Sunday, May 06, 2007

We've Got Trouble!

Right here in River City. We've got Pool(s)...of water. Planting season was late this year because of the cold weather which kept soil temperatures to a minimum and then wet cold weather set in.
We were already saturated but had gotten in to work and plant the better, well drained ground and could see the light at the end of the tunnel when it began raining last Thursday afternoon. I planted thru part of the all-afternoon mist but the mud finally began building up on the gauge wheels.

That will always bring planting to a stop. The gauge wheels are the big, flat wheels that run on either side of each row. Their job is to keep the seed at the correct depth. If they get chunks of mud starting to build, they will do an uneven job of planting putting some kernels at the correct depth and others on top of the ground.
So I quit mid afternoon on Thursday. It rained that night, and the next day and night and day and night. Add infinity. A total of 3.8 inches at our place. You must understand that I live on the Missouri River bottom ground. We are some 9 miles from the town and to get there
must traverse some not very well drained farmland. This owing to the fact that the river is close and the high water level there is not that much lower than than the adjacent land. AND since water tends to run down hill... we must wait for the upstream rivers to drain into the Muddy Mo before our tributaries begin their turn to drain.
On our way to church this morning we snapped these pics. The top one is of U.S Highway 75 (it runs nearly border to border, north and south in this country) about 2 miles south of Tekamah.

The second is of that dusty county road I showed you last fall. The third shows the field I was planting when I got rained out and if you look closely or click on the pic you'll see my planter and tractor sitting there in the mud. The last is of the corn field along our lane. In all of these pics the water is not in a lake but rather sitting on normally productive farm ground.
This time of year we would hope to have been done with planting. When you get rained out you are upset at not being able to get it planted. As you can guess planting is the most important of our jobs as farmers because without this completed in a timely fashion, our year is a failure. As you sow... well you know.
Now we have reached a reversal in conventional thinking. Seeds sitting under water in cold mud are probably not better off than the dry seeds still in the shed. The dry, unplanted ones at least won't rot. By the time this ground dries enough for planting again, we will have begun to loose yield potential because of late planting. At the rate of about one bushel per acre per day past oh say, May 15Th. And we will also likely go thru the added expense of replanting some of that already planted.
But this is why I prefer to farm. I would just hate forking over a bunch of Income Tax money to the IRS every year.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention, it just started raining again.


Ralph's Homespun Headlines said...

Oh man Cliff. Just sent you an e-mail earlier today asking how planting was going. Guess this answers that. Need any "help" let me know - I'll come out.

Peter said...

That sure is a lonely lookin' green JD (no not Jamie Dawn) in the corn field Cliff, the joys of farming just never cease do they?

Lee said...

As the saying goes, Cliff, "It never rains but it pours"....all that beautiful rain water and it's a pest to you...send it on down this way. There are so many places in Australia at the moment that are in dire need of it. The drought here goes on and on relentlessly.

Paul said...

Sorry, Cliff.

It's been pouring here since Saturday night. Non-stop. Same situation; except that tornado in Greensburg.

We'll pray.

Mike ( ex scientia, veritas ) said...

Wow, Cliff, that's pretty hard to take. I expect that you've been there before though. By coincidence, I just saw a program on the Discover Channel that said the water tables in Nebraska were 30-40 feet below where they usually reside. "If" that's accurate maybe this will help. Regardless, you've got my prayers for a profitable bumper crop this year.

Miki said...

Sorry that the rain is setting you back, Cliff. I hope and pray that it stops raining and that you get that dry seed into the ground!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear you got shorted on the rain. We got 6.65". Hopefully, ours gets to the river before it drains your way. Isn't gumbo fun?
"Old Soggy Blue"

Jim said...

Hi Cliff -- I'm very sorry--even though I don't think it was my fault--about the weather you are having around there.
We have 120 acres (now) up in the hill you know, I hear there was a lot of washing up there.

Just to let you know, if you see an Iowa Buick around town, it will be Lois. My aunt Julia, who is my Grandma Lucy Roth Corkil's daughter, is here from Oregon.
So Lois is showing her around, tomorrow they will visit the museum.
Grandma Corkill and your Mom knew each other, I'm sure. She was Grandpa Corkill's second wife and is about four or so years older than Mom.
They all went to the First Baptist Church also. Grandpa was the youth leader, your Mom should have been in the group unless she was a Methodist then.

Jim said...

I tease Lois, but it really isn't funny, about the weather up there.
I tell her I won't come visiting in the Spring because I'm afraid of tornados.
This year there have been a lot, there were 88 violent storms already there by Sunday.
That doesn't include heavy rains and flooding, these were all tornados, hail storms, and/or wind storms.

Rachel said...

I hope the water drains quickly off for you Cliff so you can get back to the work that needs to be done.

It rained here too, some real gully washers. I don't have my rain gauge out yet but I know we got a lot.

That sure is a big field that the tractor is sitting in!! I'd hate to have to ho...I mean HOE those rows!! (Yeah, I just came from reading JD's post!!) That JD!!!

LZ Blogger said...

Cliff ~ Better stop those rain dances! ~ jb///

John Goerzen said...

Sounds like you've got pretty much what we've had too. The good ole' plains monsoon season.

Hope things dry off soon.

In the lawn mower manufacturing business, we generally like rain. But too much rain keeps people off the lawns, which isn't good. We've had a number of places around the country with too much rain this year too.

Gette said...

Love that mud. Fed a lot of farmers that would have rather been in the fields yesterday. Several guys with Lester-type machine sheds lost them in our neighborhood. Seems if you leave the big doors open to the south, the wind gets right in and it acts like a big ol' kite!

JunieRose2005 said...

Our state really needs rain! Wish we had some of yours!

OK- This post of yours was 2 days ago...hope things are looking better by now!


Kendra Lynn said...

oooh. I hope it stops raining soon for you.
I know too much rain is not a good thing. Just like too much sun.
Let's hope for the best.


Bossy♥'s YOU said...

dang, that is a lot of water..hope she dries up soon..

I dont want you seeds floating away

Jamie Dawn said...

It is pouring, and I'm mean POURING rain here at this very moment. My pretty potted flowers on the outside stair steps are getting a real beating.

I sure hope things dry out for you really soon.
I know how important timing is when it comes to farming. Mother Nature just loves screwing things up for growers.
You need to plant some of them Money Trees.

gel said...

dear cliffers, the music man-
dang that ton of rain. sending sunshine your way.
sorry you haven't seen me. I've been holed up for 2 wks in flatter-than-a pancake Ohio, unexpectedly.
>>sending out DRY vibes for you.

Nurse GeL