06 July 2012

The drought continues...

Temperatures are still hitting 104-105 degrees.  That was bearable a couple of weeks ago when it began.  Then, the relative humidity was around 25-35 percent.  Now, the humidity is creeping back up to typical Midwestern standards, that is to say, around 80 percent give or take 10 percent.  At those humidity levels, it really becomes 'air you can wear'.  We are hoping that the forecast of 85 degree temps holds true.  With that 'cold snap' (a twenty degree drop in the temp) comes a whopping 40 percent chance of rain!!  Come one, rain!

I'm attaching a couple of photos showing the sorry corn crop in our area.  This is corn that should be about seven feet tall, already pollinated with good ears showing.  Instead, it ranges from knee high to shoulder high, trying to tassle--with little success, and already beginning to dry, as if it's time for harvest.


The three shots above show the dismal corn crop in our area.
  Another photo shows a farmer cutting his losses, and his corn crop, and chopping silage.  Another tidbit of information I've learned is that under federal law, the first 5 billion or so bushels of corn must be used to make ethanol.  This comes as a result of the Renewable Fuel Standard, a law passed in 2005.  That law required our country to produce 7.5 billion gallons of renewable fuel by this year.  The standard was changed in 2007 to gradually increase the requirement to 36 billion gallons by the year 2022.  That spells higher costs for hog and cattle producers and higher costs for the average consumer.  Since the law went into effect, corn prices have tripled.  It will be interesting to see how this harvest season goes.

Another couple of pictures I'm including today are of low-tech solar clothes dryers.  These high-flying clotheslines are located a few miles from our place.  The idea is that the large pulley near the pole allows the user to hoist the wet clothes up, out of the way, out of the dust, and up where the air will circulate better.  This type of line is not uncommon in our area.  You can see them every here and there.

These two photos show low-tech solar clothes dryers at work.

Pray for rain, please!

1 comment:

  1. here in northeast mississippi, not far from tupelo and along the natchez trace and the tombigbee park, we have high temps and high humidity..it is worse than wearing the air- step outside and take a deep breath and you will drown. thankfully, we are beginning to get some rain but the heat is still taking its toll with the steam that is being produced. this evening we had storms and power outages..spent the time in the gardens staking my tobacco and sunflower plants. the storms we have been having have been the kind with high wind and then embedded rain for several hours then the heat sets back in without a breeze...