The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Greetings to ever one in western Illinois and surround'n communities.
I'm a hope'n all youn's was enjoy'n the milder weather we had us these past few days. Maybe before this column comes out it'll be warmer again, let's hope not, but we'll take what we gets. After all, school days are upon us and I reckon we should expect more warmer weather.
For those of youn's whose fruit trees were not hit hard by last springs frost, maybe ya is enjoy'n the "fruits" of your labor. Plums and peaches is gett'n about ripe around these parts.
It's been some sort of hard year fer the family orchard. First was frost which clipped the blossoms of many a folks trees this season. Commercial orchards say the damage was widespread and will severely limit supplies and up the cost of fruit this go around.
Then comes them blasted Japanese beetles. They attached what fruit survived the frost and made a good run at defoliate'n many a fruit tree.
I noticed malathion did a good job of kill'n them beetles until the temperature got above 90 degrees. From that temperature and warmer it only seemed to give them bugs a good drink. I found out later, any temperature above 90 or so degrees renders malathion less effective on Japanese beetles.
Now I'm a wonder'n if'n the fruit is safe to eat after spray'n the trees so many times. Well, I'm told it is safe and not to worry about the earlier season applications I made.
After the beetles came, the raccoons did a frontal attack on my fruit. They cleaned out my apricots and their weight broke over limbs render'n the tree a goofy sorrowful look.
Of course, the drought didn't help much but I was able to address that situation by water'n em ever other day. What fruit is now come'n along after the coons and beetles has taken their toll, looks pretty good.
At this time, I've got a good crop of apples, plums and peaches with the plums and peaches just right fer eat'n off the tree MMM.... Them coons and beetles shore knew what was good.
Could I have bought fruit from the store or orchard any cheaper? Of course I could and they would be just as good or better'n what I'm a raise'n maybe. But it wouldn't be near as much fun.
Besides, gett'n out in the middle of the night, with only ones skivy's on, to blast a coon off a broken limb with that buggers mouth full of apricots, is an experience all to itself. Them coons, fed lead poison'n from a double barrel shotgun, was not around to raid the sweet corn patch and it left a few less varmints to raid the nests of the quail and pheasants.
There is strategy to this method of varmint hunt'n. Normally once a coon catches sight of ya he's off to the woods in a whip snitch. But, if'n ya is in your skivy's hold'n a double barrel shotgun, that coon seems to pause ever so briefly-wide eyed and fuzzy tailed. You've only got a short instant to get him whilst he stares back at ya with a puzzled look. He's never seen a predator undressed quite like that and if'n ya waits to put on your'n clothes properly, he'll be gone into the darkness to come back another time. Ya can't do this if'n ya lives in town fer there's a 911 number your'n neighbors will use on ya. But out here in the wilderness it works most ever time.
These is the times of seed plot tours. Oft times ya gets yourself a decent meal and some sound information. Fer example, the last seed plot tour I indulged in I learned about all the bad characteristics of the sponsors competition. I also learned if'n I had only planted more of the seed tour sponsor's corn, I'd be at feel'n pretty good right now, unless of course I used one of their bad numbers, which we were told still did better than the best of the competition. I also learned that the drought affected the competitions product much worse fer a feller than in the seed companies plot I was a tour'n.
Thank goodness fer I reckon that was the reason they was able to put on such a fine spread of a meal. It probably had noth'in to do with the $300+ price tag on each bag of seed corn, last spring they boldly charged fer be'n drought resistant!
One bit of bad news I learned was that in all probability the Japanese beetles will be much worse next season as told by the grubs found in the ground now. That is not an enjoyable prospect. But, be'n fore warned is fore armed. I'm make'n plans now for a better sprayer, one of them electric type rather than the hand pump style. I developed enough muscles fer an experienced feller a pump'n this season. Notice, I didn't say old feller!
Do ya realize next week the Old Threshers Reunion over to Mt. Pleasant will be go'n on? I always look forward to that show. It brings back fond memories of old, and enables folk to fellowship and exchange tall yarns. It reminds me summer is about over and plans had better be well along fer gather'n up the new crop and have'n your'n machinery ready.
And of course, next week also has the Farm Progress Show at Boone, Iowa a go'n on. I'm enterested in see'n how them huge new magnificent machines operate whilst harvest'n half a crop or so. Maybe Boone had more rain, I don't know, but if'n they had rain like us this summer the machines fer harvest'n won't be taxed much in display'n their abilities.
If'n the soil is hard panned dry, like around here abouts, it'll be enterest'n to watch the performance of the tillage machinery. I spect they won't be used enough to show the extra wear caused by grit hard dry soil.
They'll be lots of giveaways at the progress show, both merchandise and information. It'll be enterest'n to see the drought performance on side by side seed trials and measure them agin'st the rhetoric on paper.
And of course, the end of next week ushers in Labor Day. We know summer work is a draw'n to a close with its arrival. Time to gather in that last cutt'n of hay and finish up summer jobs along with fall machinery repairs.
Some folks has started cutt'n silage already and others are a finish'n up already with that job. Ya sees a few are a cutt'n the stalks high to guard agin nitrate poison'n from the drought. Others are just plann'n on hold'n off a spell before feed'n their silage to give the nitrates a chance to work off the silage.
Federal crop estimates on the corn fer silage has been told of from 4 bpa to 100 bpa.
A farmer friend of mine in deep Southeastern Illinois (Gallatin County) has harvested 700 acres corn already. It is testing 17% to 19% moisture. His yields on the good black sods are averaging 160, 195, 200, and 211 bpa. Aflotoxin is not a problem yet. The good yields are on the early planted best ground.
Lighter ground has yielded estimates of 1 to 7 bpa. 500 acres were appraised by federal crop insurance at 8 t 10 bpa.
They had very little rain down there with lots of typical southern Illinois heat.
Some fellers have combined some corn already around these parts of our area and I've heard early yields reported from 60 bpa to 100 bpa. Hopefully them fields is the worst yields harvested first. But, a feller won't know fer sure till he opens up a field or two and gathers in the results. Some aflotoxin is be'n found, but only scattered at this time. Hopefully that malady will mostly miss us.
Have a good week a come'n up and be the best ya can at what ever ya is gonna be a do'n.
Remember, life is Good! If'n, that is, ya will only allow it. Whatever and where ever ya are, be a good one.
Hope to see ya in church this week.
Keep on Smile'n
Catch ya later