1. Walking Beans

/wÔk ing bēns/
1. strolling up and down the rows of a bean field pulling weeds.
2. typically reserved for the very young or very broke in a family, usually on days 90 degrees or warmer
3. a “fun” family activity conducted between the hours of 6 – 11 am, includes water and a sack lunch

2. Baling Hay

/bāl ing hā/
1. walking behind a wagon, picking up bales of hay and throwing them onto the wagon while another stacks the bales neatly on the wagon.
2. young men are often rushed through this job trying to beat a rainstorm, which also causes humidity to be at its highest

3. De-tasseling Corn

/de-tasəl ing kôrn/
1. the act of removing the corn tassels one by one throughout the entirety of a field.  Can be every row or select rows/plants depending on the intent.
2. de-tasseling allows the plant breeder to choose the pollen that will fertilize each ear on a plant
3. timing: this can not be completed until late June, early July when tassels form, so temperatures are usually high and there is no air flow in the middle of a field of tall corn
4. workers are urged to use cornstarch liberally

4. Cleaning out grain bins

/klēn ing out grān bin/
1. Sweeping out excess grain from a bin in an attempt to get paid for everything you grew and harvested.
2. Also, when one desires to store a different type of grain in a bin (was corn, now soybeans as an example), the bin must be cleaned of all the old grain.
3. Often occurring in August to prepare for a new harvest when temperatures inside a metal cylinder are excruciating and without air flow.

5. Mucking stalls

/mək ing stôls/
1. Shoveling animal excrement and used bedding from indoor stalls into a wheelbarrow.  Washing out stalls and replacing clean, new bedding.
2. This happens year round, but is particularly miserable in the late summer when air flow inside a barn is minimal and the heat increases the smell of feces.

6. Mowing

/mō ing/
1. Clipping the grass on roadsides, waterways, and yards.  Also, trimming around fence posts and outbuildings.
2. Very similar to the act in suburban communities, made more miserable because farmers will mow 4-6 acres at a time.
3. A right of passage for the children in a farm family.


  1. This is also why farmers LOVE the heat so all of these tasks can be done.

    1. if beans are weedy, you can be docked on prices and weed seeds do not mature at the same time as soybeans, so it can cause mold and problems with the combine at harvest.
    2.It is also women who are doing this, but it is needed to feed livestock in the winter and hay needs to be put up in optimal weather conditions.
    3. Seed is needed to plant and detasseling is necessary to produce high quality seed.
    4. Can be done at different times of the year and again necessary, not only for the crop to be put in, but to check the condition of the bins.
    5. Always needs to be done for the comfort and health of livestock.
    6. Needs to be done to keep electric fences working, a farmstead to look cared for, keep down insects, rodents, and weed seeds.

    Corn, soybeans need a certain amount of growing degree days to develop, so heat is good.

    All of these are rights of passage for farm children or anyone who marries into one.
    Yes, I have done all of these tasks.

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