Friday, June 24, 2022


Farmers and gardeners are always looking at the weather, our dirt and crops.

While driving around my area-of-operation I noticed two things. One is the number of fields with corn and bean plants less than six inches tall. The local farmers were very late getting their seeds in the ground on some of their fields.

The other thing I noticed is that some of the taller corn, 10"-to-12" tall was looking a little bit droughty. The leaves were not rolled and waxy looking but you could tell it was thinking about it.

So, I decided to look at the soil moisture drought indexes.

This is the soil moisture measured at 20 cm (8"). Full grown corn can mine moisture from much deeper in the soil but young corn can only pull it from the first foot or so of soil.

Area outlined in red approximates the Corn Belt. Yes, it is getting a little bit dry in my area.

This is an experimental soil moisture monitor that is closer to real-time. Rather than compiling actual soil moisture measurements (which takes time and is a lagging indicator) it takes the existing soil moisture measurements and makes adjustments based on air temperature and humidity readings.

Almost none of the Corn Belt looks to be in good shape for moisture.

Farmers and gardeners. We do like to worry.

Bonus pictures

Skorospelka quince with some fruit. The young fruit is ghostly white. I think the fire-blight strikes initiate at the blossoms. Erwinia amylovora just loves to reproduce in nectar and quince blooms (deeper into fire-blight season later than virtually every other pome fruit.

Gold Rush apple
Close up of some fruit


  1. At least as a gardener I do, ERJ. That said, I try to assess things on the ground year to year. To do otherwise is to lose all historical perspective in a rush of doom.

  2. Winter wheat was good here in So KY but it looks like corn and hay will be taking a hit. It's been roughly 10 years since we had a hot, dry summer here so I guess we are overdue. This will spill over into the cattle operations here as well.

  3. Winter wheat harvest was normally excellent here in the Buckeye . Much more beans this year and a lot less corn planted .My new Kia Rio 5door was getting a whopping average of 55+ mpg's including a thousand mile trip to visit the Cherokee kinfolk in Tennessee at 70+ mph until Slo Joes 15% mandate kicked in locally and then mpg's went down to around 44 . 20+ % loss of mileage with a notable loss of high end power . Thanks Joe .

  4. Coming back from the city yesterday I saw a guy out with a drone doing field surveys south of town. Not sure what he was looking for, maybe just testing the rig out. We just finished 2-1/2" rain over 2 days. Nice amount and the cattle will be fat and happy on the lush grass and the grain will come on now like a fury. Good thing as we have had a shortage of quality hay for a couple years now.

  5. We're falling back into the drought down here in Texas... dammit...

  6. As a gardener in New England over several years I know I'll have a lack of rainfall in the July-Early September timeframe. Thus I store rainwater off my roof whenever I can and thus help keep the well safe. Lots of mulch, ollah watering and I do pretty well with my reserve of water.

    Trying to talk my beloved into a pond.

  7. There ya go, Joe. Rain just started. Maybe we’ll get a good soaking overnight.