Category Archives: #worldorganicnews

Precipitation Woes

We were driving back toward home after an evening check of the cattle. I watched as the sun snuggled into the horizon from clouds like looked a big, down-filled comforter.

I asked Randy to pull over so I could get a snapshot of another magnificent Kansas sky. Ironically, we ended up parked next to one of our wheat fields. And as I watched the yellow sun get swallowed up by the blanket of blue, I knew that the clouds were just for show again. No moisture was lurking in the folds of the sky’s blanket.

 

Yesterday, we scouted some wheat fields. We got a little freezing rain during a winter thunderstorm Monday night. But it was mostly sound effects – like the artificially-produced noises on a movie set.

Remnants of the sleet remain in the field, but we were hoping Wednesday night’s forecast would finally bring us measurable precipitation. Instead, the bulk of the storm again skirted to our east. Some schools in the Wichita area are closed for the third day in a row because of icy roads, and TV reporters lament the slick slide to work.

While we’d prefer our moisture in a long, slow rain, an ice storm last January (2017) gave us our only round of winter moisture and made a difference in our wheat crop last summer. We need good moisture to STOP the drought conditions. (It seems the traffic sign held on to more ice than our fields!)

This winter has been dry. In fact,  November 2017 to January 2018 ranked as the driest (lowest precipitation) on record for Kansas, receiving less than 25 percent of normal precipitation for that time period.

For us, the dry streak extends back to October. We were interrupted with wheat planting because of some intermittent rains, but those also came after a dry summer. We are in the severe drought category on the Kansas drought monitor, and the red of extreme drought is creeping closer.

 

While parts of northern Kansas have received some snow, it’s bypassed our area.

Our wheat crop is in dire need of a good, long drink of water.

The bulls got their drink after Randy broke the ice for them. 

If only we could shatter the drought as easily as Randy smashes through the ice with an ax. (Well, it was easy for me. I was just watching!)

Who Knew? Cover Crops, Corn and Water Molds Webinar Recap

Cover crops have numerous benefits, but not everyone is using them. Could it be that some farmers are worried about potential yield impact? Dr. Alison Robertson, professor in the department of plant pathology and microbiology and extension field crops pathologist at Iowa State University, wondered if corn seedling disease could be responsible for decrease in […]