A change of tasks

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Today, we will complete the corn, except for the nearly 400 acres that had to be replanted in May.  Those acres will be several days away…. it looks very green, and we surmise the moisture level to be 30+%.   It makes sense now to convert to harvesting soybeans.  The perplexing thing about that is the appearance of the soybeans.  There are areas in every field that have a noticeable greenish cast to the crop.  There are even some leaves clinging to the stalks.  Our experience tells us that they are not quite ready, but other farmers in the area are cutting soybeans that look like these… and reporting that the moisture levels are dry (10%, when ‘dry’ is defined as 13%).   This must be another unusual thing about this exceptional year.  Perhaps those beans that look dry, really died from the drought, and those that had enough moisture to live through are ripening more slowly.  And last week’s rainy spell may be causing some late-season growth spurt.  I’m not certain… there have been many things about this exceptional drought year that have brought new situations to our attention.

My guess is that when the small corn patch at the Cox farm is finished this morning, we will convert over to test out cutting some beans.  It would be helpful if we can harvest soybeans for several days, and allow the replant corn to mature and dry down.

It’s overcast today, and it just feels a little damp.  Not the best conditions for soybean harvest.  But sunshine is predicted for this afternoon, and that is what soybean harvest requires!

Philip, John, Ross and I were discussing these factors last night before leaving work for home.  We noted that if the soybeans are actually ready, that may free up some of us to ‘core’ corn storage bins, deliver contracted corn to market, run the bush-hog in some of the corn fields to clean up their appearance, and operate the disk and roller in the corn-stalk fields that will be planted to wheat (beginning September 25).   Wow, what a list of tasks, seems like there are many things to do all at once, and I’m not a good multi-tasker.

I got a note from my brother-in-law, John Hobson, who monitors this website.  He is a precipitation observer in Ohio County, Indiana.  He reports rainfall at his location every morning for the CoCoRaHS system, a really neat organization of volunteers, that gives an accurate picture of rainfall across the country.  John read my musings of a couple days ago about how different the rainfall amounts could have been on different farm locations.  He reports that he has observed rainfall amounts to vary greatly in short distances.  Thanks, John, for helping fill in the gap of information and supplying a plausible reason for the different yield levels at different locations.

On with the day…

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