Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Just When I Think I'm Starting to Get This. . .

. . . I really still have no idea.

I started this post yesterday. It was to be the feel good blog post of the year. Something along the lines of "Harvest is nearly here! The crops look great!" I even had a catchy, and also kitschy, title: As the Beans Turn. Cute, huh?? You know, like As the World Turns? However, like a real soap opera plot line, my happy, oblivious ramblings have a taken a tragic turn, and now are cyberspace garbage.

While today did give me a glimpse of fall weather. . .thank you for allowing me to wear JEANS. . . it is not necessarily all systems go for harvest as of yet. The beans are changing color out my kitchen window, which should be a sign of the times. However, Joe mentioned that it might not necessarily be the glory of bean maturation that is causing this tinge .. . maybe sudden death.

Sudden WHAT????

Yes, sudden death. According to North Carolina State University's website (sorry, Illinois. . .yours was not the first site on Google), "sudden death syndrome (SDS) is the common name for a root-rot of soybean caused by the fungus Fusarium solani f.sp. glycine." Holy smokes! That does not sound good. Here's hoping that this will not hit us.

And I thought that all I really had to worry about was the weather.

Seriously, this farming gig is really starting to work at my nerves. Just when I think I have some things figured out, I don't. What farm wife wouldn't think that a beautiful field of beans with a tinge of yellow would signify the upcoming harvest season? Wouldn't mums in the grocery store parking lot signal life is good, go make yourself a s'more?

Not necessarily. Another red flag that my happy harvest posting would be met with furrowed farmer brows was an article in Farmweek. While my girls and I were enjoying the extreme heat in July and August at the pool, the corn plants were experiencing tip-back, which is where kernel development ended at the tip of the ear. Seriously? I thought summer was supposed to be hot, and that was good for crops, in moderate amounts. I know from our power bill that we have used our air conditioning a lot, but didn't realize that this heat would affect the way the corn kernels developed. Huh.

I guess I have a lot to learn still.

My hope is that even though the outlook is rather pessimistic, harvest will come and things will be good. Crop yields will be surprisingly great. The combine will be in the field for weeks at a time before a rain out, and Joe will be able to come with us as we trick-or-treat.

Yeah, right.

I may not know a lot about sudden death or tip back, but I do know that in this farming business, life is not that predictable.


  1. Emily - our mutual BFF Kara K. sent me to your page recently and I have to tell you I LOVE it (well, besides the fact that your hubby drives "green" family is partial to "red"). My family is a farm family from Kansas and I now live in Washington. I have to tell you that your posts make me LOL when you talk about the unpredictability of farm life. Honestly, it brings back lots of memories for me and what my mom and dad would talk/argue about. Being a farmers wife is tough and I applaud you for writing about the way the life of a farmer really is!!!

  2. love this! and yes, trick-or-treating with the family would be awesome! let's keep hoping! thanks for the insight - makes me feel a little more normal! :)