Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Seasons on Grey County Farms

Much of the landscape around the Beaver Valley consists of farm fields, and there are definite signs of the season changing on the farms.  The grain harvest of wheat, mixed grain and barley is almost complete now; all that's left in the way of crops is the corn and soybeans.  These are actually the largest two crops in Grey County by acreage, apart from hay which dominates it all.

Corn is probably the most important cash crop, as well as important cattle feed, as Grey County has a lot of cattle farms.  In this field the farmer has chosen to plant a border of barley, which will make it easier to access the rows of corn with the combine when the time comes.

We tend to forget that corn, like all other plants, has flowers.  The tassels at the top are simply the male flowers, generating the pollen.

And the female flowers become the corn cobs once every kernel is fertilized by pollen from the corn tassels. A lot of pollen has to connect to generate a field of ripe corn!

And this year there's been more corn planted than usual, because of the high price.  And growth has been good over the summer with lots of rain.  In fact my grass, which usually turns brown by late July, is still fully green and growing!  A lot of farmers will be watching the price and hoping for a bumper crop.

The soybeans are turning too.  These are an oilseed crop, and they turn from green to yellow to orangy-brown as they ripen, ready for harvest.  Most fields are still half green, but the turning colour of the soybeans is one sign of early fall around here.

And on the slopes where moisture or nutrient stress might be a little higher, the colour has turned further, leaving it about the brightest colour in the landscape at the moment.  Tomorrow - the final hay harvest.

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  1. Lovely rural shots. I like the look of a corn field in late summer.

  2. How beautiful to see your productive fields. We had fresh local corn last night - yummy!

  3. Interesting post and beautiful photos. I live in the country also and see the same crops around the fields here. In fact, there's a field of soybeans up the hill behind our house. Our lawns are really green too and we're still mowing at least once a week.

  4. Love seeing your photos.. Such a beautiful area. The wispy clouds in the first couple of shots are terrific... We are having a very hot week for us... It's hotter than it has been all summer --since we've had a mild and rainy summer (til now)... We are also seeing some signs of Fall around here.

    Thanks for sharing.

  5. I love these pictures of the fields, but my eye was also caught by the beautiful skies! :-)

  6. In many ways we do seem to be experiencing an early fall here too. It makes me wonder what the winter will bring.

  7. what is that stuff they grow in rows of mounds under black fabric screens along Rt 3 in S Ontario?

    1. They grow ginseng on sandy soils like in Norfolk County, under fabric canopies high enough you could walk under them. It takes several years for the root to grow to harvestable size. Ginseng has replaced tobacco for some farmers.

  8. Lovely photos of the corn, and I've learned a little something about the crops, too. !

  9. Cornfields as far as the eye can see are always a beautiful sight to behold! I'm glad your area's crops were plentiful this year!