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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Why Do Farmers Rush to Finish Planting?

Being a farmer's wife in the Spring and Fall can be very difficult.  Sure, it can be very difficult year round too:),but there's more of a "push" during planting and harvest.

Since we just wrapped up planting yesterday (except for a few acres of soybeans where the ground needs to have manure hauled on it first.  Yay!!) I thought it was appropriate to answer a question that I've heard before.   First off, farmers are at the mercy of the weather.  We all know how tricky this Spring has been.  Mother Nature just would not give up on the rain!  I tried not to complain too much because in July and August we may be begging for rain.  We have finally had about 4 solid days of zero precip and farmers have been working long hours to get their seed in the ground before the next big rainfall.  Forecasters are calling for rain the rest of this week.  Some farmers I know have been working around the clock.

The ground has to be just right for the seed to germinate and grow.  If the ground is too wet or cold, the seed will remain underground too long and will eventually rot which will result in replanting.  No farmer likes to replant, but we do what we have to do.  I recently did a post that talks about what factors are taken into consideration to determine the right time to start planting.  You can read more about that here.

Researchers have found that the optimum planting dates in Indiana to produce better yields is April 20th-May 10th.  This planting season has proved to been slow with only about 62% of the states corn crop planted as of May 22nd. (source).  So, while those dates are ideal, they aren't always realistic.  Estimated yield loss per day varies from .3% to 1% by the end of May.  There have been some studies that show date doesn't play a huge factor in yield loss.  While those percentages don't seem large, it all adds up.

Here is a chart that better describes the yield dates.  (source) 

Absolute vs relative planting date effect on yield
You can definitely see the window from April 20th-May 5th where the projected yield is the highest.  Of course all of this depends on the weather in the summer.  If it is hot and dry, or cold and rainy...that all effects yields also.

We know that nice days won't last forever and just as much as we welcome dry weather and sunshine, we also welcome rain when it becomes too dry.


Friday, May 20, 2016

Summertime Here We Come.

Where is the time going?  It's hard to believe it's May and today is the last day of school for the girls!!!!  I'm excited to have them home with me because we do enjoy our summers, but it's always a bit of a transition.  Once we get on a new routine and schedule things seem to get better.

It's been pretty chilly here, but it's finally warmer today.  Hopefully the warmer temps stick around!

Everyone asks me if I'm ready for the girls to be home for the summer.  I would be lying if I said no.  Of course, we are all ready for a break from homework.  It's time to focus on 4H and softball and having fun.  BUT, I will miss the days of only having Jo at home.  She gets along pretty well with her older sisters, but there is definitely some knock-down-drag-out moments.  Especially between Mel and Jo...

They definitely have a love/hate relationship.  One minute they are getting along great.  The next it's an all out war.

I like to say it's because they are so much alike.  B is usually the mediator who gets along with everyone.  She is very laid back, much like her dad.

It's funny because I thought I would have more time the older the girls get, but really it seems that I have less time and the time goes by much faster.  I was talking to an older lady at the grocery store the other day and told her how we are keeping busy running the girls back and forth to activities and she said, "Oh this is the time of your life.  Enjoy it."  

I often find myself wishing time would slow down.

Someone shared on Facebook the other day and it said something like...instead of wishing for time to slow down, enjoy the moments because when time does slow down the kids will be gone and so will the days that keep your lives lively.

So, rather than wishing for time to slow down, I will try to enjoy these moments more and more...even if I feel like I'm running in a million different directions.

Here's to sweet summertime.  May you make it the best one yet!


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Back in the Saddle Again...Plant '16

Fortunately for us, I was able to title this post "Back in the Saddle Again," but for many of our fellow farm friends they are just now getting in the saddle. Yesterday was the 18th of May.  The meteorologist on our local news station said that it has rained 15 out of those 13 days.  Some days we had a substantial amount of rain, while other days it was just a small shower....but they all add up to be one killer wet Spring.  Brad said that someone told him the other day that if it rains on May 1, there will be 23 rainy days in May.

We were able to apply Anhydrous Ammonia the last part of April.  This is only applied to fields that will have corn this season.  To learn more about Anhydrous Ammonia, you can read all about it here...because I know you're dying to know! ;)

There was a dry spell after anhydrous application when we were able to get some corn planted and for that we are extremely thankful!

It's hard to believe that 4 years ago we were already experiencing dry conditions and heat.  Boy was it hot!  I don't think the thermometer read below 90 degrees until October that year.  I was pregnant, so I may be exaggerating a bit, but it was hot and one of the driest summers on record.  That's life as a farmer though and goes along with my husbands infamous statement, "I don't need to go to a casino to gamble because I do it everyday."  The forecast for the next 7 days looks fabulous.  There is a slight risk for rain tomorrow night, but other than that not until next Thursday.

We hate to wish the rain, but it sure will be nice to be able to get more seed in the ground before the next wave.  Good luck to all the farmers out there and stay safe!


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