Thursday, August 2, 2012

Hot summer night

Last night I took the dogs out to the hay field north of the house to get some pictures. The dogs were not terribly cooperative.

"You look right, I'll look left."

"Okay. We're looking at the friggin' camera. Ya happy now?"

We are experiencing the worst drought in over 75 years but the landscape remains deceptively green at first glance. In the foreground is a hay field. I have no idea how the hay can be so green when we've had only a half-inch of rain in the last two months. The Farmer says it is a "good piece of ground."

Across the road to the left is a soybean field. Green, yes. Pods filling? Jury is out on that. Across the road to the right is what's left of our cow/calf pasture. It's pretty much burned to a crisp. The cows and calves are now on hay, something that normally would not start until much later this fall.

Across the road and in the background are corn fields. The gold color is the tassels. What you don't see in this pic are the huge cracks in the ground and the corn stalks starting to "fire" (dry from the ground upward) or curling their leaves tightly to conserve moisture on hot days.

The lack of rain has kept the ears from filling with fully-formed kernels. This translates to fewer kernels on each cob, which translates to much lower yields. Production costs (seed, fuel, fertilizer, chemical, machinery upkeep, crop insurance, land rent and man hours) remain the same. You don't have to be crazy to farm but it helps.

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