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Offline Dotch

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Re: Fencelines
« Reply #780 on: July 30, 2020, 10:30:58 AM »
 :banghead: :banghead: :taz: :swords:

Glad you find it interesting. Coming from a furloughed union thug, I suppose I have to take it.  :rotflmao:

There are perhaps between 20 - 30 individuals like myself scattered across the state. We are independent consultants with varying backgrounds however. We're not tied to a seed, chemical or fertilizer supplier or supported by a govt. agency. Farmers or other individuals hire us to provide unbiased technical services and data for them. I haven't seen everything but I've seen a lot. I've been working in crop management for 39 seasons between MN & ND; 36 of it has been as an independent consultant and 3 years working retail fertilizer, feed, seed & chemical in MN as well. Not bad experience to have because it gives one an understanding of that side of the industry as well.

I've expanded my reach to a more national and international level too. In two weeks it'll make 17 years of participating on the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour. I've been able to see a lot of the eastern corn belt and become friends with a lot of folks not only in the US but from all over the world. It's been very interesting to see & hear about what goes on other than just in our own backyard.

As Extension budgets have been increasingly slashed, I also find myself answering a lot of questions over the course of a year from individuals about yard and garden weeds, insects and diseases. Tracking down someone in Extension to answer a question has become more and more difficult. It's much easier to dump it on my desk and leave a note. I have in a sense become Hank Kimball, sans the govt. funding.  :doah:       
Time itself is bought and sold, the spreading fear of growing old contains a thousand foolish games that we play. (Neil Young)

Online glenn57

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Re: Fencelines
« Reply #781 on: July 30, 2020, 10:39:54 AM »
 :happy1: :happy1: :rotflmao: thanks dotch......... very interesting.
2015 deer slayer!!!!!!!!!!

Offline mike89

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Re: Fencelines
« Reply #782 on: July 30, 2020, 11:19:50 AM »
:happy1: :happy1: :rotflmao: thanks dotch......... very interesting.

2nd that!!
a bad day of fishing is still better than a good day at work!!

Offline LPS

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Re: Fencelines
« Reply #783 on: July 30, 2020, 06:59:17 PM »
Good for you Dotch.  That sounds great and you have done well Pilgrim! 

Online glenn57

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Re: Fencelines
« Reply #784 on: July 30, 2020, 07:36:00 PM »
Good for you Dotch.  That sounds great and you have done well Pilgrim!
:tut:. Now don't tell him stuff like that. :confused: it'll go to his head. :rotflmao:
2015 deer slayer!!!!!!!!!!

Offline Dotch

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Re: Fencelines
« Reply #785 on: August 04, 2020, 01:49:18 PM »
It's the politics of contraband
It's the smuggler's blues

After a moderately successful forecast, the scurs and their Weather Eye will hone in on this week. Will our September temps continue or does summer return? Starting Wednesday, mostly sunny with a good chance of evening showers. Highs in the mid-70’s and lows in the low 60’s. Thursday, partly sunny with a modest chance of rain. Highs in the upper 70’s with lows in the low 60’s. Partly sunny Friday with a modest chance of rain. Highs in the low 80’s with lows in the mid-60’s. Saturday, partly sunny with a modest chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid-80’s with lows in the upper 60’s. Partly sunny on Sunday with a modest chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid-80’s with lows in the mid-60’s. Monday, sunny becoming cloudy with a fair chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid-80’s with lows in the low 60’s. Partly cloudy for Tuesday with highs in the low 80’s with lows in the mid-60’s. On August 6th the sun sets at 8:30 p.m. CDT as we’re losing daylight at about 2 ½ minutes per day. The normal high for August 10th is 81 and the normal low is 60. The scurs will be dialing their alarm clock back as a result of the lessening daylight. Got too much sleep said no one ever.
 
Mother Nature put the brakes on this past week with very mid-September like temperatures. That’s OK. There’s plenty of time and we’ve been playing with the lead. Much of the corn has reached the dough stage and would make those prime roasting ears as they used to say. Many of the soybeans have progressed into the early R5 stage. Flowering in many fields has ceased and this should make it more difficult for white mold to get going. The heat in July and lengthy periods of drier weather didn’t hurt the cause either. Soybean aphids are present and while they bear watching, making a blanket statement that they are on the increase in every field would be a scare tactic. It applies to some fields and not to others.
 
