Thursday, August 2, 2012

From the Field to the Movie Theater: August Popcorn Update

What a summer it has been so far! This has been one of our driest summers in a long time. I don't think many ever thought that the summer of 2012 would end up being like this. Many farmers all across the United States were expecting a bumper crop this year up until the drought developed. Many of the acres planted to corn or soybeans have been lost due to the dry conditions, which has lead the USDA to lower its yields of those different crops.

Here in South Central Nebraska, we haven't received any rain at all. It has been completely dry where all of our farms are located. Most of the dryland corn has burned up, but so far the irrigated corn looks like it could still yield well. Dryland soybeans still have a chance to yield well if we can catch a rain within the next week, and the irrigated soybeans are doing really good so far.

Unfortunately, our popcorn crop has been in the same boat as our other crops, however, we are very fortunate to have irrigation, which has helped tremendously. In my opinion, our popcorn crop looks very good considering the dry and warm weather we have experienced throughout the month of July. A good portion of July saw temperatures reach into triple digits. When temperatures get that warm, it can affect the pollination process, which could reduce the amount of kernels that develop. Luckily, when our popcorn started to pollinate, the temperatures ended up in the upper 80's to lower 90's. Yet, even with cooler temperatures, we have had to run our pivot almost continuously to keep the popcorn plants watered, as corn plants use a lot of water during the pollination process.

Below are pictures of what the popcorn field and plants look like. It wont be too long before we see a combine out in the field harvesting it!

Places that don't get watered look like this. Unfortunately, the pivot misses this spot. Lots of cornfields around our area that aren't irrigated look like this.

The popcorn kernels have developed. These are what you will eventually find in your bag of popcorn after they have been harvested, cleaned, and packaged.

Every popcorn plant produces at least one ear of corn, however, some plants may produce up to two ears per plant.

When walking out in the corn fields,  a person almost feels as if they are in the Amazon as it looks like a jungle.

The corn plants are almost 10 ft. tall.

The rows of popcorn!!
To read previous popcorn updates, click here!

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