Sept. 25: Iâ€™ve been office bound for the past two weeks, giving aid and comfort to my wife who is recovering from having a titanium right shoulder installed to match the left one she had put in last year about this time.
Sheâ€™s doing well, thank you.
We were both happy to get out and about last weekend and make a little jaunt up to Kansas City for my nephewâ€™s wedding reception. The wedding was last May somewhere in the Bahamas, so this was the first time I got to meet the bride. I approve.
But, being the quintessential company man, I couldnâ€™t turn my mind off Farm Press matters for long so I took note of the scenery on our drive through North Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. Interstate 35 runs through quite a bit of farm country between here and Kansas City.
It had been several weeks since I had driven through much of anything except Dallas area traffic so I was a bit surprised at the changes a fortnight can make. It has rained. Pastures have greened up considerably. Wheat seedlings are poking through the soil, stock tanks are beginning to accumulate little puddles of water.
I still saw some sorry-looking cotton and fields of corn that had been either harvested with insurance strips left standing. A few soybean fields looked as if they would produce no more than a few bushels per acre but some promised decent yields. I noticed the farther north we drove, the better the cropland seemed. I saw one small cotton field in southern Kansas that looked like bale-per-acre cotton. It was short but seemed to have weathered the summer fairly well.
Kansas farmers also look to make pretty decent soybean, corn and grain sorghum yields. A few soybean fields looked to be hard hit by drought but more seemed to be holding up well. A few had been cut, some were standing golden in the fall sunshine, waiting for a combine. And, closer to Kansas City, fields remained green and weeks away from maturity.
Now, this is in no way an official crop report. Bear in mind that these observations include only a fraction of the farm land in three states and were made at approximately 75 miles an hour from I-35.
The point is conditions seem better than they did three weeks ago. And thatâ€™s not to say, either, that the long drought is over. Itâ€™s not. We need a lot more rain and for an extended period of time to make up for all the moisture weâ€™ve missed for the past 18 months.
But it was good to see cattle munching on green grass and to notice cropland that promised more than an insurance check.