Some followed the old “toss it in with the fungicide” insecticide routine and rumblings from these fields are that aphid numbers are increasing. No surprise there. Knock out the beneficial insect populations and prevent beneficial fungi from developing. Soybean aphid populations respond accordingly. Also not surprisingly in areas where this wasn’t done, there is a subtle presence of beneficial insects on the increase including multi-colored Asian ladybeetles, lacewings, syrphid flies and minute pirate bugs. One of the latter was drilling its piercing-sucking mouthparts into my arm while I was driving the other day. Amazing how a tiny insect with a noticeable bite can get your attention in a hurry. Later that day I saw one in action, taking out aphids on a soybean leaf. My eyes weren’t deceiving me.

Just as it has for the crops, the cooler weather has slowed our later planted garden progress. The cucumber vines expanded during the warm weather although there aren’t many setting yet. The heirloom Tendergreen string beans from Betsy’s Dad did come through though. That first meal is always the best. The four o’clocks are starting to bloom just in time for what appears to be an increase in hummingbird activity. The cannas too are just about to flower, the red spike inflorescences ready to burst open with the next warm day. The morning glories continue skyward up the electric pole in the middle of the yard. Each year one wonders if they’ll ever make it the way they start out. The zucchinis? I’ve never heard anyone admit they had a zucchini crop failure, unless of course it was self-inflicted.

We may be starting our lambing season early again if indications are correct. With the cooler temps we’ve been noticing ewes sparring in the mornings. This is usually a good sign they’re coming in heat, something that happens about every 14 – 16 days. If what we saw comes to fruiting it would put lambs on the ground sometime around the end of December to early January. In the meantime the sheep come on a dead run the instant something is tossed over the fence, knowing it’s most likely edible. I know people like that.
 
Sunday saw the potential for another cruise for the car club as the weather looked extremely favorable. Clear Lake IA was our destination. Arrangements were made and invitations were sent out. The week prior I’d helped coordinate procurement of some parts through an Owatonna implement dealership for my brother in IA. As luck would have it the parts arrived in Owatonna Friday making a weekend hookup a possibility. A made only in MN delicacy of bovine origin also became part of the equation. My great uncle was a bootlegger so I felt up to the task.

The cruise was largely uneventful. Relaxing actually to escape the political climate of MN. No masks required or checkpoints and Mrs. Cheviot riding shotgun as we crossed the border I had a positive feeling. With the Silver Hawk gliding along the smooth two lane roads in third gear overdrive, it made for pleasant cruising. Likewise when we’d slow down for a town, running in second gear overdrive was about the right speed for those patented Iowa 25 mph speed zones. Once to Clear Lake and The Other Place we were well accommodated as they opened up their outdoor seating area for us. With 14 cars and 25 people wanting to be seated together, that’s not always an easy task. While there the drop went down undetected in the parking lot: A skidsteer muffler and three lbs. of Hope Creamery butter changed hands. Contraband safely making its destination across state lines in a Studebaker. Who’d a thunk it? Maybe I should buy a plane…
 
See you next week…real good then.       
Time itself is bought and sold, the spreading fear of growing old contains a thousand foolish games that we play. (Neil Young)

Offline Dotch

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Re: Fencelines
« Reply #786 on: August 11, 2020, 11:12:22 AM »
Everybody knows this is nowhere

The scurs and the Weather Eye got the rain right again. Is summer back on for August or do we take another sneak peek at September? Starting Wednesday, mostly sunny with a fair chance of evening showers. Highs in the low 80’s with lows in the mid-60’s. Thursday, mostly cloudy with a modest chance of rain. Highs in the low 80’s with lows in the mid-60’s. Partly sunny Friday with a fair chance of evening rain. Highs in the low 80’s with lows in the upper 60’s. Saturday, mostly sunny with a modest chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the low 80’s with lows in the low 60’s. Mostly sunny on Sunday with highs in the mid-70’s and lows in the upper 50’s. Monday, sunny becoming cloudy with highs in the mid-70’s and lows in the mid-50’s. Mostly sunny for Tuesday with highs in the low 70’s and lows in the low 60’s. On August 15th we’re back under 14 hours of daylight for the first time since April 26th. The normal high for August 15th is 81 and the normal low is 60. The scurs know all too well it’ll only get worse until after Christmas. Time to build up those reserves for winter.

