Monday, August 2, 2010

Late July update from down on the farm

The past few weeks has found me finishing planting sunflowers after wheat and now keeping sprinkler irrigation systems running.

Sunflowers 1
Here is a field of sunflowers I planted in early July. I was surprised at how much they have grown the past few days.

Our early planted sunflowers in bloom. The blooms last for about a week and then the petals fall off as the seeds start developing. We will harvest them mid to late September. The seeds will go to a processing plant where oil will be extracted for a no to low trans fat cooking oil.

Grain Sorghum heading
The grain sorghum has pushed it's seed heads up. It seems early to me, but with nice rain and hot weather has sped up it's maturity. Grain Sorghum is a crop from Africa so it thrives on the hot weather and hot, humid nights that we're having now. Corn on the other hand thrives on cool nights.

Irrigation repair
This is not a sight that any farmer with irrigation wants to see when crops need irrigation. Lightning struck the electrical connections at the center and disassembly was required to get the replacement part in place. We then spent several hours the next couple of days diagnosing other problems with this system. It felt good to get it running right.

Watering soybeans
This was a great sight on a hot summer evening. After being out in the heat and the frustration of diagnosing an irrigation system that wasn't working it was refreshing to see this one putting water on soybeans. The soybeans are using just under a half inch of water a day, and we're applying 1 inches every 2 to 3 days.