Lessons from farmers on getting stuff done


24 row Corn Planter

24 row Corn Planter






The long, cold winter and late Spring in this part of the world have resulted in a late start to the season for crop farmers.

Corn (maize) farmers aim to have most of the crop planted by 15 May for optimum yields.

By the end of last week, 9 May, I had hardly seen a tractor working a field, let alone pulling a planter.

But farmers are a determined breed, they did not sit around moaning about the weather, they got all their equipment ready and as soon as the temperature improved they got busy.

Suddenly, on Saturday the air was full of the sound of big diesel engines as equipment started working the fields.

The purpose and mission of a farmer is to farm, and for a crop farmer that means preparing the ground, applying fertiliser and planting seed. Unless those activities are done in the right order and at the right time, nothing happens.

No crop to harvest.

No Income.

It did not matter that it was Saturday, planting the crop takes priority over any Saturday social activities.

The field around our house is part of a block of 240 acres on our road farmed by one large crop farmer.

At 7 in the morning, the first tractor started working the first field, it was followed by sprayers, fertiliser spreaders, another tractor to disc in the fertiliser and then the huge 24 row planter in the photo above.

By 11:30 that night, all 240 acres had been planted by 4 people, 3 worked until 7 pm, the farmer worked until 11:30.

That is determination and commitment.

This family has a policy of not working on Sunday except in case of emergency. On Monday morning, they were back at it, long days for another week until all the corn is planted, then more days for the beans.

Only when all the planting is done will they slow down to a more normal working pace until harvest time.

There are a few lessons here for all of us.

  • Don’t complain about factors outside our control like the weather.
  • When essential tasks need to be done, they must be done, no excuses.
  • Do whatever is necessary to get the critical actions done
  • Have systems, equipment and tools in place and ready for the task.

What is your purpose in life?

Do you have the same determination and commitment to do what is necessary?

Would you work until 11:30 on a Saturday night to get a critical task done?


Peter Wright




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  2 comments for “Lessons from farmers on getting stuff done

  1. Roberta
    May 14, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    Good post, Peter. Well said.

    Ohio for the most part has not even begun to plant. Fields too wet and some times even flooded.

    But this happened a few years ago too. Farmers could not get corn planted as fields were under water. Like where you are the farmers worked day and night to get the corn in when the rains stopped.

    The old adage here, “Knee high by the 4rth of July” will give a good and tasty corn. It was touch or go if the corn would even by planted by then. Yet we had one of the best corn seasons ever, especially in sweet taste.

    I have hope for this year too. That is the way farmers are.

    I am a great believer in that old adage:

    “Don’t explain. Don’t complain.” Just do it!!!!

    • May 15, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      Hope conditions improve for your farmers. It was good that our neighbours got started on Saturday, yesterday we got an inch of rain, more today and the forecast for the next 3 days is cool and wet. There will be no more planting until next week.

      Just imagine if they had decided to take last Saturday off, that would have been 240 acres that would not have been planted for another week. Enough to make a difference to the bottom line.

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