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Oat harvest begins, but yields are down

Carl Dobias and Krista Podany

Krista Podany and Carl Dobias of Verdigre, Neb., stay busy with farm work and keeping up with grandkids. Podany will serve as Tri-State Neighbor crop watcher for northeastern Nebraska this year.

Hello from our little part of Bohemian Alps near Verdigre, Nebraska, where it’s been weather, weather and more weather – hot, dry, wind and rain. Such a variety.

The weather map shows we may get some moisture, or we are in it but sometimes we get nothing measurable. It saddens one's heart to watch a storm build only to pass you by.

I do appreciate and am very thankful for the rain we have gotten. We are a bit concerned if it will be enough for the crops to survive. The drought crack in the yard continues to get wider. The corn and beans are curling tighter to protect themselves.

We have seen several dry land fields, depending on the soil, look great around the edges while in the middle it has curled, dried up and fallen over. The severe heat is taking its toll on the irrigated as well. Nothing is as good as a good rain.

We’re seeing many fields of corn tasseling already, but it is not very tall. With the extreme heat in the next few days, decisions will need to be made as to how long the field can wait before it needs to be made into silage or something.

The list is growing daily of the farmers wanting to be put on the silage harvest chopping and bagging list. Now the trick is to find forage bags to purchase for a reasonable, affordable price. Maybe reasonable and affordable don't belong in the same sentence anymore. Of course, the price of fuel wants to climb as well. Tis the season.

We have begun harvesting. We made our first bag of oats for the season. With the acres, we should have filled a 300-foot bag, but it made a bit more than half.

The day we were harvesting this oat crop it was hotter than blazes. I could not wait for Carl to get my silage truck filled so I could drive down the road to catch some breeze.

The field was busy that day. The windrower was cutting the oats and the next tractor was inverting the rows together to make a row big enough to chop. Then the forage cutter and three trucks. Up the road a piece was where we dumped the loads into the bagger near the feed yard.

I could see the clouds building around us, and it was interesting to watch. Then it turned creepy swirly. When the rain and the windrows started moving, we called it quits. The nice rain slowed this process down until the next day and we finished.

Traveling home we could see signs that the rain and wind were ahead of us. When we arrived home, the power was out again. We made a call to our trusty NCCPD power company and with a few repairs we were back on, the freezers running and the cow waters refilling.

The second cutting of alfalfa is almost done. The crop was short and made considerably fewer bales this time around. We always scatter rake the fields at the end, pushing out another bale or two.

The irrigated potato fields are growing well. It sure makes the fields pretty to see a full field of blooms

The container garden has been interesting and fun so far. Major excitement came with the first two red ripe tomatoes being picked and delightfully eaten. Now we’re patiently waiting on the next ones. A watched pot never boils, and tomatoes don't ripen while I watch either. Nothing beats the taste of a garden ripened tomatoes.

I’m lining up a few canning jars and lids, hoping for a nice harvest from the garden. Growing sweet potatoes for the first time, I’m anxious to see what we will get.

My new flower garden is taking a beating in the sun and then it blooms despite it all. God is good. I have a hollyhock that is not even 12 inches tall with three blooms on it, and my beloved smiling sunflowers are beginning to bloom.

These cool mornings are nice and easily enjoyed. The chickens agree. They start in early, digging the dirt for a cool spot spend the day. While they nap, they best be dreaming of delivering eggs soon. The chicken flock seems to love that the fat mulberries fall in the pen, and the cows enjoy the shade of those mulberry trees as well.

A branch fell on the electric fence and a few young calves came up to check out the yard. Poor Nikki the dog was beside herself knowing they were in the wrong place, she kept them together until we found them and got them in. She was so patient.

There has been lots of fog the past few evenings and early mornings. I’m marking the calendar, just to see.

Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting. We are so blessed to be living our dream of a good country life. With the days being longer and we work longer hours. We pray you keep yourself safe and always watch for the equipment on the roads in the weirdest places and over every little hill. Smiles and Gods blessings to all.

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