Columbus and York, Neb.

Summer is turning typical after so many unusual scenarios in ag production and farm life. The crops for the most part look fantastic. The corn is uniform in tasseling and the area soybean growth is good. It is interesting how crops catch up with each other so to speak.

Columbus had rain total of 1-1.5 inches over the last two weeks. Precipitation amounts vary mile to mile. The York farm has had over 6 inches the last two weeks. That is certainly not the norm for July. Again, irrigation input savings. Roy has been running pivots on his corn.

Producers have been able to work some of the fields that were under water or too wet the end of May. They are doing prevent planting of various forages. Depends what is available as there is no supply of certain millet and forage sorghum varieties.

On our road trips, dry land and irrigated crops look good. Except for bare spots, one would never realize the difficult planting season. Due to the nature of the land, a half inch of rain will leave standing water in some of these bare spots.

Roy was able to bale grass hay last week. The quality varied depending if it was flooded or not.

Standing water deteriorated the quality and yield.

It finally has been dry enough to clean some of the cattle pens. A neighbor put the waste in wheat stubble. There is still a lot to haul, but it is a start.

The weather has been “livestock friendly” after the days of high temperatures. I mentioned before we have square shades. There is a significant difference in ground temperature in shaded ground verses the sunny areas. Well worth having them for cattle comfort. Helps them stay on feed during heat spells. Roy shipped a pen of fed cattle last week. He sells to JBS Swift in Grand Island, Neb. Yields were good.

I helped with our CommonGround booth at the Lincoln Electric System Sustainability Festival July 27. Lots of conversations on sustainable farming practices. Reminder that science, technology, management and ingenuity have increased food production 70-90 percent over the last 50 years while using less resources. Each farmer feeds over 155 people worldwide.

Point 5 of the USDA Sustainability in Agriculture definition — “To improve quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.” This is us.

Local cash basis: cattle, $113-$114; ADM corn, +.20; Richland corn, -.12; Richland soybeans, -1.02. — Karol Swan