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Michael Fields Agricultural Institute logo
At the intersection of food, soil, climate, farming and water.

April showers bring May showers, June showers, and July showers….

Wow! What a wet and rainy spring we had and what a wet and rainy summer we are having. The rain in May brought us many planting delays. Just as it was nearly dry enough to get into the field, it would rain yet again. The month of June brought us at least 6.75 inches (17.15 cm) of rain and hail! Thankfully due to our late planting date, the corn was able to grow out of the hail damage. We scrambled to check on our wheat fields and they bounced back as well. At the time of this writing, it is only July 10th and we have had 4.5 inches (11.43 cm) of rain and more hail this month. Compare this to July 2016, where we accumulated 0.25 inches (0.66 cm) for the entire month! Again, we scrambled to check on our wheat fields and they have survived. With growing degree dates (GDD) frequently in the 20s, and winds that accompany the rain, some corn varieties are toppling over. The earliest of the varieties have tasseled, silked, and are beginning pollen shed. And, of course the weeds are loving the weather on this organic farm! Looking at the weather forecast for the upcoming week, we have chances of rain nearly every day. With standing water in the fields and rain clouds in the sky, what’s a farmer to do?

After this was written we received another 5.6 inches (14.22 cm) of rain, with more on the way.