Fall Visitor

Fall Visitor

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Sip of Water

You know when you're going to have surgery and you're not supposed to have anything to eat or drink after midnight? When you're brushing your teeth the next morning, maybe, just maybe, you let a little of the water slide down your throat. Just a sip, mind you. Of course, I would never do that.

It's like having a thimbleful of water when you want the Big Gulp size. I'm not sure our corn has gotten the Big Gulp-equivalent of rain. But some timely showers have helped some of our dryland corn crop.

On July 18, I took these photos, where you could see corn stalks and leaves browning and curling from lack of rain, especially along the outer rows where it is less protected from the sun and wind.
When we looked at the ears in that field, we saw cobs that hadn't filled well. My personal corn consultant (my brother, Kent) says the cob pictured below is done filling. His diagnosis? The corn didn't pollinate well, probably due to drought stress and 100-degree temperatures when it was trying to pollinate.
In the past week and a half, we've gotten about 2 inches of rain total. Thankfully, our rain came in the liquid variety, unlike those to the east of us who were pounded by softball-sized hail Tuesday night.

Yesterday, in a different corn field, it looked like the rain came at a more opportune time. This cob was nearly filled with kernels. Kent says that rain at this point forward helps the kernels that are already on the ear to develop.
My "human measuring stick" and I also went to the field across our house for a new comparison photo. It's kind of like making that mark on the growth chart to commemorate your children's birthdays, isn't it? 
July 24, 2013
The corn hasn't grown nearly as quickly in the past three weeks, as you can see by comparing it to the July 2 photo. But it's still amazing to make the comparisons from less than 2 months ago.
July 2, 2013
June 6, 2013
The rains will also help the newly-planted sudan sprout and emerge.
July 19, 2013 - Planting sudan
Randy planted some alfalfa on July 20. For newly-planted alfalfa, "little sips" are better than a Big Gulp anyway.

After two summers of drought, we are even more thankful for rain showers - big or small.

6 comments:

  1. I like the pics of the growing corn with your human measuring stick. Its cool too see how fast it actually grows. All I ever see is the corn fields on the way to town. And the only measure I see is the irrigation wheels getting covered up! Great pics.

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    1. Thanks! It's been interesting to watch the corn grow. This is our first summer with dryland corn. We've done milo in the past.

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  2. I love that you take the time to explain Kansas agriculture and conditions for all of us non-farm folks. Your posts are always fascinating and so informative and I want you to know that they are truly appreciated. And, Randy is the best sport ever. Of course, you already know that! Thank you, Kim!

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    1. Thanks so much, Cathy! And you are right: I have the best human measuring stick ever. :-) Actually, I do think he has enjoyed being part of the blogging process. He even comes up with ideas on occasion (though he's definitely not volunteering to write it)!

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  3. Thanks for the updates, Kim. What a blessing the rain is anywhere. New Mexico can really relate to the drought situation, but parts of our area have been blessed, like you, with unexpected showers. Cute measuring stick you have. Your blogs are a joy to keep us in the loop.

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    1. Yes, I have the best human measuring stick EVER! Thanks so much for the affirmation.

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