The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

The Wisdom Of Barnyard Bruke: "Rain, Plant'n Strategy, Calendar Driven, Genetics, Tricky Weatherman, Marion Johnson Tribute"

Greetings to ever one in western Illinois and all readers of The Quill. I'm a hope'n your week is a go'n well fer youn's thus far.


Rain and hail over the weekend was spotty and somewhat isolated. Lightning was horrific at times and at certain places. Then, there were areas that received little or no rain.

Plant'n Strategy

Some folk have held off on plant'n beans because the ground is too dry.

Others were afraid if'n they started and got a beat'n rain on their fresh planted seed, the soil might crust over, force'n some of the beans ta break their neck try'n to work outa the ground, reach'n fer sunlight.

The corn planted early this season can be rowed now. A lot of fields were just planted ta corn last week and some farmers are a hope'n to finish corn plant'n this week.

Calendar Driven

Many farmers let the calendar dictate to then when ta start plant'n. However, the calendar don't know noth'n about existing soil conditions or what the weather will be like come pollination time. It only works offa probability and past history.

Some farmers like to scatter their time of plant'n over a longer spell, like from mid-April to the first week in May. They is a hope'n fer at least some of their crop to hit ideal conditions.

Many farmers remember last spring when frequent rains delayed their idea of ideal calendar plant'n. But, what does ya know, their late planted corn produced a good and sometimes the best yield they ever harvested.

Others didn't do so well but it was often related to poor genetic selection and poor rootworm control.


Some farmers cain't help themselves. Their genetic makeup forces them to become spastic anytime the sun shines after April 1st.

One farmer, I'm told, with a rather large acreage ta plant, utilized by his own ownership, of two twenty-four row planters and two twelve row planters planted his large crop in 4 days.

That's a pile of money invested in planter equipment cost'n over $600,000. Add the cost of four tractors big enough ta pull them huge planters and ya gets yourself around a million dollar investment fer a four or five day corn plant'n season.

Tricky Weatherman

Even so, nature and the weatherman has a way of pull'n off some good tricks on a feller.

If'n that 4 or 5 day plant'n time frame don't matchup with a good pollination period, later in the summer, a feller could end up curse'n his spastic genes.

Although, I doubt that would happen fer it would be too easy ta blame Bush fer his problems. These days, it seems, it comes all too easy to blame someone else fer your problems.

Marion Johnson Tribute

Marion Johnson, up north, died last weekend. He was 98 years old and managed farms down in south Warren and Henderson County fer over 30 years fer the Palmer, Tubbs, and Ricketts families. The boys talk about what a mighty fine man he was and that he leaves behind a good bunch of relatives.

Think of what he experienced in those 98 years. When he was born, a two row planter, with wire, and horses was common.

Open pollinated seed was the rule, and there were no chemicals. Weeds was controlled mechanically and by hand. You were mostly at the mercy of insects attack'n your crops, and ditches were dug and creosote placed in'em to control the chinch bugs.

He was alive fer WWI and ever war since then, until now. That includes a passal of wars, skirmishes, and police actions and as I recalls, WWI was the war ta end all wars!

He was an adult when the Great Depression hit and saw and experienced a great many economic downturns in his lifetime. The boys sez he lived on the same family centennial farm fer all of his life. Most of his farm'n career did not provide high economic returns.

The boys sez he farmed fer other reasons than strictly chances fer high material gain.

Those kind of farmers are few and far between it seems, these days. Although, I won't say they're non-existent, fer western Illinois is yet blessed with a goodly number of folk who cling ta the old value system.

They wouldn't call on their neighbors landlord or write a feller ask'n ta rent the farm away from under the neighbor fer all the tea in China.

And, when it comes time to retire and rent their "owned" land out, they tries ta do it on fair and reasonable terms ta both parties.

Oft times they looks fer a young and/or startup feller ta give a break to.

They realize when they pass on, they will get the same size plot of land in the cemetery if'n they are fair, just, and upright, as the other feller worship'n the almighty dollar who won't have any larger plot. By the boys estimation

Mr. Marion Johnson has set fer us a good example in his 98 years on the farm for us to follow.

Well, that's it fer this week. Enjoy your family and friends and be kind.

Hope'n to see ya in church this week. Where ever ya is, whatever ya be a do'n BE A GOOD ONE!!

Keep on Smile'n,

Catch ya later!