August 1, 2012
Yesterday, we were without electric power most of the workday, as the linemen from WIN Energy were here to hang the new wires on the new poles. They brought crews with 7 trucks! It was like a beehive of activity, and we are grateful for their quick work. It is not convenient to be without electricity! And with the 90+ temperatures, we wanted to get the A/C back on soon. They have a little ‘clean-up’ work left to do, remove some old poles, and coil up the old wires… it probably won’t take 7 crews for that. We now have the structure to support the full electrical load of the farm again.
I looked outside last evening during the VBS program at church, and much to my surprise, it was raining! The soybean fields that surround Wheatland Christian Church were breathing a sigh of relief! It wasn’t a big rain by any means, maybe .2″, but it spurred conversation and seemed to brighten everyone’s day. When I arrived at home, 4 miles west, there had only been a few drops fall into the dust. So, it was very unpredictable which place got how much rain.
We heard reports about Oakland City, Indiana receiving baseball-sized hail last evening. The damage there is significant.
Here are some pictures of some of the fields today.
This year, the best soybeans (and there are few of them) are about mid-calf in height. Typically, we would observe them to be waist-high! Most this year are knee-high, and other areas are half knee-high. In a few spots, the lighter, sandy soils of the White River bottomland, the beans are dead from the drought.
In reviewing each field, we will have areas in each one that will produce zero. But, as of today, we will have no field that is entirely wiped out…. we will have to harvest each field, to get the areas that will produce something. This variability will create a challenge for harvesting… it will be difficult to adjust your combine precisely, for the moisture, quantity, and quality of the grain entering will NOT be consistent, and therefore the operator will have to make adjustments ‘on the fly’ as the combine goes across the field. The second challenge will be for the operator of the grain dryer. Same problem: extreme variability of the moisture level of the grain entering the dryer. That variability will make it difficult to get uniformly dry grain at the output.
Upper 90s temperature this afternoon, and 100+ is predicted for tomorrow.
The beat goes on….