A cotton-pickin’ good cropPublished 9:39pm Tuesday, December 10, 2013
By Rex Alphin
I asked for one good crop. Just one good crop was all I wanted. Just one.
Then I would know the feeling of true contentment, of having “arrived,” of peace and tranquility, of the cessation of that constant pursuit of the elusive bin-busting bumper crop.
And this year, it was delivered.
The rains came all four weeks in June and shot corn skyward like skyscrapers. Tassels burst out like fireworks on the Fourth. Pollen fell downward and pollinated every silk that pollinated every grain on every cob.
Ears thrust out the end of shucks with long rows of yellow grain that fattened into millions of obese kernels that filled our combines and trucks and bins to overflowing as the combines grunted through the rows trying to swallow the magnitude of it all.
The rains came in July and pegged the peanuts down from the tap root to the balk. Big, healthy green leaves soaked up the sun and poured its energy into thousands of roots into thousands of hulls into thousands of nuts that grew so tight one had to peel the hull like an orange to get to the nut.
Big, extra large, delicious goobers filled combines in half the time and heaped up white onto trailers just as another empty was pulled into the field.
The rains came in August, and out popped cotton bolls, up and down and back up the plant, the limbs sagging with the weight as the plant said it could grow another and another, only to see the bolls open in September and paint the landscape white and then whiter and then whitest as the lint hung down from the plant in great strings, the combine taking it all in with great strides, making module after module after module, as if broadcasting to the public the bountifulness of it all.
And now it is in. The bumper crop is done. I am finally satisfied. I have finally been given my request, granted my longing. My thirst has been quenched, my journey completed, my quest finalized. At long last, I am fulfilled.
I wonder how good next year will be.
Rex Alphin of Walters is a farmer, businessman, author, county supervisor and contributing columnist for the Suffolk News-Herald. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.