The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

The Wisdom Of Barnyard Bruke: "Swallows Again, Crop Watch'n, Cattle Country"

Greetings ta ever one in western Illinois and all readers of The Quill.

Here we are now, within one week of September.

It shore seems as though August just got started and now with children in school and the month almost over.

Swallows Again.

I mentioned last week of the swallows leave'n their nests in my barn. I was surprised to find a new mudd swallow nest on my front porch.

What do ya know but three little swallows hatched out in that nest over the weekend. Mother swallow is busy feeding them with plenty of bugs that can be easily found this time of year.

It is fun sitt'n on the rocker out there and watch'n their activity. My presence doesn't seem to bother any of em much as they go about their routine of meet'n the need to feed.

Somehow them young'ns know when their mother is come'n before she is even in sight. Each one immediately opens their mouths wide and reach upward out of the nest.

Momma knows exactly which mouth to plug with the bug she has found. I'm a hope'n its more than her share of mosquitoes.

I decided to fire up the box mower and chip some weeds that were grow'n tall and do'n well with all the rain we've had this summer. In the process bugs take to the air.

Before ya know it, in a whip snitch, I was surrounded by 15 or 20 swallows. Each one bravely dive bombing near the tractor to catch them activated bugs.

They were wonderful to watch, as always. They are very acrobatic and didn't seem to be afraid of the tractor.

I'm glad to have them birds around and won't miss the bugs they ate one bit.

Crop Watch'n.

There is a lot of talk these days about how big the crop is that we are a grow'n. Kinda like count'n your chicken before they hatch.

I've got a friend who flies so I decided to ask a favor of him for a trip to the skies fer a look see how its a do'n fer myself. Some fields looked good, however, I saw a large number of fields of corn with considerable amounts of yellow'n.

Some of that yellow'n seemed to be from ponding and too much rain with, in a probability, not enough subsurface drainage tile to pull the excess moisture away.

Those systems were particularly noticeable on hillsides that had seepage and on the leveler fields where ponding occurred from no place ta go with all the water.

There were several fields that you could easily see the operator that applied nitrogen needed a little more practice. The pattern of yellow'n left little doubt about what had happened in those instances.

You can easily spot the fields that had weed problems. One field I noticed had more horseweed in it, taller'n the corn. Not much hope for good yields in those fields.

A lot of wind damage could be noticed from the airplane. Those that had it, had it bad. They had better get their reels out fer their corn heads. Harvest'n down corn is no fun and hard on equipment and nerves.

Sudden Death Syndrome showed up in a lot of soybean fields. It is often referred to as "SDS." It has the appearance of yellow'n and as the symptoms progress, browning appears. Ultimately leaves will fall off leave'n only the petioles.

Certain conditions need to take place fer the fusarium pathogens to develop: A susceptible host plant, a virulent pathogen, and a favorable environment.

The cooler weather, wet soils, early planted fields, compact'n issues and poor drainage all foster SDS.

Variety selection can help to prevent the problem but is not fail safe. Most seed companies have ratings for SDS.

One corn field I noticed had a bovine (cow or bull) in it. That type activity doesn't help yields much either.

Cattle Country.

One thing I easily noticed from the air was the large number of cow herds observed. Lots of timber around these parts and lots of cow herds.

One might also surmise that we are a cow capitol or close to it. No cow man likes to get a late night call this time of year inform'n him he has cattle out either on the road or in a corn field.

It's a worse feeling than hear'n your favorite politician lost his election.

Neighbors shore come in nice when its time to herd them cattle out of a corn field.

Some of the critters can be mighty stubborn when it comes to cooperate'n in gett'n back in the pasture where they belong.

Once they get a good taste of that luscious corn this time of year they hesitate go'n back to the bluegrass pasture.

It's kinda like those who get their first taste of sweet corn at the begin'n of the season.

For those who really like sweet corn on the ear smothered in butter and properly salted it would be a hard sell to price it to them from the can.

Well that's it fer this week's column. Hope to see you in church this week.

Wherever ya is, whatever ya be a do'n "BE A GOOD ONE!"

Keep on Smile'n

Catch Ya Later