Thursday, May 28, 2015

Farmers Plant In Spring With Faith They Will Get A Good Harvest
October 17, 2013 | No Comments

By John Parker When local farmers carefully put those corn and soybean seeds in the ground last spring, they planted them with faith faith that…

By John Parker

When local farmers carefully put those corn and soybean seeds in the ground last spring, they planted them with faith faith that they would have a growing season that would provide an abundant fall crop. Now they are finding out, as they are into harvest just how well the weather treated them this summer.

Results will vary widely around the area because rains came in different amounts in different areas. Farmers in northern and some eastern areas had much more rain than the farmers in the southern part of the area. So, yields will vary according to rainfall at planting time as well as during the growing season.

Combines have been in the fields harvesting soybeans for some time now. As expected, yields have varied according to where the farm is located. In addition, harvest time will vary because some beans as well as corn were planted much later than others. They are not quite ripe yet and need more time in the field.

Many fields are dry and ready for the combine. Others in locations where there was more rain are still somewhat green and show a marked contrast.

So, as farmers went to all the work to carefully plant those tiny seeds that they hope will turn into a good crop, they are now finding out what they will harvest. Some are happy while some are not so pleased.

Back in late August, I judged hay and grain at the Geauga County Fair, which is always an interesting experience. Every year is different in the number and quality of various samples to judge.

Because of the extremely wet weather during first harvest of hay in late May and early June, very little good quality first cutting hay was made. As a result, there were only four samples of first cutting hay to look at and none of those were good enough to merit a blue ribbon or a first place.

There were some nice samples of second and third cuttings that were a challenge to place, examples of careful harvest by the farmers submitting the samples.

Some excellent stalks of both silage corn and field corn for dry harvest were submitted, which was somewhat surprising considering the weather that many farmers had during planting time. They had to be ready when the window was right to get the seeds in the ground.

Excellent soybean plants were also to be judged. Here again, yields in the fields that they came from should be good. It is always interesting to count the number of soybean pods on various plants. It comes down to the number of well filled out bean pods on each plant that usually determines the first place or blue ribbon.

Samples of corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, some spletz and sunflower seeds are in quart jars to be judged. This year there was a good selection of all but spletz and sunflower seeds. Judges pick a first in each one of these, and then have to pick best of show, which is difficult. Its kind of like comparing apples to oranges, as one often hears that expression.

Judges only had one sample of sunflower seeds, but it was a beautiful, clean, bright, uniform, trash-free sample, so they gave it best of show, an unusual move with all the nice corn and soybean samples that were there.

So the judging experience gives an idea of what the season was like on Geauga County farms this year. Samples to be judged were reflective of the season. Fair board member David Parker and his wife Nancy handled the hay and grain show at the fair. They were great folks to work with.

Parker is an independent agricultural writer.

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