Monday, July 18, 2016

This Year's Crops

I've been noticing this year's crops as I drive around the valley these days and to my eyes, they're looking pretty good.  We had a good few weeks during May and early June to let farmers get all the crops in, and just enough rain to keep them doing well.  Although I don't write about them often, they dominate the rural landscape here at this time of year.

The first crop that will get harvested is the wheat.  Harvest has already started further south in Ontario, but not here yet.  The wheat is looking golden brown and almost ready though.

Wheat is much more dominant as a crop on the prairies, but it still ranks #3 in Ontario.  It's usually grown here in a rotation with corn, soybeans and sometimes barley.

This is one of those fields of barley blowing in the gentle breeze.  With those long tassels, even the gentlest wind blows across barley fields like waves.

 And this field is mixed grain, consisting of barley and oats mixed together, usually grown for cattle feed.  You can see the two distinctively different types of grain here.

The barley has those noticeable long tassels, (or what are correctly called 'awns' if you want to know the botany, common to all grasses).  These are what give a barley field that wavy appearance.

Oats are very different, with separate grains clearly visible in a quite open seed head.  They also have a bluish tinge to them, making the whole field look slightly blue.

Soybeans and corn are the two big cash crops in Ontario; these are the soybeans.  They're frost sensitive, so they're one of the last crops planted here, and won't be harvested until well into fall.

And the last big cash crop is corn, here looking green and healthy.  Even though it grows nearly 8' tall, it's still a grass species, and has to tassel to get fertilized, forming the corn cob.

I've sort of ignored the widespread hay crop, which is actually Grey County's biggest crop by acres.  The first cut of hay is long since done, though the big round bales are still sitting in some fields.

So that's your update on crops here around the valley for now.

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  1. I love driving in farm country and seeing all the crops. You got some great pics!

  2. I especially like the close-ups of the crops. Great information and photos!

  3. Great post, a very productive looking valley! :-)

  4. Just this week I noticed the corn is ready for picking in our area. Fields are totally brown.

  5. Thats lovely, almost like it was in Sweden :)

  6. I remember landing in a field of corn, once long ago when I didn't know how to fly my parachute very well. I landed between the rows, it was August, and I had corn cobs stuck in my parachute when I went to pack it up! Nice fields of different plants. They are looking very healthy indeed. :-)

  7. Very interesting information about the crops. A lot of farmers here in Mississippi rotate wheat, soybeans, and cotton. And fresh hay bales in the fields are common sights here now.
    Have a great week!

  8. That golden wheat field is beautiful.

  9. I love looking out at the fields.
    You've captured it well. : ) I just love looking at a field of rolled hay!!

  10. The fields look in good shape. The farm across the road from where I grew up grew corn on their fields, so I was used to seeing the rows really grow high by season's end.

  11. Love the open fields and farms all around here too so peaceful and so encouraging to see the crops doping well.

  12. Only hay in my neighbourhood, but I see lots of other grain grass crops and soybeans on the drive to my friends. Everything was slow getting going due to lack of rain in our part of the Ottawa Valley, but it all looks good now.

  13. Great farmland areas around you..... They DO look so healthy....There is a lot of farming around us also --which I don't pay as much attention to as I probably should... I do enjoy going to the Farmer's Market here and getting fresh tomatoes and corn-on-the-cob.... YUM...

    I didn't comment much --but I really enjoyed reading about your latest trip... WOW!!!