September Harvest Hinges on August Weather

Farmers have given the growing season an A grade so far. Now it is up to August to bring home a bumper crop. Tony blogs from the farm.


August Rains Can Assure a Bumper Crop
Here we are a week into August and the last month of meteorological summer (June, July, August) and the trend of wetter than normal conditions that persisted since May has been temporarily quelled.
Now while the first 6 days of the month are far from a proxy of what is to come, the dryness to start August has helped fields to recover from the late July downpours. At this point clearly farmers have their sights set on a very good harvest come September.
Just last week extension agents like Lyndal Harned of Boyd Ky, Hal Kean of Meigs Ohio and Rodney Wallbrown of Mason WV were in agreement that the summer wet and humid weather pattern has been beneficial for crops. The term “bumper crop” has been tossed around by some farmers recently “provided we get a downpour per week into September”, Hal told me. Added Rodney, “I will see you at the fair Tony and hope to report we are on target toward a great yield”.
Well on Monday night I did stop by the Mason Fair, but there were so many people that I could not find Rodney during my hour stay.
Still the drive up fairground road was lined with some of the tallest and most succulent corn I have seen in my 25 years at WSAZ. As the song from Oklahoma goes “the corn is as high as an elephant’s eye” this year in Mason County!
Still with kernel fill on-going, corn will need more rain to round out the crop. And more rain is what is to come! Starting Wednesday through Sunday, a daily double will be realized with a morning shower and afternoon thunderstorm likely to cross our region.
While it is impossible to state how much rain will fall at any one location the next several days, a computerized mean can be used to illustrate the likely amount of rain water to fall.
I am enclosing a chart that shows our region is in the middle of an estimated 2 to 4 inches of rain expected to fall in showers and thunderstorms as we complete the first full week of August.
Two inches would serve the corn well all but assuring a bumper crop for corn, soybeans and tobacco. On the other hand, four inches would likely make fields too wet for tractor work and could help to breed some late season mold formation. That could cut back on yield.
We will be tracking rain and storms consistently during the next 5 days.
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