Lefebure.com / Farming / 2012 / July 2012

The combines are getting checked over before harvest. Due to the hot summer, the crops are maturing faster than normal. We expect to start cutting sometime around the end of August. The temperature today was 90 degrees, and the forecast for the next week shows more of the same.

The bugs are still eating at the soybeans, so the sprayer is out fixing that problem. Meanwhile, we're working on the electrical part of the grain site project. This big wire is the main feed in, and is not much fun to wrestle with.

Some pics of the grain site, the sweet corn got some water, and there has been a restored B-29 "Superfortress" flying around here for the past couple days.

Another great sunset in Iowa. Temperature stayed below 90 and there was a nice breeze, so it was actually pleasant outside today. Still no rain though.

Cleaned out two grain bins with a grain vac. This has to be a morning project because it would be way too hot in a bin after noon.

The grain dryer project is progressing nicely, although it appears that we won't need the increased capacity this season. The millwrights are done with their part, so we're currently working on the electrical and the little building where everything is controlled. Working outside has been brutal the last couple weeks with the temperature consistantly between 90 and 100 degrees.

It is currently 99 degrees in the shade and the seven-day forecast shows another week of highs in the 90s and over-night lows around 70. I noticed one field of corn today that is turning from green to brown in large patches. It seems to be skipping the leaf-rolling stage and just going right to dead as if this was late August.
Woke up to rain this morning, such a nice sound. There are a few puddles on the road, but we probably only received a fraction of an inch.
Just got back from a 1169 mile road trip to Columbus, OH and back via Moline, Peoria, and Indianapolis. I didn't see a single "garden spot" along that route, but I did see a lot of brown. Keep in mind that this is the heart the US corn belt. There is some corn that looks pretty good from the road, but based on the grass and trees along the road, it has to be suffering. The Eastern half of Indiana appears to be in the worst shape as the grass is 100% brown in color and trees are starting to drop their leaves. When a field of corn starts to look like a field of pineapple, it is dry, and fields like this are everywhere.

At this point I'm also starting to get concerned about the availability of seed for the 2013 crop. It seems that the seed reserves were depleted to get the huge 2012 crop planted, and now we're going to see reduced yields on the seed we need for next year. I'm sure the seed companies will work some magic with the South America seed production this winter, but right now it looks like we're walking a thin line.

As if the soybeans didn't already have a problem with the dry weather, the Japanese beetles have now showed up, and they are hungry.

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