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CLAYTON RYE

By Staff | Jun 21, 2013

Verses and stories from the Old Testament like to start and then contradict a thought in the same or possibly in the next sentence.

For example, we have frequently heard how “the last shall be first” or how “the poor shall be rich.”

It seems to me this planting season is worthy of a place in the New Testament by saying, “Because the crop is in the bag, it is not in the bag.”

How is that for saying yes and no in the same sentence?

Normally, to say something is “in the bag” is a good thing. It means it is a sure thing, a done deal.

But not this year.

I had hopes of seeing the final acres of our corn planted until last week when it would rain one day, skip a day, then rain the next day. Those last unplanted 25 percent of the corn acres never had a chance.

We took prevented planting on those acres.

It was intense around here for about five days in mid- May when corn planting got underway after waiting for things to dry from the rain and a what, a May snow storm?

After those five days, we have been sitting still ever since.

Nobody I have talked to remembers any planting season like this one. The people who keep weather records say to find comparable years to this one they look at 1947 (the year of my birth) and 1935-1936, which they say were disasters as crop years.

That does not give me any comfort when I wonder about what the rest of the year will be.

Well, at least they have not gone back to Old Testament plagues. Yet.

The most recent disaster in my memory was 1993, the year it would not stop raining, never really got very warm, and then we got an early frost. I am not sure anything went right that year, crop wise.

That was the year my wife and I were married so I cannot say the year was a total disaster.

That early frost stopped corn development which was already behind and not only did we have a small crop, it had a very poor test weight of around maybe 50 pounds. It was poor in both quantity and quality.

We ran an entire bin of corn through a screener to sort out the fines so we could sell it.

The previous years of 1991 and 1992 were almost as bad, but 1993 showed how bad a bad year can be.

I like setting records, but not these kinds of records.

Seeing this year’s unplanted acres and collecting on crop insurance goes against my grain (nice pun, huh?).

So, this crop year is not in the bag, because much of it is still in the bag, where it will stay until next spring.

And if I see a gray, long-haired man wearing a long flowing robe, who looks like Charlton Heston, pointing his walking stick in my direction, I am going to get real worried.

For more details, read the Old Testament.

Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at crye@wctatel.net.

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