In April I wrote that there was sufficient moisture to get crops off to a good start. I had a report from people with whom I consult that said we were behind in rainfall and that if there were rains throughout the growing year that the crop would be a good one. There has been an improvement in soil moisture due to good sized rains this month that resulted in standing water in the fields and running tiles.
Talking with Larry Meaker and Ross Streitmatter, it was learned that about 6 inches of moisture fell in April. This brings us closer to breaking the drouth altho Joe Streiitmatter said the the sub soil was still dry.
I had a conversation with Peter Gill of Gill Grain who said they finished planting corn on May ll and soy beans on the 13th. He said they had planted more wheat than usual. This was because reports from the wheat belt that the crop is forecasted to be above the 2005 crop but nearly 20 percent short of the 2004 crop. Thus, the selling price of wheat would be higher. He was optimistic about the wheat crop production this year.
The conversation with Joe Streimatter, gave me an interesting insight into the results of last years drouth. He said that this spring they were having to deal with plugged tiles due to nest building by ground squirrels and more trash than usual. That is a slow task because wet spots need to be located and then the exact location of the plugged spots have to be found. He also said that few new tile fields were put in this year because farmers were reluctant to spend the money and government funds were not readily available.
One thing is clear, there needs to be some 70 degree days to get the crops growing. I planted a small patch of green beans in our garden on April 14. The beans were slow sprouting and now they are up and growing slowly. This is in spite of laying down black soil paper to warm the soil to hold the heat. I do not think I will have early green beans for our table!
The corn and beans also need heat. Too much moisture and cool weather is not good for producing growth. Looking at the corn that can be seen down the rows, it appears to me that there is not much growth. The forecast for next week is for 70 degree weather with some possibility for a couple of 80 degree days. That would help the situation considerably. However, I wonder what will happen if it gets too hot?