The corn made knee high by the fourth of July.
It’s as high as a small elephant’s eye. There have been a few years the corn was only knee high on the fourth and those were extremely wet years and it was planted very late.
Beans are coming along and looking good. Oats is just starting to turn color. The green is fading and it’s turning yellow as it matures and dries out. Now I worry about storms and high winds knocking it down; we want rain, not storms.
We keep scouting the crops, watching stages of development and looking for diseases or insects. Beans can get aphids that affect yield. But we don’t spray for them unless it hits an ‘economic threshold’; the point where the cost of the damage from the pests would be greater than the cost of the spraying. That’s about 250 aphids / plant. It’s been a few years since I sprayed for aphids, it doesn’t happen very often.
The corn I like to watch as the brace roots emerge – extra roots that come out to help stabilize it as it gets taller.
I found a few places where corn plants are still emerging after all these weeks. They’re too far behind the rest to amount to much; the ear most likely won’t fully develop or be dry enough by fall, but it’s pretty amazing the seed still grew this long after planting and being in the ground all that time!
We are delighting in the warm summer nights and enjoying the fireflies over the crops. They’re always such a treat to watch. Some of us like the “warm” part better than others of us. Growing Degree Units are up – 355 over normal.
I mentioned the helicopter spraying at the neighbors. I’ve always been fascinated with helicopters, so it was fun to watch that operation. I’ve been in a helicopter a couple times; Many years ago I took a helicopter tour over Gettysburg Battle grounds and just a few years ago a helicopter tour over Charleston SC. That was fun.
One night, Kelly was taking a walk and she texted me that a hot air balloon was pretty low. We’ve had a few balloons land in our fields, but usually it’s winter and there’s no crops to worry about. It was a very still night and this guy had lost all his wind and was really just hanging there. I drove up and met his chase crew. I told him if he could at least get to the edge of a field and not land in the middle I’d be happy with that. He said he would do his best. And he did. He managed to get to a water way (just a grassy area) to land and the crew dragged him over to the road. Always fun to see them. If they land 3 times on the farm I get a free ride. It hasn’t happened so far.
Still fixing things, had a flat tire on the lawnmower, which isn’t surprising given the areas I’m mowing. I couldn’t find a hole, so I took the tire apart and couldn’t find anything inside either, so bought a bottle of ‘Slime’ and put that inside and it worked! Plugged up the hole! (‘Slime’ is a green, thick, goop, you squirt inside a tire and it’s supposed to plug up holes and prevent new holes. I’d heard of it before, but never tried it.) I just bought a second bottle. If this works, I might be sold on it!
Working on the grain drill too. It needed some bushings on the arms that support the press wheels and a couple new bearings in the press wheels (they press the seed into the dirt for good ‘seed-to-soil’ contact.) Plus, one of the actual seed cups had been broken since I bought it. Wasn’t really hard to fix, but it was 44 little ¼” bolts and it takes two people. I have a college kid, Khalid, that is helping me with that. Waiting on parts to finish that project.
I also took the bucket off the loader and have it over at my nephew, Matt’s. He’s a welder and got his own shop going as a side business. The loader bottom was bent because I work it too hard. And it’s also 20 years old and it has pushed a lot of trees over. He tried to straighten the bottom, but it couldn’t be repaired so he got a new piece of steel for that and I ordered a new cutting edge from the dealer. Half the price of a new bucket and this will be better than new. [photo]
I bought another funnel at Menards. ¬¬Funnels are a mystery. I have a dozen different funnels and still didn’t have one that will hit the transmission oil filler on the lawnmower. Although this one today might! I even bought a funnel with a right angle on it and that wouldn’t reach either. Some funnels have too big of a funnel end. Some are too long that they’re awkward. Some are too narrow and the thick oil won’t flow through. Some are metal, some are plastic, some are tapered to one side, some are flexible but never the way I need them to be.
It doesn’t seem like it should be this hard, but I guess it is. You think “I’ll just get a funnel for this”, and then it doesn’t work. I got two flexible folding funnel things. Silicone and moldable, made to fit in wherever you can squeeze it. Sometimes that’s the right tool. I tell the kids a lot, “Every new job is an opportunity for a new tool”.
Helicopter ride? Hot air balloon ride? What’s the craziest/most fun thing you’ve ridden in?