The drought continues…

Monday, June 18, 2012

We had a good Fathers’ Day.  It was a special morning at Wheatland Christian Church, with a breakfast and then a unique church service.  We were reminded that we dads cannot ‘fix’ everything, and that we need to trust God more.

The family gathered together on Sunday evening for a cook-out of burgers with all the trimmings.  After the great meal, we did some reminiscing about memories from family vacation trips we had taken.  Every person had funny stories of the things we had experienced as a family on those adventures.  It was great to recall those things, and enjoy them all over again.

It was a dry, dry weekend.  The Weather Channel had predicted up to a 50% chance of rain for us on Sunday, but it did not happen.  The day was cloudy and cooler, however, with temperatures in the low 80s.  You could see the corn ‘relax’ and it looked rather healthy, despite the drought conditions.  Today, the heat returns with mid-90s temps, and you will see the corn ‘roll up’ again.  Check the article from Bob Nielson of Purdue Agronomy about how corn deals with moisture-deficient and hot conditions.   There, you can see a picture of what we are seeing today in the corn fields.  The corn ‘rolls’ to restrict the water loss through its leaves.  Although this is stressful to the corn plants, lower temperatures and a rain will allow the corn to recover.  In later stages, after extended drought, when the damage is permanent, the leaves turn sort of white, and then at death they turn brown.  Pat and I saw corn dead from drought in Kansas last summer.  Let’s pray we do not see that happen here this year.

My brother-in-law, John Hobson, Aurora, Indiana sent me a link to a USDA website called a “drought monitor“.  From that you can see that we in SW Indiana are in a ‘severe’ drought period.

In a phone conversation this morning with Troy Clawson, our Monsanto seed representative, we determined that we will replant the DCB, but only after a sufficient rain.  He will make arrangements with our DeKalb/Asgrow seed dealer, Jeff Jackson, to get the necessary seed for that 400 acres.  It would only take me a couple days to do that replanting, but I will wait until after a good rain to do so.  The little (.28″) rain of last Monday was just enough to sprout the beans, but not enough to sustain them…. they ‘sprouted and died’.   It has been many, many years (probably 40+) since I saw that happen to a soybean field.

The dry conditions of late spring 2012 are a direct contrast to what we experienced in the same period of 2011.  Our records show that we began wheat harvest 2011 on June 21st, and we worked in the mud– the wheels of the combines often made big ruts across the soft fields.  So, if we could take an ‘average’ of 2011 and 2012, it would be a pretty good ‘normal’ growing season!

We will continue our prayers for the rain we need, and live in faith, not fear.

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