It’s that time of year when the farming countryside is starting to burst with colour and our canola crop is making an explosion of yellow in the Almonte area.
With two fields of canola in full bloom at harshellfarm.com, we are proud to witness motorists, joggers, motorcyclists, and tractors slowing to take in the colour. Today I even heard the definite slowing of the engine in a small plane as it passed overhead and took in the view. A local photographer used the canola field, along the road, to take engagement photos for our nephew last week and this week she will be photographing her children in the field.
The corn is loving this heat after the much needed moisture and on days of heat and humidity you can almost hear the corn growing. The old saying was that good corn would be “knee high by the 1st of July” but, at the rate this year’s crop is growing it will be “shoulder high by the 1st of July”.
Our sunflowers are looking great but, have recently been hit with “cut worm” which literally eats the plant off at the ground, much like it was cut off with a knife. In yesterday’s high wind, we thought the plants were blowing over but, closer investigation showed the nasty cut worms at work. We are hoping that the cycle has already passed with only a small percentage of our crop lost. The neighbourhood is quite excited to see our ~7 acres once full bloom arrives.
We are keeping a close eye on the flax as we have not grown it before and are excited for the natural purple bouquet it will create on Martin Street North. The plants look like tiny little Christmas trees so far and they are about 12-18 “tall.
Soon the clover field will be a rich pink colour as the plants begin the process of producing their second crop of seed heads. In May, a local dairy farmer took the first cut of clover off the field to feed to his cows. Now we will let the field regrow and in September we will combine the field to harvest the clover seed.
Our spring grains are doing well and at present are beginning to “head out”. This means that the malting barley and the oats have seeds emerging from the tops of the lush green plants. One of our oat fields is a three variety plot and there are obvious differences in height, colour, and time of “heading”. The combine will tell us which variety yielded the best.
The winter wheat looks spectacular! On a day like yesterday, with the wind blowing the beautiful, long heads on the wheat, it’s almost hypnotic if you take a moment and just watch the field move in waves. We love growing hard red winter wheat for many reasons, but its beauty is right up there with its potential profitability.
Today our soybeans were being scouted by our agronomist. As we use no-till rather than conventional tillage practices, we have found the soybeans into last year’s corn stalks to be lagging a bit behind the soybeans into last year’s soybean trash. When we get our report, at the end of the day, Stephanie of Sullivan Agro, will advise as to what the population of soybeans is in each field. There is nothing we can do about population at this point in time but, knowing the yield potential helps us to decide how many metric tonnes of soybeans we need to find a market for this fall.
Now that the planting has been finished up for a few weeks, and the herbicide and fungicide applications are completed, we turn our attention to all of the other tasks necessary on the farm … cleaning up chemical jugs and seed bags to take to the depot that receives them, watching the fields for signs of pest damage, and most important, finding a little time to relax and take in the splendor of this wonderful work we do.
Thanks for reading our update and please take the time to have a look at the pictures of our crops on our website. There will be updates as colours change and crops continue to grow. Better still, take a drive along Martin Street North, at Almonte, and take in the beauty and the smells of the season.
We are a proud farming family and being surrounded by the love of our family and the beauty of our crops, while enjoying a bbq on the deck, is just about as perfect as life gets. We are blessed!