Crops continue to make good progress although the cooler temperatures did slow it down a tad. That’s not all bad. With our rainfall tending to come in bunches with extended periods between rains, conserving the moisture doesn’t hurt. Some of the early planted, early maturing corn hybrids were starting to exhibit some dimpled kernels this past week. At full dent, it takes roughly a month for corn to reach physiological maturity. Likewise early planted 1.5 – 1.8 maturity soybeans were rounding the corner on R5 last week with perhaps a week to go until they reach R6 when the seed fills the pod cavity entirely. Soybean aphids, while becoming easier to find, are likely to pose the biggest threat to the later maturing, later planted soybeans and in particular those replanted after the June hailstorm event.

I’m leaving on the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour on Saturday. The weather events of August 10th have flattened corn across much of IA, IL and IN. While we received some hail in the early hours on the 10th and more about mid-morning, the damage it caused pales by comparison to what was evident on social media across the border to our south. While it would’ve been better had we not experienced the windstorm event here that goose-necked a lot of our corn pre-tassel, at least it had some opportunity to stand back up. Much of the corn pictured on social media from IA is flat, much of it with a month to six weeks to go until maturity. Some of it is snapped off entirely which will decrease yields right off the bat. That which isn’t snapped is flat and will stay that way. Harvesting it will make what we have to deal with presently look like a cake walk.
 
Meanwhile, back at the ranch we continue to see our late planted garden slowly but surely come online. The first cucumbers we’ve produced in several years made their way into the house Monday. Many more are on their way. Recent rains and warmer temps will expedite the process. String beans have been producing well and the rain will suit them just fine as well. The cherry and grape tomatoes have been productive enough to satisfy our tomato fix for a while. That first BLT may not come until September however. Even the zucchinis have gotten into the act. Not sure how many we’ll actually eat but hey, the sheep love them! We’ve been fortunate to have plenty of sweet corn from local sources too. Between the cobs and husks the sheep are living the dream.
 
They’re also the beneficiaries of the numerous ground fall apples and now pears at the ranch. This is the first year they’ve been exposed to the pears so it’s interesting to see what they do with them. The ram in the pasture at home seemed to take a shine to them right away. However, once his harem moved off to the pasture he felt obligated to follow them. When I checked the offerings I’d tossed over the fence the next day, there were a few of both the apples and pears left. There aren’t nearly as many pears as apples but there’s no doubt there will be ground fall apples for them to eat for several months.

We continue to see orioles although we know full well that after the first week in September all bets are off at our feeders. Several I’ve talked to indicate they’ve seen no orioles for quite some time so they stopped feeding them. Not us. For a while we were seeing primarily young orioles. Whether they were locals or travelling through was anyone’s guess. Then on Sunday morning we saw the first fully colored Baltimore male we’ve seen in a long time. He apparently liked something enough to stick around on Monday. The jelly feeders had run dry so he helped himself to the nectar feeder with no complaints. He’s got lots of company. The hummingbirds had staked a claim to it earlier so they had to use the other nectar feeder. They also have the option to feed on petunias, salvia, morning glories, four o’clocks and the cannas that flower increasingly daily. No one goes hungry at the ranch.

Speaking of that, Auntie Mar Mar’s visit Saturday night was long overdue. We dined and laughed most of the evening. She blessed us with a large container of sugar cookies and a fresh baked pan of blueberry coffee cake. Paired with Hope Creamery butter it’s to die for. She also brought fireworks. Since we couldn’t get together over the 4th we shot them off out in the yard. We’re out in the middle of nowhere so it’s no big deal. As long as no one was killed or maimed in the process was the main thing. There might have even been a couple adult beverages consumed somewhere along the way. When the dust settled it was well past 1 a.m. and way past bedtime for old geezers. After cleaning up some of the aftermath the next day I took the best nap since Gov. Walz started doing those daily COVID briefings. I figured they must serve some useful purpose.

See you next week...real good then.

https://t.co/XGGubYYMf2        
Time itself is bought and sold, the spreading fear of growing old contains a thousand foolish games that we play. (Neil Young)