Saturday, August 9, 2014
Upon checking the rain gauge this morning, I’ve discovered that the past couple days have been terrific for rainfall here on this SW Indiana farm! We are very grateful for the summer’s growing conditions, and we offer continually our thanks to our Maker.
The summer has been quite favorable in our region as far as rainfall goes. There has never really been a time when the crops were stressed from lack of moisture. It has been a remarkable summer.
The temperatures have been cooler than average also. We just finished in Indiana the coolest July in recorded history. Here, we have had a couple days of 90ºF, but in Indianapolis, 2 hours to our north, they did not record a day in July when the temperature reached 90ºF!
The cooler days will slow the crop development somewhat as the ‘growing degree days’ or heat units are accumulating less rapidly. This means that corn harvest will be delayed somewhat as compared to harvest at the end of an average or hotter summer. The maturing process of soybeans is triggered by a different mechanism called photoperiodism. For example, we have a small field adjacent to the east edge of Wheatland, Indiana. When that field is planted to soybeans, the street light there ‘fools’ the soybeans underneath so that the soybeans never discover the shorter and shorter days. Therefore, that little semi-circle of soybeans under the street light never mature, and stay green until the frost stops them!
The double-crop soybeans (DCB) now have the wheat stubble well-hidden, and the weeds and johnsongrass are controlled quite well. Seems like when you have a bumper crop of wheat, the following DCB are less than stellar. But in years like this one, when the wheat yields were just a tick above average, and we have abundant rainfall, the DCB have good yield potential!
The pictures do not fully capture the lush growth of the DCB. Certainly, they are not ‘finished’ by any means, but we are hopeful.
Harvest is still about 5 weeks away. Be here before you know it. One detail remains undone: the new corn head for Ross’ CIH 8230 it yet to be delivered. We expect it to arrive any day now.