Camera Clicks and Commentary from a Kansas Farm Wife
Portrait in Ice
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Putting A "Dent" In It
The lack of rain is putting a dent in our hopes for a good 2017 dryland corn crop.
Really ... the corn is "denting" You can see the little indentations in this closeup photo. In other words, when the corn begins to "dent," the kernels are starting to dry down.
Rainfall has been spotty this summer. And our farmstead has been in one of the dry zones. The storms on Saturday night into Sunday dodged our part of the Stafford/Reno County line. We only got 0.30" of rain. As we drove to church Sunday morning, we were seeing puddles in fields and along ditches, so Randy pulled into the co-op to look at their rain gauge. It had 2 inches! We tried not to be jealous. We were on our way to church, after all.
The weekly U.S. drought monitor released August 1 showed that our part of the world is "abnormally dry" (the part in the yellow).
In reality, rain that falls now will be too late to save the corn crop. The yield potential has already been determined, and it was hot and dry during pollination earlier this summer. Then there wasn't rain to help fill the corn heads either.
There is some corn there, but the ears are small.
We still have some chances for rain this week, so we'll hope it materializes. The milo crop could still benefit from some timely rains.
The milo looks surprisingly good, despite the lack of moisture.
The alfalfa hasn't fared so well. Randy tried a third cutting on a portion of our alfalfa acres. We got a whopping 8 bales off of 45 acres. Some additional acres down now should do a little better because that area got a rain during county fair time, unlike the acres closer to home.
For fields like this one, he decided it wasn't worth the time or the fuel to harvest what was there.
If it rains, it's possible we would still be able to harvest more alfalfa. Right now, Randy is more concerned that we haven't been able to plant any after-harvest sudan. We usually supplement our alfalfa and silage with sudan as part of our cattle's wintertime rations.
All day on Monday, I kept thinking about The Carpenters song, "Rainy Days and Mondays." We would have been celebrating with rain on Monday. It sure wouldn't haven't gotten us "down."