Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Crops Update #3

I've been learning a lot about crops around here as I drive around the valley and revisit about a dozen fields to see how they're growing (and see a lot of other fields too).  It's all about beautiful countryside, and it has been interesting to learn by stopping and looking more closely, and asking a few questions of farmer friends.  Sorry about all the photos; you can skim through pretty fast.  But if you want to see the comparisons of how these crops have been growing you need to return to Crops Update #2, and #1.

The corn is looking very healthy, 2-3 feet tall, and deep green.

The winter wheat is looking ready for harvest, but there has been some lodging damage from some of our heavy thunderstorms.

I think soybeans may be our most popular crop this year; I see bean fields everywhere. Most of them are looking good, but a few that got in late on wet soils are still pretty thin.

The canola, our prettiest crop, is blooming bright yellow.

And then there are those spring grains that I could not distinguish until now.  They all just looked like bright green grass.  Several of these have turned out to be barley fields like this one.  You can identify it now by the seeds and very long 'awns'.  And the fields look beautifully feathery.

Several others have turned out to be barley mixed with oats, which is called 'mixed grain' around here.  The barley are outlined against the sky here, with the separate grains of the oats in front.

These fields seem to vary a bit, because this one is dominantly oats, but there still is some barley in the mixture.

The one ripe barley field I found I've learned was probably planted in the fall, like winter wheat.  It would get a head start, go dormant over the winter, and come on strong in the spring.  Winter barley is unusual around here (though winter wheat is common), and this would explain why it's already ripe while all the other barley fields I've seen are still bright green.

 
I've found three of those unusual fields of peas and oats, a combination I've never knowingly seen before.  By now all three of these have been harvested as forage, a richer source of feed next winter than plain hay.  This is one I've talked to a couple of farmers about, since it was new to me. This was baled and wrapped in the white plastic to preserve it for the winter; it effectively 'pickles' the forage, and cattle like it better than dry forage.

Finally, today I found a single field of what must be spring wheat.  It's definitely a wheat crop, but still bright green, unlike all the golden winter wheat around.  I guess there isn't a lot of this planted around the valley.

Tomorrow, our mid-growing-season quizz to see you much you've learned!




13 comments:

  1. I love to see the fields when they reach their peak of green!

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  2. Hello, beautiful captures of the fields and crops. The corn in our neighborhood seems to be growing tall. Happy Thursday, enjoy your day!

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  3. Good to see you have different cereals and not the Bain of our lives Oil Seed Rape

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  4. Interesting to see the variety of crops as they progress through their season.

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  5. Beautiful crops! I did learn something, so I look forward to being quizzed. This isn't THAT many pictures, FG. This is a great idea for those of us who live in towns. :-)

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  6. Love all the crops in and around our area as well, some excellent photos again as always.

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  7. Thanks for the lesson F.G.! I might better distinguish the crop fields now. The one up at the church I posted a while ago, is barley then. See? I did learn something! :) I don't believe in Canola in the products we eat so other than the pretty fields it creates, I'd just as soon they didn't plant it. Now Olives for Olive Oil that would be a treat!

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  8. FG, I have really enjoyed these crop shots series...so glad you did them.

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  9. I love the golden wheat fields flowing in the breeze on a hot summer day soo pretty ! I dont see any mustard fields there we have them down here as well as all the others you have posted ,I guess it depends on the different soils between here and there to . Lovely photos and great info takes me back to my childhood farming days . Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !

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  10. Wonderful crop update. Such beautiful pictures.

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  11. Things do appear to be coming along nicely.

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  12. you achieved great depth of perception in these beautiful images. the first one is special!!! this was a great idea for a series of pictures!!

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