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Crop watch

By Staff | Nov 20, 2019

Remember when most of the weather doomsayers were predicting climates that were headed to hotter and drier in scope? Things seem to have changed, but it has been to being cooler and wetter. Years of a quiet sun are typically expected to be cooler and wetter, as cool air holds less moisture than does warm air. And if the atmosphere is contracting, the rainfall amounts are predicted to increase. Thus with 2018 going on the record as the wettest year on record for the Midwest, 2019 is headed to being even wetter. So welcome to a new world and what is the new normal.

Last week was one that kept telling us that winter type conditions may be arriving early. Many operators took the opportunity to finish with bean harvest, and just in time for some of them. Mixed in the challenge to get the corn harvested was the challenge to get enough LP to keep the dryers running. It sounds like the supply is adequate on the national scale but having it in the rights places and moving by the pipelines has been difficult due to the delayed harvest and wet grain.

On my last note about the weather the forecast for temps this week in the upper Midwest and across the eastern two thirds of the country for the next two weeks point to one of the earlier freeze-ups we have seen in recent decades. If single digit temperatures materialize for most of the nights the next two weeks getting hog pits emptied and ground tilled may have to be put on hold. We have to hope that it does not happen as emptying those pits in the fall and before the ground freezes is a necessity.

Entomology study findings

The annual Integrated Crop Management Conference is coming up in about two weeks. This is an annual two day sessions where extension specialists from Iowa State and a few outside institutions provide information on various topics to about a thousand attendees wanting the information and typically needing it for their biannual CEU requirements. There is much to learn from the presentations as well as from the fellow attendees who are typically willing to share their growing season’s experiences.

Fertilizer applications

The normal end of the growing season activities are to harvest the fields, store the grain and then use the semi-warm but sunny days to soil sample and prepare fertilizer recommendations to be applied to each field. Not this year. It was only in the last few days where the ground was dry enough is better drained fields to pull samples. Thus this could be another season where the normal two or four year sampling cycle may be interrupted. Soil test levels do increase or decrease much over a two year period so maintenance rates may have used plus the Bo, S, and Zn needed for the cropping sequence. Not adding those and allowing those minerals to drop into the deficit range could reduce the ROI on all other inputs.

Bug and plant interactions

I received an interesting piece of information about how honeybees and plants interact. What they have found is that when plants form flowers that open and contain nectar they put off an EM signal at 245 megahertz. The bees have a built in radar system with antennae that scan for that frequency. They head to those flowers and harvest the nectar. As soon as they suck the flower dry, within 45 seconds the flowers quit emitting the electronic signal which indicated to the bees that the flower is not a food source. This led to the following discussion and a phone call with John Kempf.

Bio Photonic and Electro Dynamic Bio Communication

How many of you have ever seen birds that were flying in formation or fish that were swimming in a school have a major problem with bumping into each other or falling out of the sky? How many of you have ever thought about it? Well some good thinkers, as in German physicists and several good plant scientists in this country. Those sorts of questions have opened up a new arena of science termed quantum biology. The leaders in this field have been Mae Wan Ho, a Chinese born scientist who lived in England, and Fritz Albert Popp. Mae was with our group over in Beijing and was a prolific author. Fritz was at a German University and has authored many books as well. Jerry Brunetti, a holistic dairy nutritionist from Pennsylvania, used to lecture about as well was in the same area of science.

What they contend, and their scientific work documents is that insects, cells, microbes and plants maintain a form of electronic communication where information is passed around for different purposes as a means to telegraphing needs and tales of enduring stress. Those signals are miniscule in nature and undetectable to beings that don’t have such sensory organs. But within the human body those cellular signals exist and we are unknowingly at their beckon. So I have a few books to read and digest this winter in all my free time.

Next week or so

Carol and I have both been working on something for a number of years that has great potential for people involved in growing crops and turf in different countries. There have been a few recent developments telling us it is time to release information about these advances. I will be doing this at a near date.

Meanwhile we need to make our way home from St. Louis on a snowy Monday morning. It was high time to visit kids and grandkids there.

Bob Streit is an independent crop consultant and columnist for Farm News. He can be reached at (515) 709-0143 or www.CentralIowaAg.com.

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