After a September preview, the scurs decided to swap the Weather Eye from the Pacer out with the original Gremlin model. Will summer return or are we destined for an early autumn? Starting Wednesday, partly sunny with a modest chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid- 70’s with lows in the upper 50’s. Thursday, mostly sunny with highs in the low 70’s and lows in the low 50’s. Partly cloudy Friday and cool with highs in the low 70’s and lows in the low 50’s. Saturday, cloudy with highs in the low 70’s and lows in the low 50’s. Mostly cloudy Sunday with highs in the low 70’s and lows in the mid-50’s. For Monday, mostly sunny with highs in the mid-70’s with lows in the mid-50’s. Mostly sunny for Tuesday with highs in the low 70’s and lows in the upper 50’s. The normal high for August 27th is 79 and the normal low is 58. The scurs have a trip to the Great Minnesota Get Together in the works for next week.
Crop progress slowed a bit with the cooler temperatures and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Some milk lines are beginning to show on the corn on some early planted, early maturing hybrids, meaning maturity is only a few weeks off. In most cases though, prevailing wisdom is that corn should be ripening near the end of the second full week of September. Soybeans are more variable perhaps, but they too should be wrapping up about the same time. It has been one of the most miserable stretches for making dry hay in recent memory. Even those with alternative means of forage harvest have struggled.
In spite of all the rain making the haying difficult, the sheep at the ranch have reaped the benefits of the lush pastures. With a lighter-thanusual stocking rate, some of it probably could have been hayed. However, it’s just as easy to let the sheep eat it as opposed to mowing and baling it. They have responded by looking like someone has been feeding them shell corn all summer long.
It appears that Mother Nature should have for the most part broken the back of this year’s soybean aphid infestation. Frequent rainfall with a plentiful supply of beneficial insects to keep gnawing at their numbers kept them from reaching threshold levels in many places. That said, it didn’t keep us from scouting for them just to make sure. On any given day, my truck becomes a miniature zoo full of insects. It’s not uncommon to spy syrphid fly adults and larvae, pirate bugs, ladybugs, lacewing larvae and green cloverworms on the loose. Combined with senescing corn and soybean tissue, after a while the vehicle can start to smell a little gamey.
Am writing from the road, although I’m getting my start on this column in Spring Valley as I await the class reunion. Watched the Ag Days parade while I was waiting as well. When the parade was over I heard what sounded like someone revving a loud dirt bike not far from where I was writing. Turned out to be a pony motor on a John Deere 820 the gentleman had shut off after completing his parade route. I suddenly recalled how noisy that starting process was as the old Poppin’ Johnny clattered and banged its way back to life.
The 40th class reunion came off without a hitch, as if it was ever in doubt. One seems to spend a lot of time trying to figure out who some of these people are after not seeing some of them for over 10 years. It was amusing as several of us would see spouses and try to figure who they might be, only to realize they were frequently the other half of the equation. While we did have some outstanding individual athletes, our class was most noted for its musical talent. That talent was orchestrated by the renowned maestro Nelson and his lovely assistant. Many of the former choir members joined forces and proved that after 40 years, we can still bring it. Dino brought the house down with the auctioneer song and Stud E. Baker and the Fairlane 500’s rounded out the evening’s performance. Before we knew it the night was over and it was time to go home. Endings always come too fast.
Flying has not been one of my preferred methods of travel for over 15 years. Sure, I’ve been up in small planes numerous times but that’s been to look at things like crop damage or nutrient deficiencies. Flying out on Sunday to the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour meant keeping my carry-on to a minimum and trying to keep straight what they’ll allow or won’t. I tried to make sure if there was something they wouldn’t allow it wouldn’t be something I couldn’t do without. I sent all my necessities on with my old pal Jerome knowing that it would arrive at the proper destination rather than having me wearing the clothes I landed in for a week while my luggage went on a nationwide excursion. Wearing the same clothes all week probably wouldn’t have bothered me but I wouldn’t have been very popular with the people riding around with me.
See you next week…real good then.