The scurs are positive this week they’ll get it right. They even got out the owner’s manual for the ’74 Gremlin to make sure the Weather Eye delivers on temperature and precip for the upcoming week. Starting Wednesday, mostly sunny with a moderate chance for an evening shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the low 80’s and a low around 65. Partly sunny on Thursday with a decreasing chance of a shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the mid-80’s and lows in the upper 60’s. Friday, mostly sunny with a decent chance of an evening shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the upper 80’s and lows in the upper 60’s. Saturday, mostly sunny with a good chance of showers and/or a thunderstorm developing. Highs in the low 80’s and lows in the low 60’s. Mostly cloudy Sunday with a modest chance for showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the low 70’s and lows in the mid-50’s. Monday, mostly sunny with a high in the mid-70’s and a low in the mid-50’s. Mostly sunny Tuesday with a slight chance of rain. highs near 75 with a low in the upper 50’s. The normal highs for August 25th is 79 and the normal low is 58. The scurs may need a tarp if they plan on napping in the hammock for at least another few weeks.
Area crops were on the move and progress was made toward the finish line although there is a long way to go yet. Corn was largely R3 (milk stage) as of last week with some starting to show some dough in places. Soybeans were generally a full-blown R5 beginning seed with the exception of replants and fields planted after peas. We will need all of September at this rate and will take more frost-days into October if we can get them to allow those replant soybeans to fully mature. Soybean aphid control measures have been taken on many fields although there are some remaining with levels well below threshold as well. The threshold is 250 per plant on 80% of the plants with levels increasing.
Am writing this week’s edition from the road on the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour. This is the 11th tour of duty I’ve been on although it seems like it’s been more than that. At least packing went better this time around than last year. I didn’t find any dirty socks and underwear left over from last year in my luggage this time! The windshield survey on the drive to Ohio went about as advertised by others who had made the same journey over the course of the summer.
Iowa looked about as expected with areas directly south of us appearing eerily similar and looking much better the farther south we went. Crossing into Illinois the crop looked like a vast ocean of uniform corn and soybeans. Taking a peek in some fields it appeared as good as it did from the road. Indiana looked about the same on I-70 although there were some signs that too much water had visited the area somewhere along the line. Ohio showed more of the variability in height and more nitrogen deficiency on the corn. Pulling a quick sample the corn also was behind what we had found in both Iowa and Illinois. In the observation pulled from an Ohio field for the evening meeting of crop scouts, the soybeans were well filled and had completed flowering. These observations are very preliminary however and points up why we pull over 1300 samples of both corn and soybeans across the Corn Belt: you don’t know until you take a good hard look and generate some actual data. The numbers will come out on Friday following our wrap-up in Rochester at the International Events Center on Thursday night. Be sure to keep an eye on AgWeb, Twitter at #pftour14 and any number of other media outlets for information in the meantime as the week progresses. As always it promises to be interesting.
It’s always bittersweet to leave home for a while this time of year. It takes a while to take stock of things before we head out the driveway. The little ewe lamb Stormy born during our last major rainfall event in June isn’t so little anymore. When I return it will be time to wean her. It also involves making sure the birdfeeders are stocked and taking a quick peek to see how garden produce might be progressing. It’s nice to have someone pick the stuff so it doesn’t go to waste. It was great to see the plantings made the week before were coming up thanks in part to the fact the garden hose had been employed to make sure. Moisture has still been scarce even though we’ve had more than some. Ruby doesn’t seem to mind. Watering plants with the hose gives her an excuse to play with the water, swirling around like she’s 4 months and not 4 years old. Youth is wasted on the young.
See you next week…real good then.