 23, 2024

Starting the Year off Right

Cassidy Nemec,

They have studies that link clutter and mess to more anxiety and stress in a person’s life. They say a cluttered space can lead to a sense of being overwhelmed and lead to that stress that we all would rather not have. In addition to everything else we have going on in life, I think this is a great reminder to get organized and make sure the year is starting off in a good place. We could all handle a little less stress in our lives, right?

This month’s issue of Rice Farming contains information and ideas of how to have a successful rice crop.

Keeping in mind that a new year doesn’t have to call for sweeping, drastic changes to declutter, Peter Bachmann, USA Rice’s new CEO and president, reminds us on page six that small, fine-tuning changes over time can start you off on the right track. “I’m beginning my tenure as CEO during a period of fine-tuning for many of those policies and programs, rather than an era of revolutionary changes. The new USDA $1.3 billion in RAPP funds will soon be allocated to commodity groups, for example. Farm Bill deliberation is circling around reference price increases, rather than full-blown programmatic changes. And of course, the Biden Administration is in a wrap-up year, with the general election just around the corner in November.”

Pages 10 and 11 feature some of Dr. Chris Henry’s work with furrow-irrigated rice in Arkansas. He said “the ability to utilize cover crops is a big advantage for furrow-irrigated rice, something that could help with infiltration, water-holding capacity, nitrogen cycling, and weed suppression.” Whether cover crops work for your operation is to be determined by you, but this certainly made me think more about soil health.

Pages 12 through 14 discuss an operation partnered by Jim Whitaker and his brother Sam in a well-rounded rice, cotton, corn, soybean, and wheat operation in McGehee, Arkansas. They have a wide range of sustainable measures they implement on the farm, all of which are something that could be considered based on your operation characteristics. Jim discussed the difficult, yet rewarding, integration of cover crops for soil health. “Cover crops are hard to figure out and plant into. It’s a mindset — you determine ‘who am I farming for?’ If you’re farming for next year, no cover crop; if you’re farming for the next generation, protect the topsoil at all costs.”

Every farm is different, most fields on those farms are different, and it can all be a lot to keep up with. This is a great time to do what you can to declutter and make room for new ideas and growth in your operation.

After all, there’s a lot to be said for “start clean, stay clean!”

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