Standing in the doorway of the “Roundup” after coffee this morning, a farmer friend and I were watching the rain fall and talking about how all the water has created a mess for our farm economy and a disaster for the planting season.
“I’ve been working on a farm since I was in high school and I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said. It’s a fact that excessive precipitation and persistently wet conditions have prevented the planting of corn and soybean in some fields and led to ponding and drown-out areas in others.
The more I talk to folks about this heavy dilemma, the more I’ve learned about the disaster we are all facing.
I checked in with Elizabeth Stahl, University of Minnesota Extension, who indicated, “On acres where ‘prevent plant’ is claimed for insurance, the USDA-Risk Management Agency (RMA) requires protection from erosion and control of noxious weeds. Planting a cover crop to these areas can help control weeds and prevent erosion, while enhancing soil structure and preventing ‘fallow syndrome’”.
I’ve heard area farmers talk about a “cover crop” but I hadn’t heard about this thing called, “Fallow Syndrome.”
Stahl said it can hurt crop yield the following year and can occur when there is not enough living root material for beneficial soil mycorrhizal fungi to survive. These “good fungi” facilitate the uptake of nutrients that are less mobile in the soil, such as phosphorus and zinc. “Planting a cover crop that is a host to these good fungi can help prevent fallow syndrome,” she said.
A report from Minnesota Crop Progress & Condition said, “Seventy-six percent of Minnesota’s corn was planted, 13 days behind last year and 17 days behind the five-year average. Forty-eight percent of the corn crop had emerged, nearly two weeks behind normal. Soybeans were 51 percent planted, 12 days behind last year and 16 days behind the average, while 16 percent of the soybean crop had emerged.” And we’re talking about this on June 12. “Hey, this is really serious!”
LAUGH A LITTLE: After years of working for others! After years of working for others — and being passed over for promotions, John and his wife, Mary, decided to go into business together. After examining the classifieds, they bought a small candy stand, paying three dollars for each box of candy and then selling each box for three dollars. At the end of the day, they were astonished to find that they had sold every box of candy — yet had exactly as much money as when they started. “You see?” John snarled at his wife.He added, “I told you we should have bought a larger stand!”
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: As my Ole Pappy used to say, “There is always someone with an eye to see beauty; always someone with an ear to hear the truth and always a person with a heart to receive love.” He’d go on to tell me, “You’re job is to find these people, then hold on to them.” Thanks Ole Pappy!