A few days ago, I had an opportunity to ride in a new combine as Greg the Farmer harvested corn from a 50 acre farm field. The most unexpected observation that I made was how smooth the ride was. Corn fields are notoriously rough but this big, CaseIH 6088 Axial-Flow combine rode like a golf cart across the 15th fairway at Augusta.
Greg is a 30-something young farmer with a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Northern Illinois University and after discussing his operation, I can understand why. I may not have all the facts correct but he helps farm about 800 acres with his father. This year 400 acres were planted in corn and the remaining were planted in beans. In early November, when I met up with him, he was harvesting corn with this combine, two big John Deere tractors, and six wagons each which will hold 500 bushels. The total cost of this harvesting equipment was over $600,000.
So I rode in the passenger seat and felt how the weight and engineering of this big farm equipment smoothed out the rough earth of the corn field. He sits up high, just above the corn head that gathers the rows of corn and pulls off the single ear of corn from each stock. He has a computer to tell him how much corn he is getting per acre, how much moisture is in the corn, and how fast he is harvesting. On a big field, the GPS will even operate the combine with no input from Greg ! ! !
For those of you who are convinced that a corn stock can have more than one ear – you are correct ! ! But, in a field that is properly planted, and where the corn stocks are properly spaced to obtain the correct plant density, only one ear of corn grows on each stock.
So, I want to use this little blog to thank two different workers – farmers and truck drivers. Each of them are independent small business owners, each of them have control of equipment that costs a tremendous amount of money, and each of them are very dependent on good weather to properly and efficiently perform their work. After talking to Greg, it is real easy to see how farmers would not want any kind of inheritance tax.
The next time you see a farmer in the middle of his field – Thank him. He produces the food that we eat each day.
The next time you see a truck driver in your lane on the interstate – Thank him. He delivers the food and all the products we get at our family store everyday.
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