September will bring a welcome change around the farm. Summer crops are still in full production but with Labor Day here we start getting into all the fall items such as squash, pumpkins, gourds and other fall ornamental crops. As we take crops off the field we are also planning for next year and seeding down cover crops for the winter. So far this past summer we have seeded 140 acres of turnip radishes that we will let over winter and till up next spring. The turnip radishes were planted after we have harvested the sweet corn. What the turnip radishes do is store nitrogen for next springs use and they break up the hard pan that has developed from compaction this past year. Another important factor that the turnip radishes do is cover the ground from wind erosion over the winter months and lastly provide wildlife habitat for the deer and pheasants.
We try to do everything right around here as far as being a steward of the land. We wouldn’t have lasted five generations if we hadn’t, but we continue to strive to be leaders in our industry and taking care of the land is a top priority.
As the dry weather continues we continue to irrigate our fields to obtain maximum yield potential. Any crop that is on non-irrigated ground is starting to show a lot of stress and we are at the mercy of the heavens. It would be nice to get a shower to keep these crops from withering and maturing too early. With little rain the fall crops do not size up to their potential but it does keep the powdery mildew at bay and makes for a longer storing crop. There is always two sides to the issue and we ride with whichever hand is dealt to us. The pumpkin crop is looking fairly decent along with the hard squashes. Start looking for these items in the stores soon and happy harvest.