Rain – Or The Lack Of

The WeatherBug icon on my computer tells me about the weather.  So far for the first 14 days of July, we have had .12″ of rain.  Add that to the .87″ we got in June and in the last 44 days we have had less than an inch of rain.

Driving to and from Piqua, OH and Celina, OH, we go by, mostly, farm fields.  Corn & soybeans.  The corn has been showing signs of heat stress and lack-of-water stress for several weeks.  Nothing is dying, turning brown, as such, but this stress affects the pollination of the ears of corn.  Most corn fields have tasseled.  Some of the fields that have not tasseled have very short corn plants and uneven growth.  Some plants are much taller than others.

What this means is that when the corn is harvested, maybe only 1/4 to 1/3 of the kernels will have been pollinated and filled out.

Soybeans are another matter.  Soybean plants produce pods with either 2 or 3 beans in a pod, the number of beans depending on the variety of bean plant.  The taller the plant, the more branches.  The more branches, the more pods.  In a normal year a soybean plant is about waist high on a person that is 6′ tall.  Lack of rain at the right time means that the bean plants will be shorter, with a commensurate lower yield.

As I said before, food prices will jump up.

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