Production Blog

Cost of Taking a Break

Pamela Smith
By  Pamela Smith , Crops Technology Editor
Connect with Pamela:
What's your view from the cab this week and do you ever take a week off? (DTN file photo courtesy of AGCO)

My husband missed an appointment to get his hair cut this week. He keeps all his important information written on a chalkboard in the office. You know, important stuff such as: doctors appointments, meetings with attorneys and reminders to never select my special donut (maple icing with sprinkles) from the assorted box.

He checks this board constantly. So, the slip up to get his "ears lowered" was discombobulating (I've always wanted to use that word in an article).

The problem started when we took a weekend "to do nothing" by going camping. Anyone who camps knows it involves a torturous preamble of packing all the stuff you can't possibly live without. Since we've graduated from a tent to an actual recreational vehicle the necessities have grown faster than waterhemp in a planter skip. No one can possibly "camp" these days without a breadmaker and certainly not without a way to grind coffee in the morning.

All this to say, that while we may not have "unplugged" during our camping trip, we did disconnect from our hectic schedules. That's supposed to be good for you, but no one talks about how hard it is to reconnect with regular deadlines after the break.

That's why I'm writing this unconventional blog. It's a placeholder so I don't get out of the habit of writing View From the Cab, an article we typically post each Sunday. This growing season I've been following Zachary Grossman from Tina, Missouri, and Chandra and Mike Langseth from Barney, North Dakota. This diary-like approach to talking about crop conditions and other assorted topics reflects the intricacies of farming and rural life.

So far this year, we've had 13 episodes of this feature. I decided to give the farmers a week off from answering my questions about whether they are seeing diseases such as tar spot. They've been digging roots to look for soybean cyst nematode females and pulling ears to check on how well the corn has pollinated. This week, I'll likely send them a text to see if they've gotten rain or found any evidence of aphids or some other pest.

Interested in becoming a 2024 correspondent for View From the Cab? Email a brief reason why and a description of your farming operation to:

Find the profiles of the 2023 View From the Cab farmers at:… and….

If you'd like to hear more directly from this year's View From the Cab participants, how their crops are doing, as well as this year's yield potential for other farmers, register at… for the next free DTN As Summit Series webinar taking place Aug. 15. If you register before that date, you can watch that webinar at another time if you can't make it that day.

I doubt if any of us will forget about the weather or how it is influencing the crop because we're taking a mental health break from writing about it. And it's important to remember that forgetting about some of that worry for a little while doesn't hurt a thing. Sometimes the cost of taking a break is totally worth it.

Pamela Smith can be reached

Follow her on Twitter @PamSmithDTN


To comment, please Log In or Join our Community .