We haven’t harvested in July before, this is a first! We started harvesting some earlier planted 6-row barley at the end of last week. We took off 70 acres to make sure all the equipment was working and so we could run some grain through the dryer to make sure everything was working with it as well. It was testing 16-21% moisture with a fair bit of immature seeds, so we left the rest and will be starting up again later today.
We have all our straight-cut headers here now and made sure everything was working good and functioning properly. Looking forward to trying them out, especially in canola, will be a good year to experiment and try new things. Their crop is maturing unevenly – areas that we’re able to tap into better subsoil moisture are still hanging on and are green yet, where areas that are higher elevation (hills) or sand runs are dead ripe. If we are straight cutting the barley it will have to all run through the dryer – to keep it in condition and take the moisture out of the immature seeds.
Lygus bug populations have been exploding the past week – some areas have populations that are above the economic threshold to spray. We have had lower levels of Lygus bugs the past 5 or 6 years, but nothing like this. They tend to like the heat, and the lack of rain has allowed their population to increase. So far we do not have any grasshoppers, but not too far south of us they are having to spray. In some areas closer to the USA border people have swarms of grasshoppers – those areas did get timely rains, and the grasshoppers are doing a lot of damage. It has been 20 years since we have had a grasshopper outbreak….they tend to have a 2 or 3-year cycle before disease and predator populations get them under control. The best control for grasshoppers is a cool and damp spring/summer.
Still no rain – it has been 7 weeks since we have had any kind of rain that was over 12mm. The longer-term forecast does seem to be changing – this week is still supposed to be low to mid 30’s, but by this weekend they are calling for cooler temperatures and increasing the chances of rain…go figure!
As it stands now there will be limited field work to be done, we will want to conserve as much moisture going into winter as we can. We will run the heavy harrow over the fields but likely not the Salford – unless we do get some higher rain totals…