While wandering through a shopping centre recently, I was accosted by a lady at the till. She politely asked to see my hands, so I rather reluctantly let her. Her expression was priceless as she inspected them; commenting on the cracks, tutting about the scars and sighing over the calluses. Apparently, my neglected hands were screaming out for attention.
I told her I was a farmer and my hands often suffered the consequences of my chosen career. The simple truth is that farmers’ hands have a tough life. However, my excuses were rapidly dismissed and out came the snazzy-sounding hand cream.
She took great pleasure in educating me about the multiple ingredients and infusions, including essential essences and minerals that were from the Dead Sea and therefore much better. My eyes glazed over and I lost interest at that point. The equivalent would be me telling her all the active ingredients in my spud herbicide strategy; infused with metribuzin and essential essences of rimsulfuron.
Nevertheless, she spooned a dollop into my palms and insisted I gave it a go. I admit it did a good job of cleaning the stubborn ingrained dirt and my hands felt much smoother and softer. Despite my protests that smooth hands would not assist in attaching stubborn pto shafts and would inevitably result in more spanner-slipping, knuckle-bleeding incidents, I left the shop with a tiny container of the said hand cream.
The summer solstice has finally brought some decent weather to the prairies and we are seeing sunshine again. The land is still far too wet for field operations in places, so the sky is alive with the buzzing of spray planes and helicopters. Unfortunately, the sky is also buzzing with wretched mosquitoes, which makes crop walking a living hell.
Farmer Focus Arable: Seth Pascoe