Last December we bought a snow blower for the little tractor that’s assigned to take care of all the chores around the farmyard. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, we didn’t get much snow all through last winter, and the snow blower was only used in anger once all season. Even then, it really wasn’t necessary to clear the yard and driveway. I just wanted to at least try out the new machine.
This year, however, things are different, and the snow blower has been relatively busy through the last few weeks.
After having logged a few hours of work using it, I have to say I wish I’d given in and dished out for a snow blower years ago. The little 55 horsepower tractor and 60-inch snow blower clear the white stuff better and faster than ever I imagined. For years I used a 100 horsepower tractor with a dozer blade or a similar sized loader tractor to push snow around. It worked, but I was often reluctant to clear the driveway with those machines, because the ridge of snow they’d leave along the shoulder acted like a fence and caused the road to blow in even worse the next time it started drifting.
There were years when I’d have to get the local RM grader to come in and push the edges off with their wing blade because of that. With the blower, there are no ridges. And if the road does blow in again, I don’t have to fight with the snow-turned-ice in those dozer blade ridges to clear it again. I just zip through one more time.
The end result is it takes a lot less time and a lot less fuel to get the job done. And at this time of year, the red snow blower along with the green and yellow on the tractor even feel a little festive. They match the lights on my Christmas tree.
Speaking of Christmas, it’s about time I wished all of you season’s greetings and thanked you for being Grainews readers. All of us on staff at the magazine, along with the freelance contributors, spend a lot of time and effort to bring you content we think will actually help you make better farming decisions. If they do, that means we’ve helped you make more money, which is why I, personally, consider publications like ours among the best investments anyone in the business can make—but enough of the hard sell.
Like any year, this one has had its ups and downs. Despite that, all of us in agriculture have a lot to be thankful for, not to mention being fortunate enough to live in a really great country, Canada. With all of the travelling I do for this job, I’ve spent a lot of hours in an airplane flying across the continent and the oceans. I’ve experienced a lot of great places to compare Canada to, and I still like it here at home. But I am a little envious of the much warmer climate Australian farmers get to enjoy. Heck! What am I saying? I’m envious of the much warmer climates almost all farmers in other countries experience, except maybe the Russians.
If you’re a reader from Canada or one from any of the many countries who check in with us now and again, I wish you all a very merry Christmas and happy new year. And no matter where you live, my hope is that the difficulties in your world will always work themselves out for the best.
If there is one thing I’ve noticed during my travels, it’s that farmers in all the countries I’ve visited have this in common: they’re always hopeful. I think you have to be an optimist to be a farmer. The mantra in farming seems to be that if this year wasn’t as good as you’d hoped it would be when it comes to yield, or crop prices, don’t worry, there’s always next year.
And next year is almost here! Merry Christmas.