After a rainy week the scurs are hoping the Weather Eye will cooperate better in the near future. Is the warm Sunday a harbinger of things to come or a blip on the radar? Starting Wednesday, sunny with highs in the low 70’s and lows in the low 50’s. Thursday, sunny with highs in the low 70’s and lows in the mid-50’s. Mostly sunny on Friday with highs in the low 70’s and lows in the upper 50’s. Saturday, partly sunny with highs in the low 70’s and lows in the upper 50’s. Cloudy on Sunday with highs in the low 80’s and lows in the upper 50’s. Monday, partly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the low 80’s with lows in the low 60’s. Partly cloudy Tuesday with increasing chances of developing thundershowers. Highs in the low 80’s with lows in the low 60’s. On August 25th the sun will rise at 6:30 a.m. and on the 26th it will set at 8 p.m. On the 27th we will have lost over 2 hours of daylight since the summer solstice. The normal high for August 27th is 79 and the normal low is 58. Upon digesting all that good news the scurs will roll over and hit the snooze button to get rested up for The Great MN Get Together.
Heading out on the Farm Journal Crop Tour this week, preliminary window scouting appears to show a variety of crop development and maturity as we worked our way east towards our starting point in Columbus OH. There have definitely been areas showing moisture and nitrogen stress in the corn along with soybeans not closing 30” rows. Starting Monday we’ll be on the prowl in corn and soybean fields as we wind our way back to the west, with the finale in Rochester on Thursday. Corn and soybean production numbers will be made public Friday afternoon. Stay tuned.
Crop progress has continued to be slowed locally by some cooler than normal temperatures. That said corn does dent rather easily once it’s picked making one believe the accumulation of dry matter has progressed. Soybeans also continue in the R5 stage with some earlier plantings having some plump pods and nearing R6. Soybean aphids are close to being done for the season. The wet conditions have largely kept them at bay along with an active beneficial insect population. White mold continues to increase in area soybean fields as the wet weather and cool temperatures continue to provide an ideal environment for this disease to flourish.
It’s been a long summer of mowing lawn although as some astute observers have pointed out, having to mow the lawn once or more times a week over the course of the summer generally bodes well for the corn crop. I guess if that’s what it takes, who am I to argue? Probably the biggest issue has been finding the time when conditions are fit to mow it. I finally gave up and mowed it while it was wet the other night. It came out of the deck looking like it had already been through a cow. It wasn’t pretty, leaving some clumps behind. Not to worry as in all likelihood, it’ll rain again soon, dissolve the clumps and the grass will grow back over the top of it.
The sheep are enjoying a second year in a row of lush pastures and it shows. The ewes at home in particular are in great condition, looking almost as if we’ve been feeding them shell corn. They do get plenty of exercise however and cover a lot of ground in a day’s time. The cooler fall-like weather seems to have triggered some breeding activity, making us think we may see some lambs on the ground in January once again. Fine by me. The sooner they start the sooner they finish.
The garden produced its first cucumber and a second gallon plus of string beans. The bunnies have relented and perhaps now we’ll see what kind of string bean production we’re capable of. The second string bean planting is flowering like mad so it will be right on the heels of the first one. Snap peas continue to thrive as well making me long for them to start producing. Snap peas are among my favorites and fall snap peas when they hit are a delicacy that’s tough to beat. The radishes too seem to be enjoying the conditions, sending out more true leaves to take advantage of any sunshine that’s sent their way. There have been several tales of woe involving the slow ripening of tomatoes not unlike those at the ranch. Some were blushing although it could be due to embarrassment. And there are plenty of weeds to pull upon my return from the road. A gardener’s toils are never ending.
Before bolting for Crop Tour once again, I had to make sure some loose ends were tied up including filling the bird feeders. We still continue to see large numbers of goldfinches although the males’ bright yellow plumage is starting to fade just a tad. There are still some juvenile orioles, mostly the Baltimore types that are consuming grape jelly. While not at the breakneck pace of early summer, they still manage to blow through a quart every week to 10 days. It is beginning to sound more like fall all the time too. The blue jays continue to become more outspoken and the chickadees let me know they’re present when replenishing their favorites. The hummers too are getting more numerous as their migration from the north has likely begun. They have plentiful smorgasbord of blooms to feed on. They zip around the place like they own it because they kinda do. One has to be careful when coming out the door at choretime or they’ll get stuck in your ear! No one wants that. Might scare the sheep!
See you next week…real good then.