Years from now people are going to look back and talk about the summer of 2012. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, it has been hot and dry here in the midwest. We’re setting all kinds of records. I can’t remember the last time it rained. For most people it’s an inconvenience, but when your livelihood is based on the agricultural calendar, a growing season like this can be terrifying.
Remember back in May when I took you on a ride in the tractor? Brett was planting the corn right outside our studio, and things were going so well. No sign at all that this summer would be one of the most stressful ones that anyone around here has seen. Well, I thought maybe you’d be curious about how the crop is faring in the drought and intense heat.
A few years ago the guys started the process of putting up a bunch of center pivot irrigation systems all over the farm. I’m know you’ve seen what I’m talking about. They’re long sprayers that move around a fixed center point in a big circle. They also built a huge 40 acre lake. It holds the water for irrigating, if its needed. Well, this year they sure needed it.
The water level in the lake has slowly been getting lower and lower over the past several weeks, and if we don’t get any rain soon it will be completely drained. There’s a bunch of fish in there that should be getting a little worried.
Look at this! On the left is an ear of corn from one of our irrigated fields. The ear on the right is from a corner of the same field where the water didn’t quite reach. Can you imagine a whole field of corn like that?! It’s happening. There are plenty of cornfields around our area that, unfortunately, haven’t gotten any water all summer. In those cases the crop could be a total loss.
We’re lucky that we have the means to get water to most of our crops, but it takes a lot of effort and monitoring to make sure that everything is watered evenly, and at the right times. This past Wednesday night I went along with Brett as he made the rounds turning on all the center pivots.
You were there when the corn was planted. I think it’s time for a mid-summer farm report! Let’s see how things look…