From Across the Field – 10/24/2019

Farm Bill and Falling Leaves

Growing up in Appalachia there is always brilliant colored fall foliage around this time of year. As spectacular as the colors were it always amazed me that people would drive down from Columbus just to see leaves before they drop. Going into my third harvest season here in Henry County, I appreciate the changing of the leaves more than ever, that is until they begin to litter my yard.

There is a lot of discussion on whether we should rake up those leaves or mow them several times and allow them to break down right in the yard. My thoughts on this are based on several factors. First off, every time I go to rake leaves here it is too windy, and they blow right off the tarp that I rake them on to. Too many tree leaves over grass can smother out and kill the grass, no matter how much you mow them, so the thinner the mass of tree leaves there are, the more successful this can be. What type of leaves are you mowing? The maple ones I was mowing over the weekend were shredding up very nice, tough oak leaves may not. If you can shred up tree leaves enough, the tree leaves will provide nice organic matter for the lawn and the earthworms should have some nice food to work on, so use your best judgement on how to manage your tree leaves in the lawn.

One final thought about mowing tree leaves. Be extremely careful mowing avoiding accumulation of leaves on the mower deck. If they happen to get in with the belt and pulleys there is a chance that they could catch fire.

Coming up on the Extension calendar are some Farm Bill producer trainings. Currently open is the window for farmers to make ARC-CO or PLC elections for the 2019 and 2020 growing season. These programs held are in partnership with the local Farm Service Agency and are scheduled for November 18th and 25th. There will be two programs each day at 9:00 am and then at 7:00 pm. The November 18 meetings will take place at the American Legion Hall in Napoleon and the programs on the 25th will take place at the Hamler Fire House.

While searching for last week’s quote I came across one that I really liked and was attributed to the legendary Will Rogers: “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” Turns out, Will Rogers would have died about one-year prior William Gallagher of New Zealand inventing the first alternating current electric fence energizer. Regardless of who said it, I’m sure we all can relate with some degree, to all three types of mentioned people. At some point, perhaps we have even been in the latter group ourselves. Have a great week.

Upcoming Events


November 18 – Farm Bill Training, Napoleon

November 25 – Farm Bill Training, Hamler

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