The guys tell me that our new flame weeder should be finished today! Be looking for a full blog post next week about the build, and the safety and efficiency improvements they built into the new unit.
Jonathan, Anna, and I returned from vacation late Saturday. We had only been gone for four days, but the crops had changed a lot in those four days. On Sunday afternoon, Jonathan and I took the Ranger out for a little crop tour.
We checked the sky before we left. Sunshine to the north, a few big clouds, but no rain.
We took the Polaris Ranger so we could drive through the ditches or on the edges of the fields a little easier. Ok. We took the Ranger because it’s fun!
We looked at the barley and field pea field first. Jonathan was hoping it would be ready to harvest on Monday. It was too wet, so only the edges have been combined. Next, we went to one of the corn fields that appeared in our flame weeding video.
Jonathan brought a tape measure out, so we measured a few stalks of corn. They measured 9 feet tall!
After we measured the height, we went looking for the baby ear. To find the ear, we looked near the base of a leaf, and near a joint in the stalk. You can see the the very top of the husks peeking out.
We peeled back the leaves to reveal the corn in its husk.
Next, we peeled back the husks to find the mini ear. You can see the silks and the tiny kernels.
Even at this early stage, you can see how many rows this cob of corn would have. There should be an even number of rows. This one had 16.
Even field corn tastes sweet at this stage. I prefer to eat sweet corn, though!
After our tour of the corn, we went over to one of the soybean fields. We selected a random plant, and checked it over for signs of soybean aphids, root health, and nitrogen nodules on the root system. Thankfully, all things looked really good. The soybeans are blossoming here, so we’re hoping for nice rains and moderate temperatures.
Our last stop was the wheat. It is a bit behind the barley & peas, so it won’t be ready to harvest for another week or two yet.
That semi dark cloud that was over the windmill? It started raining on us when we were about 1/2 mile from home. It rained just enough to get us wet, then the sun came back out. Figures!
Please check out my friend’s blogs. Dairy Carrie wrote about Corn Sex, and Brian Scott wrote about Corn Porn. Both are great at explaining how corn is pollinated. Give ’em a read, you won’t be disappointed!
A few people have been asking for a follow up from my Burn Baby Burn post. Here it is!
This photo is an overview of the corn field two days after the flame weeder went through. You can see how some areas are burned a little more than others. This photo was taken while standing on the side of the road.
This photo is nine days after the flame weeder went through. It is almost in the same area as the one above, but this one was taken from the window of the van. The mosquitoes are so bad right now, I didn’t want to get out. 🙂
I enlisted Jonathan’s help in taking the next few photos. We were on a parts run (farmer date), so he took the photos while I walked out into the corn. The field I’m standing in is the one we were flaming in the video (link above). It was about knee high nine days ago!
Here are two close ups of the corn leaves. You can see that there are still a few burned edges, but for the most part, the plants are nice and green again.
Last weekend, we had great corn growing weather. High temperatures, high humidity, and little wind. Some say that if you stand out in the field and listen, you can hear the corn grow on days like that. The corn is looking great. There were some broad leafed weeds that didn’t die, so our crew will be walking the fields this week to hoe those weeds out.
If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments section!
I rode along with Jonathan while he was flame weeding the corn. If the video doesn’t answer your questions, feel free to leave them in the comments!