Friday, March 4, 2011

Looks Like Rain

Those are often magical words to a crop farmer but not this time. The last thing we want is burned up corn like this picture from 2002 but we don't need floods, either. They say the farmer is never satisfied with the weather.

Our soil is pretty saturated but I am not sure how we have down deep yet. Late last fall, we couldn't find any excess water so we definitely need the recharge.

I talked to my friend Bill Northcutt at Spatial Rain Consulting and he found a bug in his software and has been sick with the flu. I would guess we have had 10 inches since that last inch July 12, all coming after harvest. It didn't do any good for our 2010 crop but will for our 2011 crop.

A farmer is always staging his crop to the rainfall. Many have to irrigate, they live in such low rainfall areas. We don't, excess rain is our problem and we are getting it right now. I hear it on my office window. Here, we adapt our planters to planting in damp soil that allows us to plant sooner and more profitably.

Here in Ohio we have to drain off our excess water with surface and subsurface drainage tile. I see a bunch of rolls of it on a farm just south of me past the railroad tracks. That tile will make the young farmer a bunch of money when he is able to get it in.

Drainage is king here and calcium is queen. You get those two addressed, you harvest much better crops and more net profit that will more than pay for the tile and the lime.

On a local note I submitted my Clinton County Regional Economic Development survey online. It asks questions about how we are doing and what do you think of our plans and schools and progress. I think everyone in the county should fill it out. The powers that be need to know our feelings.

Have a good Friday and talk to you tomorrow.

Ash Wednesday is next week. You should read the response on the Cafe when a farmer asked what he should give up for Lent. I think he just wanted to provoke the non believers.

Ed Winkle

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