The Sad Part About Spring—-Sunday, February 28, 2016

Burn-SeasonIt’s BURN season!

Neither Terry or I get this rather new practice of farmer’s burning off their farmed ground.


The quality of air is just not there.  For at least three weeks.


We see it everywhere…all around us.


We are old-time farmers;Terry and I.   Terry still disks the stubble back into the fields; (I do the same thing in my gardens)  adding rich nutrients into the earth, creating a better growing environment for earthworms and our crops.

Burn-Season“Why do they do this?” I asked Terry, as we watched one of the huge plumes of smoke on the horizon.

“I don’t know,” his puzzled voice came back to me. “Maybe burning off the fields helps it dry faster.  I just don’t know.”

I don’t know either.

Your friend on a western Colorado farm,



32 thoughts on “The Sad Part About Spring—-Sunday, February 28, 2016

  1. Because they have not been to school in best practices of farming? Where blame falls its hard to say! I have seen it across the US, East Africa, South America, Indonesia, and China. In China the air quality is bad from dust [Gobi desert] and from using poor quality coal for producing electricity. Even when I lived there 89-98, there were days even inside the house the dust in the air just was on everything. We had to use wet rags to wipe it off furniture every day. Plus we had to wet mop all the floors daily. We to use extra sheets top of the covers to keep the bed clean. We washed those sheet every other day. We moved to a hotel after a few years just to get away from the air pollution. Inside the hotel it was much better, but you had to go outside for work, shopping, and visiting other people. Hard to escape the dirt!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The farmers up around the Longmont – Berthoud area disks the fields like you do. At least they used to when I lived in that area. (probably houses, now) How can there be any food value to the dirt when they burn off the “compost”.
    We’ve had red flag warnings for days over here – dry, windy & scary.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “To burn or not to burn, that is the question” !!
    For burning off, there could be an animal (mice) or insect (bug or tick) problem,
    I certainly can’t think of any soil problem that would require a burn off after
    a crop was harvested.
    To just re-plough the harvested field seems far safer for starters, no chance of
    fires starting and not everyone takes sufficient care when it comes to paddock burn-offs.

    Nah Linda, I think I’d be like Terry – just standing there, me certainly having a beer and
    scratching my head!
    Cheers and hopefully “the burner offer brigade” keep a close eye on their GuyFawkes

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t know either. It seems pretty strange to me. We do burn our ditches and that is supposed to be carefully supervised. I would much rather turn the stubble in. I have two little patches that I usually put hay barley in and just work it up before the next seeding.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. They do it because it’s easier, and because it gets rid of ‘vermin’. Most of the cane farmers here have stopped burning the cane before harvest and the trash after because of pollution, after lots of government and public pressure. Now, the harvesters are able to strip and chop up the green trash very small and it’s left on the fields to mulch, and the mills can deal with any excess green matter that comes in with the harvested billets. But it does mean a much higher percentage of snakes, rats and cane toads survive, which is great for them, and not so hot for us….

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The only times I’ve heard of burning are when they harvest sugar cane, and for clearing weeds. For cane, it helps with the harvesting. And for the weed part, supposedly the grass that grows back is supposedly stronger and richer.

    Be careful. *Hugs* and God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That would be torture for me as I am allergic to smoked. Makes my nose stop up and my eyes tear just to look at your pictures. I live in Grand Junction and there is enough burning around here to keep me housebound some spring days.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Well, here is the reason to burn in Kansas. When i was a kid, i am 67, Dad burndt stubble from wheat and pasture. He plowed the wheat stuble,after it was burned. The plow was not big like they are now. Then he got bigger plow and did not burn the wheat stubble.
    The pastures are burndt to keep down trees that take a lot of water out of the soil. Also we have dead grass that gets in the way of good green grass, for the cattle. The burning is done at certain times in the spring. Each location has a certain time to burn. The wind has to be blowing very little. A fire will make it s own wind,so most burns start after 4 pm. when the wind slows down and some humitity. Some ag . people burn one year a certain pasture and the next year another pasture is done. Here in Kansas this is a must in order to keep the grass clean and good source for nutrients the cattle need.
    The middle of Kansas is the flint hills. It is beautiful wide open country and cattle get good grass.
    It does not take but just few days for the good grass to start growing. You can tell when a pasture is not burnded for several years. lot of scub and trees, that have no purpose. There are a lot of red cedar. they take a lot of water and then die and pass disease to good trees. My brother has a stream that until the trees took over was full of water. he saw it recently and in just a year the red cedar took over and he is cutting them out and soon the water will be back. for the cattle.
    Not all the country is like ours and it all has special ways to be productive.
    So Oklahoma is the same as Kansas. Later Sharon Drake south central kansas

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Sharon! That was very interesting. Here they just burn off the corn stalk stubble so they can get into the fields instead of plowing it under. I found your comment very interesting. Love this world of farming…different everywhere for everyone!


  9. sooo …. we were drivin’ your way Sunday (pulled off @ Escalante to ride up on the G Rvr Bluffs) and noted the HUGE plumes here ‘n there around Delta. we were, eh, 15-some miles out and it looked bad !

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I hate this on your behalf and I actually know what you’re going through. Grass seed farmers in the rural areas around our part of Oregon still burn their fields to get rid of the weeds — the harvest is later so it is usually in late August .. For a few weeks it is awful. It used to be worse. There are laws now to limit burning and they can’t burn if the wind is blowing towards the cities. But it still does happen. They say it is s the only way to get rid of weed seed in the lawn grass. Environmentalists and some doctors etc say it isn’t the only way, but it is the cheapest and they will have to change.

    Several years ago there was a terrible pileup on the freeway caused by grass burning smoke obscuring it entirely. There were several fatalities. I think that was the catalyst for the laws. I hope it doesn’t take something as awful as that for your neighbors to change.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. That doesn’t make sense to me at all – unless the corn thrives on the ash in some way? I would think composting in the soil would be better, myself.

    They burn here. They burn off the native heather and brush to make grazing land for sheep and cattle. But they forget that there is a millions-year-old bog under that heather. When that goes up? It will burn for days. It also kills all of the wildlife, and we are trying hard to stop this practice (at least during breeding season).

    Liked by 1 person

    • We are so against this practice. Terry and I grew up and maintained the composting method for all our farm and yard stuff. We love our wild places and our wetland places on our farm…we can’t imagine it burning up again like it did four years ago.

      Liked by 1 person

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