Tuesday, May 8, 2018

April Showers Bring Fall Corn?

If April showers bring May flowers, we hope May showers bring fall corn. (And those May showers sure don't hurt the wheat crop, alfalfa or pastures either!)
Randy started planting corn on April 24 this year, later than normal. I took these photos the afternoon of May 2, the second day when our part of the state had the chance of severe thunderstorms. Thankfully, we got 1.40" of rain, but missed the hail, tornadoes and high winds that other parts of the state experienced. It rained Randy out before he could finish the field, but he got done yesterday afternoon.

The rain certainly gave the newly-planted corn a boost. So does the nitrogen fertilizer Randy applies  to promote germination and early growth.
This year, we planted 280 acres of corn, a little less than last year. I'm sure that seems like small potatoes - or small sprouts - to anybody who has circles of corn. Since we are an all dryland farm, wheat remains our primary crop.
On a walk last Friday, we checked out the newly-emerged corn coming up in fields where he'd first planted.
Our walk also took us past a wheat field, where it was starting to head. The 2018 Wheat Quality Council's Hard Winter Wheat Tour was last week. And the 95 participants who traversed the state along six different routes found what we already knew: The 2018 wheat crop is behind schedule. Because most of wheat country has been in a severe drought since last October, the crop is shorter than normal and head size is smaller. 
Friday, May 4, 2018
The Wheat Quality Council's estimate for the 2018 Kansas wheat crop is 37 bushels an acre. Kansas Wheat reports that total production of wheat to be harvested in Kansas is 243.3 million bushels. If realized, this would be about 90 million bushels less than last year's crop and the lowest production in Kansas since 1989.
Monday, May 7, 2018
By Monday afternoon, many more heads were unfurled in the wheat fields.
My eternal optimist reports that the rains late in April and early in May should help some,  especially if we don't plunge right into summer temperatures. However, these days with 85-degree-plus temperatures won't do the crop any favors.


  1. 280 acres sounds like a lot to me! I'm glad you got some nice rain! I heard about the storms out there...we tend to pay more attention, now that our daughter is in college at Hesston! Our corn is scheduled to go in on Friday or Saturday of this week. We've had a wet spring, setting everything back. Here's to a good growing season in the east and the mid-west!

    1. Thanks, Alica! I hope your daughter has had a great first year in our neck of the woods. Is she coming home for the summer or staying for summer school?

      We got 1.5" of unexpected rain last night. We are thankful! It will help everything - wheat, corn, alfalfa and pastures.