Monday, June 27, 2016
Last night, we fell asleep to the sound of rain on the roof. Our corn and soybean crops were in the early stages of showing (lack of) moisture stress in the heat of the day. Some corn fields were starting to ‘roll’ the leaves. When that happens, the corn plants look more like a pineapple plant than a corn stalk. So, we were very grateful to have some rain. According to our Climate.com report this morning, we received anywhere from .2 to 1.1 inches (5mm to 28mm) of rain, depending on the field location. The 1.1 was near-perfect, the .2 was helpful, but more would be appreciated. There’s a small chance of that this morning.
During the past week, we spent Wednesday replanting 148 acres (60ha) of soybeans at the Freddie farm. We are still concerned with what was planted that day. The 90+ heat of the week may have dried those tricky soils out around the newly-planted seeds, preventing the establishment of a ‘stand’ of soybeans. We will visit there today to evaluate to see if another replanting operation is required.
Thursday and Friday, Pat and I traveled to Fair Oaks Farms in NW Indiana to attend the 2016 Indiana Master Farmer Award ceremony. We have a friend, Dan Gwin of Linden, Indiana, with whom we wanted to celebrate his achievement Thursday evening. The event was well attended, with many of us ‘former’ Master Farmers in the audience. (2001 for me). This ceremony has in recent years been held in conjunction with the Indiana Farm Management Tour. If you remember, Carnahan & Sons was included in that tour in 2011.
Driving the 4 hours each way, we observed the crop condition of the corn and soybeans and wheat along the way. We saw corn and soybeans at all stages of growth, with many fields that had crops at younger stages of growth than we may have expected to see this late in June. Some, but not all, were showing signs of needing a rain. This roughly mirrored our own situation here in Knox County, Indiana. Wheat is already harvested in southern Indiana, and soon-to-be in northern areas of the state.
John has been inching forward with herbicide applications to the soybean fields, as the weed situation requires and the weather conditions permit. He is not allowing the soybeans’ needs to get ahead of his progress, and he is keeping up with what is required. We are seeing this year a few more “escapes” of weeds like marestail and waterhemp. He is targeting those pesky, hard-to-control weeds. He does not spray entire fields for these particular weeds, but directs the application by JD 4730 sprayer only to those areas where patches of these weeds are showing up–usually around the border of the fields. Along with Brandon, he has even resorted to hand-pulling some patches of marestail. He is determined to keep those soybean fields clean.
Brandon has delivered a few more loads of corn to market. Only a partial load of corn remains here at Carnahan & Sons, and that will likely depart this week. The recent uptick in grain prices presented a helpful opportunity to clear out our inventory of 2015 corn.
We saw some minor-league baseball last evening, when a group from our church attended the game in Huntingburg, Indiana. It was a match between the visiting Hoptown Hoppers (Hopkinsville, KY) and the home team, the Dubois County Bombers. These teams are in the Ohio Valley League. Even though the temperature was pretty hot, (97F at the 6pm game time) it was fun to be there, and the baseball was pretty good. League Stadium at Huntingburg is a really neat place. Built in 1894, it was one of the filming locations for the movie A League of Their Own. We had a great time. The kids even got to ‘run the bases’ after the game.
On the list for this week is some bush-hog work. mowing roadsides. There may even be some replanting of soybeans (hopefully not). We’ll know that later today when we evaluate the Freddie farm. At all the other farm locations, the crops look pretty good, and we expect last night’s rain to further the progress. The earliest corn should begin to tassel soon, and the temperatures are predicted to moderate into the 80s this week…a relief to the corn and the farmer, too!
One more neat thing I’d like to share today. Here’s a picture of the sunset over Wheatland, Indiana last Saturday night. Pretty special…