View from the Cab: Wonder of Weather
By: Kent Casson
Weather is something you either love or hate and we have loved it the past few weeks in farm country.
You cannot ask for much better conditions than we experienced around here in late October and early November. During a time of year when temperatures are often in the 40s, we saw readings top out in the mid-70s. This allowed for plenty of fall fieldwork such as chiseling, anhydrous ammonia and fertilizer applications and mowing down the ditches one final time.
The entire harvest season was actually great from a weather standpoint. We had very few rain delays and barely had a break for a month straight! Many farmers were tired after all of the long hours out in the field but at least the corn and soybeans were harvested in a timely manner unlike recent years. In fact, it is hard to remember a year where everything came out of the field in about a month’s time.
Field fires were the only drawback to the nice weather stretch during October. Conditions became too dry and strong winds helped ignite machinery and crop fires. Thankfully a cooler and slightly wetter pattern moved in late in the season to put an end to this. It isn’t very often you hear about “red flag” and “fire hazards” here in Illinois issued by the National Weather Service.
It seems as though we deserve the decent weather this fall after all we went through early in the season. Some of us got in the field in late March or early April but then it turned wet and cold which impacted emergence in certain locations. We planted one corn field north of Pontiac in early May and about four inches of rain fell on it just two days later. This led to many drowned-out spots and reduced yields at harvest.
Many are wondering what the winter has in store for us. I heard a few forecasters discussing the possibility of wet conditions through December but there really hasn’t been any certainty on temperature forecasts. Some of you may be rooting for a mild winter but farmers hope we get some good deep freezes to get that ground in shape and properly kill any pests which may be lingering in the soil.
We have enjoyed the nice weather during the past week to wrap-up the outside fall chores as things could change quickly here in November – they always do.