PPR Paul Orr

Paul Orr of Orr Farms in North Platte, Midwest Messenger Producer Progress Reporter

North Platte, Nebraska

The dry spell has continued. We flooded the alfalfa fields as soon as first cutting was up. Actually, July 6 we started baling the second cutting and we will finish mowing the last field.

The pivots have been running consistently on the corn and soybeans. We are just finishing up the first irrigation on the gravity irrigated fields. I cut the irrigated grass early so that we could irrigate it right away. Our irrigated pasture in the valley will also be getting some water soon.

This growing season is completely different from last year. Last year it was cool. We barely made the 90s. We got light rains all through the summer. This year is hot. This year is dry. The ability to irrigate is a blessing. We have been putting more work into the crops this year, but then again last was almost like having the year off.

We could have gotten by last year without irrigation. We do have a few dryland pivot corners that are planted to corn. The corn under the pivot is probably reaching waist high, but the corn on the corners looks like it might not make it. A rain in the next couple of weeks would save us.

We saw a welcome jump in the price of corn. I think the national estimate for acres planted turned out a little high. Well, it went up about 20 cents in the last week. Our hired hand, Robin, has started hauling corn. The ethanol plant was closed for a time but apparently they got a contract to produce alcohol to be used in hand sanitizer. So when you use that stuff, you might be using Nebraska corn.

Other than that, the calves are really putting on pounds up in the hills. They are quite a bit ahead of last year. I just can't believe how good they look. But I always have liked to look at a bunch of cows out grazing in the pasture.

I fixed up a 1964 International Harvester pickup back in high school. And I just happened to find out from a guy at church about the 31st National Red Power Round Up. It's going to be in Huron, South Dakota this year on the weekend of Aug. 8. I have always wanted to take my International on a long trip, but I never have. It has never left the state. So I just might point it north and head for the show. – Paul Orr