It's early February and we've had a little rain, along with some sunshine. A faint haze of green is starting to appear on the hillsides, and Mike's crop of oats, which he planted in a triumph of hope over experience, is showing vigorous growth in his south 40.
Almost every old farm in this area has its collection of grain storage tanks, those silvery objects in the background, to the right of the barn roof. Farmers used to store their harvested grain themselves, either for local use later, or until market conditions improved; nowadays grain is usually sold immediately it's harvested.
This is bottom land, fairly sandy, with good drainage. It can be planted every year, unlike the hills, which are useful for crops only every other year. After harvest, the cattle will be turned in to graze on the stubble and lend their manure to replenish the soil's nutrients.