Fonticulus Fides

Friday, July 09, 2004

Farm Update

Back when I was a kid, I remember riding in the old Rambler with my family past rows and rows of corn on the way to various campgrounds in Illinois and Indiana. My dad taught me that old saying, "Knee high by the Fourth of July," which meant that if the corn stalks were at least as tall as a man's knee by Independence Day, his crop was established enough to turn a decent yield.

We were out by the family homestead on the Fourth last weekend, and the corn wasn't knee high -- it was shoulder high. Part of that is due to the seed that's available now, which turns a harvest faster. Used to be you needed 120 days or more from planting to harvesting, but now you can get a corn crop in 100 days, or even 90. The stalks establish faster, so they can set ears faster.

Another advantage has been the weather. We've had so much rain, we're out of any drought threat in this part of the state. Wish I could say the same for the western panhandle, which is in extreme drought. Funny how you can get in your car here in the east where everything is green and the soil is downright spongey, but if you drive six hours west, you see parched land. Drive a couple hours more, and the land is so dry, it's cracked like the Dead Sea, with not a single sprout of green vegetation to be seen.

We're still praying for rain, but not for us -- for the farmers and ranchers west of us. Still, we'll need the rain to continue though the summer for our farmers to reap good crops. Rain in July makes corn, rain in August makes beans (soybeans, that is).



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