State of The Crops

No two growing seasons are identical. With an average 155 frost free days from May 1 to October 10, the nearly infinite combinations of weather variables ensures every season is an original.

However, it sure looks to us like they have the same parents.

The recent prevailing trend of above average rainfall continues. Just when we thought it could not get much wetter, precipitation records are being set throughout the Midwest.

Rochester has had 35 inches for the year compared to an average of 18, nearly 200% of normal for this date.

Fortunately, despite the excess rainfall, crops in the McIntire area are doing well.

We had reasonable soil conditions at planting with a few exceptions, heat unit accumulation is close to normal thanks to a recent warm wave, and we have been able to avoid the monster storms.

Our first planted corn fields are fully tasseled. In the next ten days pollination should be complete which means another 60 days to maturity.

The old farmers say watch out for an early frost on the September 14 full moon. I honestly cannot explain the correlation, but either way, normal weather through October 1 should deliver corn yields we can live with and be grateful for.

Beans have improved much in the last few weeks. The month of May was cool. Emergence was slow especially in fields planted wet.

The practice of rolling bean fields after planting has become routine. This operation does speed harvest and reduce rock damage. However, under wet conditions it also delays emergence and reduces stands.

August weather will have the biggest effect on bean yields. Great bean yields seem unlikely. Evidence of excess moisture, yellowing and stunted growth in low spots is prevalent. Diseases will follow.

Given the current state and seasonal weather through September, this could be a year with "average bean yields", a statistical creation found more frequently in textbooks than the real world.

We can work with that.

In a month, harvest preparation moves to the top of our list. Between now and then we have a lot of flexibility to set our daily agenda. This means more time for leisure activities and well deserved vacations.

Barring an unprecedented weather calamity, it appears we will need to be well rested for the abundant 2019 harvest.