Thursday, October 5, 2017

A 2017 Corn Report: Mother Nature Won

Mother Nature won. In the epic battle of Farmer vs. Mother Nature, she denied access to timely rain. She opted for 100-degree temperatures during critical growing times. She would tease us with rain clouds we could see on the horizon but kept the raindrops from falling on our parched fields.

So, it's a bit anticlimactic to report on Corn Harvest 2017. On second thought, let's just keep it lower case ... corn harvest 2017 doesn't deserve the capital letters. It was not a bumper crop. In fact, it was the worst corn crop we've had in the five years since adding it to the crop rotation on the County Line.
 Our 320 acres planted to corn yielded an average of 43.6 bushels per acre.

Since we are a totally dryland farming operation, we are dependent upon Mother Nature's rains and her heat index during critical times like pollination. She seems to be like the playground bully when it comes to County Line corn.
To compare with previous years, 2016's overall average was 71 bushels per acre. Our first year of corn production was 2013, and we had an average yield of 57 bushels per acre. In 2014, we had our best year to date, with an average of 108 bushels per acre. Overall yield average for 2015 was 43.88 bushels per acre.
The journey toward Corn Harvest 2017 began in April, when Randy planted the crop. (For a look back along the way, click on this link.)
April 2017:  The corn seed in the middle of the photo was at the end of the row, where Randy turned. Most of the seeds end up underground, where they are supposed to be, but I still liked the photo.
May 2017
We finished corn harvest September 25, but it would have been sooner had we not had some combine problems.

Our 320 acres of corn likely sounds like small potatoes - or small sprouts - to anybody who has circles of corn.
But we are primarily wheat farmers, and we were thankful for our second-best wheat crop ever here on the County Line.

After a nice, gentle 3.40" rain the week before, we started planting wheat on October 2. However, we've gotten 0.50" in the past couple of days, so we are at a standstill in that process. No complaining about moisture is allowed! We'd like to keep on Mother Nature's good side for this crop.

More on wheat planting to come ...


  1. And cloud watching doesn't help!

    1. No, it doesn't, but cloud watching is a fun activity nonetheless.

  2. Bummer on the corn crop, but hooray for the wheat!! Can you remind me again what dryland farming is? Is it simply non-irrigated farming? I'm thinking it might mean something different...

    1. When I use that terminology, I just mean that it's not irrigated.

  3. You win some, you lose some. Seems that is what farming is all about... sadly.