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Where Mother Nature Whiffed

  • Where Mother Nature Whiffed

    Seems like everywhere you go this summer, you hear about the bumper crops that are on their way. There are, though, some areas that have missed out on this summer’s weather bounty.

  • Shut-Off Spigot

    In mid-August, I visited farmers near Bowling Green in western Kentucky. Although earlier moisture spurred an excellent winter wheat crop this summer, rainfall has been scant in July through mid-August. This field likely wouldn’t have been done yet, but it’s soon slated for harvest.

  • Short Ears

    Lack of rainfall has taken its toll on ear development, too. This ear in a neighboring field didn’t fill out all the way due to lack of moisture.

  • Better Beans

    Things looked better when I crossed the confluence of the Mississippi River and Ohio River into southeastern Missouri. These soybeans near Charleston, Missouri, were nicely canopied.

  • Precipitation Shift

    I ventured into Oklahoma on the next leg of my trip. Drought and Oklahoma go together like a baseball and glove. Surprisingly, though, USDA-Agricultural Research officials I visited with told me this year’s reversed weather patterns are causing crops like soybeans to fare better at winter wheat’s expense.

  • More Beans

    Historically, much of Oklahoma receives sufficient winter and spring precipitation to spur winter wheat yields. Lately, though, precipitation has shifted more to summer rainfall that benefits crops like soybeans. It’s still dry and hot, but you likely wouldn’t have seen beans like these 25 years ago.

  • Iowa in Kansas

    Heading home, I drove along U.S. Route 169 in southeastern Kansas. Glancing at the adjacent crops made me feel like I was home in central Iowa. Soybeans like these flanked adjacent corn fields.

  • Mid-August Harvest

    Harvest had already started in this field between Cherryvale and Thayer in southeastern Kansas.

Soybeans, drought, corn, winter wheat

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