ALWAYS BUSY: No Off-Season For Farmers

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At the Struthers family farm in Collins, snow and ice covers the fields and the heavy machinery is parked.

There's time for a little bit of fun, but in between sledding and taking care of a few chores, Dave Struthers spends his time planning for planting season.

"We have a lot of things to look over,” said Struthers.

In the shop, the veteran farmer has an endless amount of data to look over.

He analyzes everything from future crop prices and weather forecasts to data he collects on his own.

“The more data we collect, sometimes the more questions we come up with. We make maps based upon yield upon harvest with our combines,” Struthers said.

The data Struthers collected in the fields will help with an important decision in 2014.

"We're looking to plant more soybeans because they can handle drier conditions,” Struthers said.

In a good year, Struthers averages 170-bushels of corn per acre.

The past two summers he's seen that average slip to just 120-bushels.

"I think some of this has to do with dry conditions,” said Struthers.

Of course, this farmer of 30-years isn't giving up on corn.

Maps of his fields help him identify trouble spots that may need more seed or moisture.  Thankfully for Struthers, he still has a couple of months to put together a road map to success this year.

He plans on getting his crops in the ground in April.

Like many farmers, Struthers said he plans to be at the Iowa Power Farming Show. It's Jan. 28 through Jan. 30 at the Iowa Events Center.


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