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Frequent Contributor

Re: Seems like 88!

Extremely bad memories of 1988, but still a good life lesson, crop insurance should be a great help this year. I cannot avoid thinking farming every available inch maybe an issue. When man becomes too vain our merciful and benificial Lord can notice. Thou shall not put false gods before me.


@Hobbyfarmer wrote:

88: 80 bu corn on the bottoms and 25 on the hill ground. many had less.

 

Dad was picking with a two row ear picker at his place and the story was he put a hog in the wagon in the morning and change hogs at dinner time.


 

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Honored Advisor

Re: Seems like 88!

Hobby, that's untopable.
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Contributor

Re: Seems like 88!

I was 19 that year.

67 bushel corn

29 bushel beans

very little COC

good heavy ground on most acres in NE Iowa.

lots of spider mites in the beans (had never heard of those before that year)

thought we were harvesting popcorn instead of field corn

remember people being scared about aflatoxin (had nver heard of that before that year either)

still doing a lot of tillage back then which probably didn't help as it dried the soils out excessively unlike the reduced tillage today

July was brutal that year in Iowa

rode my bicycle on Ragbrai that year

every day that week was over 100 degrees!

cattle tanks and flooded ditches felt great all along the trip route!

I'd rid real early and sit in the water in the next town all afternoon

 

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Seems like 88!

JR, I think you need to take a trip back home to MI. We got a little rain yesterday which was a MUCH needed blessing, about two tenths, so at least the corn has unrolled some. We are still around 7 inches below normal rainfall for May and June.... I can vaguely remember 88. My grandfathers corn went 25 bu and his beans went 10 bu. Hopefully we do not see a repeat.

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Seems like 88!

 Black I know what drought is and you do to. In fact my son and Mom had to go back to Mi. last weekend to our old farm, had some business to look after. they stopped of in BC. Yea the corn is hurtin but it ain't 88.

 

Besides down in your neck of the woods just about every year is a drought on the sand.


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Veteran Advisor

Re: Seems like 88!

There is some sandy ground here but most of what we farm is pretty decent for Branch county. Rain has fallen fairly steady North of US 12. South of US 12 gets to be pretty barren. I heard Ft Wayne is the driest they have been since records have been kept. Some in this area are even checking records only to find that it rained more in May and June of 1988 than May and June of 2012. Its been an odd drought. Its still somewhat early, the crop is still alive and could make decent yields but at the same time we are close to losing the crop all together. I have a friend that farms in Hillsdale county that took a load of hay to Shipshewana IN and got $350 a ton for a pickup load of hay..... Apparently that's good? Im hoping things turn around, I just bought a combine a while back and would like to use it. So far I have held back when it comes to buying heads until we get some measurable rains. Never meant that you didn't know what a drought was JR.... Just think farming in Iowa is spoiling ya these daysSmiley Very Happy

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Contributor

Re: Seems like 88!

Good one that is funny . 88 did s__k though.

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Contributor

Re: Seems like 88!

Blacksand I do not want to disagree but we got two tenths of an inch this week north of 12 so that brings our total up to 9/10s of rain since may 4th. Surprisingly most of my crops look pretty good considering.
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Veteran Advisor

Re: Seems like 88!

Idleriver we have received 2 inches of rain for the months of May and June. May 6th was where we got most of the rain with 1 inch... The rest has been scattered between 1 or 2 tenths on different days which don't amount to much when it never reaches the roots. Most of my crops don't look bad but they are very thirsty.. Some beans have died in the sandy spots in the field and the corn which is on my heaviest ground is rolling during the day.... And some at night. I talked to my friend who sold hay last week at work today. He said he got $310 a ton for that hay. I told JR he had gotten $350 for it. For some reason I thought he said he got $350.... Anyway the highest bid at the Shipshewana hay auction was $325 a ton.

 

For all of us in the "pocket of death" i.e. extreme southern Michigan, Indiana and western Ohio. Our crop is on life support and in bad need of significant rain. The next couple weeks will determine if the crop insurance man pulls the plug on it or not haha!

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Seems like 88!

Blacksand,

3 years ago, I sold some older hay, weathered and sunbleached for $50 a ton, and 'decent' hay for $80

2 years ago, I sold some 'decent' leftover hay for $120 a ton

Last year, we only sold 30 bales to our most loyal buyer, grass hay, not the best but no noxious weeds (had a few sunflowers and a little fireweed but we got it cut before it bloomed) for $150 which included delivery, and that is all the hay we felt we had 'extra'.

'decent' alfalfa was bringing $150--$160 a ton, and 'very good' was bringing $180.

This spring, first cutting alfalfa was bringing $180-220 in the field, so yes, $300 a ton, is high priced hay.


If it doesn't rain, there will be no such thing as second cutting on dryland alfalfa.  Ours was cut 2 weeks ago, and we might get one bale off of our best 20 acre field, there are only spots here and there in the bottoms where you can even see any 'green' color to it.

Our neighbor, who hauled cows out early because it was warm early, and said the grass will grow as soon as it starts raining, has the hilltops turning brown, and the grass grazed down to look like a putting green, with some thistles standing here and there being the only thing 'green' you can see.  As dry as it is, with fire index in the danger category, I doubt there is enough of anytihg there left to keep a fire lit.  To say I'm glad we kept our cows home until the normal pasture date, is an understatement.  I just turned them out on the 2nd of a 4 paddock pasture.  Even without rain, I have 2 1/2 months left, minimum.  Theirs is done in a month without rain.

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