The scurs were betting on the ’74 Gremlin X Weather Eye to finally deliver on rain in a forecast and deliver it did. Now the burning question: Were there any leftover Kelvinator freezer parts used in its manufacture? Let’s hope not. Starting Wednesday, partly sunny becoming mostly cloudy by evening with an increasing chance for rain into the overnight hours. Highs in the mid-70’s and lows in the low 60’s. Thursday, mostly cloudy with a good chance for showers and thunderstorms. The beginning of a warming trend with highs in the low 70’s and lows near 60. Mostly cloudy Friday with a modest chance for rain showers. Highs in the mid-70’s and lows once again around 60. Saturday, mostly sunny becoming partly cloudy by evening with a slight chance of a shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the upper 70’s and lows in the low 60’s. Mostly sunny Sunday becoming partly cloudy by evening with a slight chance for an evening shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the upper 70’s and lows in the low 60’s. Labor Day Monday, mostly sunny with a slight chance of a shower or thunderstorm. Highs in the upper 70’s and lows in the upper 50’s. Mostly sunny on Tuesday with highs in the upper 70’s and lows dropping into the mid-50’s. The sun will set before 8 p.m. on August 27th, the first time since April 16th.The normal high for September 1st is 78 and the normal low is 56. The scurs are readying for the onslaught of those yellow livestock hauling contraptions. Yes kiddies, it’s time to go back to school.
What a wonderful week last week turned out to be in terms of rainfall for most in the greater Bugtussle area! A more scattered rain fell on the 19th with more even coverage on the 22nd. More rain fell over the weekend bringing most totals for the week to well over an inch. These were welcome rains to help maintain the ear tips on the corn as well as help fill some of the flat and small pods in the soybeans. Some of the more mature corn has reached the dent stage (R5) and the most mature soybeans are also beginning to push R6 in places, typically where earlier varieties were planted on the earlier side. Some SDS (Sudden Death Syndrome) and white mold has cropped up in the soybeans since the rain. Soybean aphids have been largely controlled, although some who sprayed early might be wise to continue monitoring those fields for possible re-infestation. Potential weed control issues are readily apparent in many fields with waterhemp and giant ragweed being the main problems.
Another Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour is in the books. It came up so fast and was gone just as fast. On the eastern leg of the Tour, it went about as one might’ve guessed although some of the rumors about 300 bu./acre yields being commonplace in Illinois were dispelled. Also the myth about all the double ears while we were at it. As Chip Flory pointed out in our wrap up in Rochester, if you’ve got double ears you didn’t push plant population enough. All in all it was probably the most complete corn and soybean crop in the states of Ohio Indiana and Illinois I’ve seen in the 11 years I’ve been going on the Tour. Sure there were some spots in some of those states that were better than others but there always are. When you looked at the big picture they were minimal. That’s what it takes to make the kind of yields being forecast nationally.
It’s still great to be home with autumn looming ever closer on the horizon. Ready or not there are subtle hints that it’s on the way. Orioles appear to be making their last hurrah with many brightly colored males gracing the feeders. I was wondering when I purchased that last jar of grape jelly if I’d really need it. Apparently and another batch of sugar water to boot. Labor Day is typically about the last we see of them at the ranch so we’ll see how much longer they hang around. The hummingbirds are in full force as their migration from the north is likely underway. Coming around the corner of the house Monday morning I almost had a collision with one, narrowly missing me as it zipped by my chin. There are more hummingbirds than ever at the ranch this year as they’ve enjoyed diving into a smorgasbord of numerous salvia varieties, impatiens, four o’clocks and morning glories. They largely have Mrs. Cheviot to thank for that.
Desperately trying to catch up on a suddenly overgrown lawn, I noticed the bur oak acorns had all fallen while I’d been gone. The garden too had changed after the rainfall, exploding with string beans, sweetcorn, more cukes and tomatoes. One of the nicest things was the mosquitoes were conspicuously absent for what seemed to be the first time all summer. And it’s always great to be able to sleep in your own bed once again even though my internal clock seems to want to stay on Eastern Time. I don’t usually sleep all that well the first few nights as it’s a strange bed and there’s too much unfamiliar noise. Someone I was visiting with on the Crop Tour said they preferred the “white noise” of the city to sleep. Not me. It is so comforting sleeping with the windows open, knowing you’re in your own bed, hearing crickets and grasshoppers chirping, Ruby snoring on the floor as well as a great horned owl hooting outside. All is right with the world.
See you next week…real good then.