2012 — A level of fertilizer, along with some holiday gratitude over small victories

Some farmers are getting away from their livestock chores. Others remain on the job.

Tim Marthaler, Osakis, Minn., is a dairyman and spent about a half an hour on Thanksgiving Day spreading manure. It was in the high 40s, that morning, but dipped down into the 20s by evening.

Marhaler farms with his parents, David and Sharon Marthaler.

Did he have anything to be thankful for this year, on Thanksgiving? Any small victories?

Sure, he said. “It’s gotten better,” he said of economic conditions in his enterprise. “Milk prices have gotten better, but feed prices are high. The crops were good.” Corn yields ran in the 160- to 180-bushel range. Oat and hay crops were good.

Marthaler planned to be with the family of his wife, Tonya, at Gray Eagle, Minn., about 25 miles to the east. And another thing, Marhaler says, the couple has a new baby girl, then about three weeks old.

Now that’s something to be thankful for — another small victory.

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