Archive for May, 2010

Get a Stopwatch

Fields planted….CHECK!  Warm temperatures…CHECK!  Humidity…CHECK!  Plentiful rain…CHECK!  Sunshine…CHECK, CHECK, CHECK!

Now is the time of year you almost need a stopwatch to measure the growth, because the corn grows that fast.

The length of the growing season here is about 150 days.  We are already 30-plus days into it.  Indeed, things are well underway now.

This picture was taken today, May 31.

This picture was taken 2 weeks ago, on May 17


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It isn’t just corn that’s beautiful this time of year.  Yesterday afternoon, the beauty was overhead as enormous, billowing white clouds danced across a perfectly blue sky.

To be sure, every place on earth has clouds and sky.  Still, there’s something special about the way the colors up above contrast with the emerging green on the ground here.  Montana, you’re not the only place with Big Sky country!

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Going Green

The fields evolve from black to green…

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Organ Trail

It’s amazing — and sad — the trash that I see dumped in the ditches when I’m driving around looking at corn.  In addition to garbage bags, I’ve seen rolls of carpet, kitchen appliances, windows, furniture and more.  This organ takes the cake.   I wish they’d catch the morons that do this.  I don’t know if nearby landowners have to clean it up, or if the county sends garbage trucks out to collect it.   It’s just insane.

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Two Weeks

Early growth has been somewhat slow due to the cool weather.  The picture directly below was taken this evening, May 17.  The one underneath it was taken two weeks ago, May 3.   Typically, the change would be more noticeable during this timeframe.  Not to worry; things will speed up as the weather warms.

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V What?

Corn growth is defined by stages. The first, VE, stands for Vegetative Emergence. Subsequent stages are known as V1, V2, V3, etc., based on the number of leaf collars (but not necessarily leaves) on the stalk. A leaf collar is simply the band around the stalk from which the leaf appears.

When silks begin appearing, the stages switch from V to R – which signifies Reproduction.

Seems like it’s time to celebrate V2 around here!

Who knew!

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Cold Ducks

Record cold and snowfall this past winter gave way to an unbelievably perfect spring – until this past week.  Dismal, dreary, cold, wet weather now hangs over Iowa.  Fields are muddy bogs.  Emerging sprouts shiver in the cold; some drown in pools of standing water.  A few fields must be replanted.  And those not planted yet will remain inaccessible for a while.

Not an unusual spring, although a little disappointing, given the hopes this might be a year to beat all years.  But there’s still a long way to go.

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