Thursday, April 25, 2013

Nine Lives?

It's not only our cats that need nine lives this spring. After another shot of freezing weather, our 2013 wheat crop is on its fourth or fifth life - at least.
It kind of looked like a slushy machine had erupted in the wheat fields again on Tuesday morning. We brought the rain gauge into the house for a thaw and discovered another 0.65" of moisture After two summers of drought, we're thankful for any moisture, though it would be better in liquid - rather than solid - form at this time of year. 
As one of my friends says, "The photos would be beautiful if it didn't mean more question marks for the wheat crop." Even prior to this latest blast of winter weather, my brother, Kent, said there was definite stem damage to the wheat in Pratt County, and he thinks there was damage to the head as well.

This latest storm caused a dramatic temperature drop. On April 23 at 5:30 PM, the temperature was 38.6 degrees colder than it had been a 5:30 PM on April 22. The thermometer hovered around freezing all day long on Tuesday. Then, Wednesday morning, the temperature was even lower - around 22 degrees here. The experts say that temperatures in the lower 20s at this stage of the game usually spells trouble for the wheat plant.

It will take several days for the full effect of the freeze to be determined. As usual, Randy is withholding judgment. Another scouting adventure will likely be in our future early next week. See what I mean about the 2013 wheat crop needing nine lives?

I loved this note from our Stafford County Extension Agent:
I think the real take-home message is this: Let's get some good growing weather in the next few days and see what happens. The books all say that our wheat should be dead with the temps we had last night.  Luckily, wheat can't read.  So we will need to wait 4 to 7 days for the plant to tell us what the outcome (of the freeze) will be.
Glenn Newdigger, Stafford County Extension

Tiptoeing through the tulips near the front steps also meant crunching through a layer of ice. They are just the latest variety of spring flowers to bravely bloom during this schizophrenic weather and end up in the icebox.
 Spring seems to think it's Halloween and has disguised herself as Old Man Winter.
Let's hope these are my last icicle photos until next December. But I am past the point of predicting that.


  1. I'm with you, Kim... Leavenworth County has gone through the same thing!

    1. The weather guys seem to think it was our last real blast of winter. I guess we'll see.

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