Wednesday, August 24, 2016

My Personal Crop Consultant

We are always getting notifications by email, newsletter or farm magazine about the latest crop tours. I'm sure they are wonderful tours. But they can't compare to having my own personal crop consultant take me on a tour of the 2016 fall crops.


Our first stop was a field to see the prairie hay that Randy had baled for a neighbor. (That's in the shot above, framed by my ride for the morning.)
Elsewhere, part of our third cutting of alfalfa was baled up and ready to be moved to the edge of the field. (Cierra got that done on Saturday.) With rain in the forecast on Friday, Randy didn't put down any more hay after he got this baled. However, more of the third cutting was swathed yesterday. So, yes, it will probably rain! If not, the guys will probably rake and bale tonight.
While those hay bales are on long-established fields, Randy also took me to the newest alfalfa field. We got a good stand of alfalfa, though there is also some crabgrass coming up in the field. Turnips are also coming up in the field, but that was by design. Randy planted turnip seeds along with the alfalfa to help with cover and prevent wind erosion as the new field is established.

Photo taken August 1, 2016
We planted sudan in late July and early August.
After a week or so, it was up and growing.
Sudan grows fairly quickly. I took the planting photos on August 1. By August 19, it was ankle height.
Taken August 19, 2016
We usually swath and bale a portion of the sudan. We also leave some of it and fence it off. It will be a fall buffet for some of our cattle.

It's been a few years since we have grown milo on the County Line. I am glad to see it back. With our abundant rains, it's done well this year.
It's already turning color on its march toward harvest. Kansas has become the Number 1 producer of sorghum, another name for milo. Our acreage devoted to milo won't add a lot to those numbers, but we will add a little to the totals.

The crop towering over my model is silage. This fall, we'll have a crew come in and chop it for silage. It will go into a trench silo, and we'll pull from that "stash" to feed cattle this winter.
This year's rains have helped the silage grow to 12 feet tall. Yes, we got a tape measure and checked!
The well-established brace roots help keep the tall plant upright. 

The planter goofed up right here, leaving a swath that didn't get planted. But it made for some interesting light and shadows between rows.

This corn is way past corn-on-the-cob stage! Corn was the headliner in a blog earlier in the week. Click here to read about that crop's progress.

Thanks for coming along on the tour. You didn't even have to leave home!


  1. WOW great tour and guide. I have never heard of Milo I will be hitting Google:) You have had a great year. Hug B

    1. We have had good summer rain, which makes all the difference!

  2. It's lovely to see the progression of growth of your crops.I had to laugh when I saw the missing rows. Oops!
    Your comment that sorghum is another name for milo, had me thinking of our dairy farm in the 60's. Just recently someone made that same comment as well and I thought they didn't know what they were talking about. My Dad grew sorghum to chaff prior milking time,to feed to the cows as they were milked. At one time he bought bags of crushed milo and fed that. Perhaps it was a dry year and I didn't get the connection. I know I liked eating it as we helped with the milking.

  3. I don't remember eating milo as a child, but I do remember eating wheat kernels during harvest. Sorghum flour and other sorghum products are becoming more popular in recent years in the U.S. You (or other readers) might be interested in this link that has some sorghum recipes. Whether you actually use them or not, it's interesting to see the diversity of the recipes.

  4. I had an unexpected visit from my brother, who lives some distance from, yesterday. I discussed sorghum / milo with him and shared your blog with him. He new they were one. Apparently Dad also grew silage. Ian was mighty impressed with the size of Randy's cobs. All in all, we had a lovely time reminecing of our farm and enjoying yours.

    1. I'm so glad that the post created a time of family sharing and remembering!


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