Why do farmer's burn fields?

Oops. I think I skimmed the posts a little too fast.

Thanks for that. I’d forgotten the name they used. (I was online, and only half-watching the show.)

I grew up on a rural Alabama cattle farm that depended on the rains and the price of beef to make a profit. Some years we were too poor to afford apostrophes, so I tend to overcompensate now that I work for a wage.

So this one actually does have some scientific merit. That’s good to know. (I knew some farmers who literally incorporate voodoo into their farming [including one ancient fellow named Fink [so old that both of his parents had been slaves] who farmed some of my father’s land and started every season by killing a chicken and sprinkling its blood on the seeds, though even in his 90s he’d have fought anybody who said this was voodoo as he was a devout Baptist.)

One reason I was wondering is because I’m working on a memoir like thingy and I’m thinking of beginning with the time my grandmother burned one of her half-acre back cornfield and in so doing burned out 30 acres of my father’s timberland and literally blackened the walls of our house a quarter mile away. (We literally saw black smoke from about 3 miles away driving home and set a new landspeed record for central Alabama because we knew where there’s smoke, there’s Grandmother.) Grandmother (easily the most evil human I’ve ever met- reminds me of the “I CLAUDIUS” line that “they say a snake once bit her… and died”) had charged her sister (a lobotomized old maid who had spent 40 years in the state snakepit) with “watching the fire” while she went inside and cooked dinner. She came back out to find the woods on fire, deer and turkey and rabbits and dogs running every direction and the flames advancing towards our own home while her sister stood non-chalantly in the middle of the road with her dress pulled up to just under sagging boobs pissing in the road “in front a’ Gawd ‘n’ everbody”.
We got home to find a fifty foot firewall moving towards Locksley Hall (my father’s grandiose name for the not so grandiose house) and two crazy old women (Grandmother- early 80s, Sister Lucy, early 70s) waiting for it at the top of the hill with a croker sack waiting for “an opportune time” to start beating it.

It took us a very long very hot hour (this is VERY rural Alabama- the only fire department is volunteer and they were all at work or out hunting and didn’t have a truck anyway [not that there were any hydrants]) to fight back the flames using croker sacks, antique quilts, a water hose that wouldn’t reach the fire [couldn’t fill buckets because Grandmother had stolen them all and taken them to her place] and even a bucket of well water that my two 90 year old twin great aunts had drawn and walked half a mile from their cabin to pour on the fire. (The aunts didn’t have running water because 1- it wasn’t in the Bible 2- they “just cain’t abide the taste of the pipes” and 3- they regarded relieving yourself inside the house as nasty [never mind they lived with dozens of cats]). There was no fire department that serviced this part of the state save for a volunteer bucket brigade whose members all lived miles away and had no truck and there were hydrants if they had. Anyway, when it was finally put down and the entire side yard was black and there were black streaks on the wall that are on that house to this day, Grandmother said the obvious: “This wouldn’t have happened if Lucy hadn’t pissed in the road.”
She was also yelling “Lucy, I told you to watch that damned fire” and, I swear to Og she said this, I’m not embellishing, she really did talk like this, Lucy replied “I did watch it. It accelerated as it moved westward.” Then Grandmother said something to the effect of “while you’re all here… let me tell you what I need from the grocery store…”

So, short story very long and now short again, the first two lines of the memoir are currently “Grandmother said the woods caught on fire because Lucy pissed in the road. The fact that she herself had spent the afternoon soaking old tires in gasoline and setting them aflame in the fields on a windy day was at best coincidental.” (Needs work, but I think it has promise.)

P.S.- explain please

Gaudere’s Law: Any post made to point out a grammar or spelling error will itself contain a grammar or spelling error.

Thanks guys

Its “mistake” not “error.”


Our neighbor burns off waterways every 3 years to stop weeds from taking over.
It appears to work.
Every 2 years he has fine looking grassy waterways the 3rd year its weedy.
This was the 3rd year.
I saw the smoke and raced over to find his wife who non chalantly explained his theory.
He did have a problem a few years back though.
It seems that his tractor had a small hydraulic fluid leak.
In case you didn’t know hydraulic fluid burns.
The tractor fire was put out with no serious consequences. :smiley:

Farmers who grow flax will usually burn off the stalks from the last harvest because flax straw takes a long time to decay and the stalks interfere with the seeding.