When to Speak Up, When to Shut Up

My Generation

Even after nearly 12 years of marriage, it's not an exact science. Especially when you're talking planter markers.

Published on: May 20, 2011

RECYCLED: In honor of Planting '11, I'm reposting this little tale of marker woe from last year, posted on April 22, 2010. Even now, I think of it every time I see a planter marker. I doubt my husband feels the same. Actually, he's probably forgotten. Actually, it's probably better that way.

So earlier this week, I took lunch to my husband and rode a couple rounds with him, which was nice since it was the only time I'd see him in the daylight that day. Plus, it gave me a chance to watch the autosteer system at work and give him a hard time about not having enough to do in the cab. Since he doesn't even have to steer anymore.

He was laying out a new field, which meant he needed to go around and plant all the endrows and set his A/B lines on the autosteer unit. Which is all very cool. He made the first pass, and headed back down the field for the second pass. I was riding along quietly, noticing that the marker line from the first pass was approximately underneath the left front tire. Seemed odd to me, but I'd already asked a couple dumb questions and he appeared to have it all under control anyway.

A minute later and very loudly: "Aaaaaagggggggghhhhhhh." He was not happy.

"What?" I asked. Then I looked over at the autosteer monitor and saw a pretty wide gap of unplanted area between the first two passes, which in real life translated to a good three to four feet between the first and second passes. Not cool. This was a field right on the highway. If you're concerned about aesthetics, it's not exactly the place where you want a giant gap and messy overplanting. And it was going to be a pain to fix.

"I meant to straighten that line out back there and now I'm off," he said. Serious frustration.

"Oh. You know, I noticed you were way off the marker line," I said helpfully.

He became perhaps a titch more frustrated. "You could have mentioned that, you know."

"Well, I thought you knew." I was feeling really helpful that day.

And as for how he fixed it? No idea. It seemed like a good time for me to go.

So today, as the baby and I rode a couple rounds during lunch, I'd made sure to point out every time he was off the marker row.

I think that was helpful, too.