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Drought

loneranger

Well-Known Member
Talk about food plots. My yard has become one!! My plots,,even clover are all dried up to nothing. I have been watering my yard daily to keep everything alive. My grass and wild clover are green. Probably only succulent greens for miles. Deer are invading my yard every evening. Coming right up to the house! Never have done this before. they are after the Green. My yard is a food plot!
 

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
Nature has a way of making things drought-proof. At least to some extent... go into ur timber - I bet it’s still lush green, full of browse.
Get that Dbltree cereal mix in and just wait for rain. Broadcast or drill.
Hope the weather turns around.
 

nwhawk

Member
Planted our plots the last week of July due to an Alaska fishing trip the 2nd week of August. Went down Monday thankfully to check things out and the plots looked awful. Worst they've ever looked no questions asked. We are batting 1-6 this year (one brassica plot looks 90%) so did what I had time for Monday and the rest will be replanted Saturday. GEtting awfully late but hopefully we catch that slim chance of rain next week after the replant....
 

loneranger

Well-Known Member
No sorry,,, here in the Timber it is dry and shriveled. Fields are brown. Even golden rod looks bad. trees dropping leaves. forecast for first half of Sept is not looking favorable for a change. Bad news Loneranger? Ah,,just the facts man,just the facts.
 

loneranger

Well-Known Member
No sense in planting anything until a good wet pattern is seen. Otherwise a small rain,,even an inch on my place would just germ things only to die out again. when DRY returns...could be a LONG time until a wet pattern.
 

loneranger

Well-Known Member
SE Iowa. We for the most part, avoided by some luck the dry until August. Unlike those poor souls in Western Iowa. Even so with almost no rain for August and lots of wind and sun my land has dried right down to cracking open. Seems like this pattern is persistent as it takes in more area. Hopefully something changes,,but the forecast sure doesn't look like it.
 

Farm boy

Member
Here in Michigan scary dry also . 5.8" since we finished planting crops end of may. Lastest rain came on August 10th at 2".
 

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
Just saying it how it is.... this drought is not bad. This is a lil mini drought that “sucks for new plots” & the last filling yields of crops. These droughts are extremely common. Unfortunately. If u own land & do plots.... plan on dealing with this at least 5 of 10 years at some point. This doesn’t include the years you will have TOO MUCH WATER.
What can you do??? NO TILL, BUILD ORGANIC MATTER (happy to explain how in more depth). Cover crops. Also- plant things like alfalfa which once established is drought-proof. Or early planted corn Or other crops that will canopy over in summer - on decent to good soils, etc etc. Create or foster new natural browse in the timber. The next drought after this one.... I have no idea when... but it’s never far off. Do what you can to prepare.
 

loneranger

Well-Known Member
Hey good advice,,but MY area has dealt with drought about every year during Summer at least for the past 5 years. One year was dry for 8 months with extremely low pond levels all around. Extremes in Weather are becoming more and more common. You may be able to do all those nifty things if you have equipment or can afford to hire work done. If you are small,,with a little Rotto tiller you cant do too much. Got news for you, the West Central drought has been going on for Months.. Very bad there. Not a big deal. You can hunt without artificial food to attract. Done for years long ago. This may not be just a little Mini drought. No one knows. Especially not the Weather Models, or "Experts".
 

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
You may be able to do all those nifty things if you have equipment or can afford to hire work done. If you are small,,with a little Rotto tiller".
This is one area that it’s incredibly hard to change the minds or processes that have done a certain way for years. Not picking on u or anyone- heck - a lot of farmers slowly changing their ways. In very short specific summary..... rotary tilling & deep tillage: 1) rapidly removes the moisture out of the soil. It also allows it to quickly evaporate on those rains followed by heat. 2) it breaks down the soil structure & infiltration of rain. 3) destroys the ecology of soil: beneficial bacteria are killed, beneficial fungus, Ideal earthworm habitat, etc. 4) releases large amounts of weed seed & stimulates weed growth with Nitrogen being released. 5) precious organic matter rich top soil eroding & leaving the farm. On & on Not knocking u. Just speaking In general. Tillage in a drought prone area is one of the 1st things a guy can change. Don’t need fancy equipment. Cheap equipment works fine. Sprayer & even a hand seeder. Sure- a old junker drill or something. Or - a neighbor who could be hired for no till with a basic drill. Lot of ways to do this. But- fighting drought is going to start with reducing tillage, variety & times of plantings & building of water holding organic matter.
 

Hardwood11

It is going to be a good fall!
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Western IA is very dry, we need rain. That being said the corn is incredible, bean were chest high. I expect beans to take a minor hit with the dry stretch, but the corn should be great, and it did not get flattened by the Derecho (which is huge).
 
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scottonbuck

Well-Known Member
Timbers are lush and green and moisture can be found in the timbers in my area SE Iowa, get out in the open and its bone dry. Clover plots are looking good but are showing a little stress with this heat, biggest thing i changed on clover was not mow it too short thru out the summer when we had lots of moisture. Brassicas are 8" tall bottom plot looks great, plot on top of a ridge is looking a little stressed but managing. Lots of organic matter on bottom plots and getting it built up on the ridgeline plots, very important to have in order to hold moisture.
 

loneranger

Well-Known Member
For those concerned about the dryness,,and not to be the downer,,negetive, bad news all the time,person. Here is the latest Iowa forecast. this week one chance for rain. Most is expected to fall south and east of Iowa. Cool dry air for the most part. Lots of cold fronts have passed Iowa over August, and except for the Derecho, all have been dry,,Mostly. No widespread rain,,which is odd. Same expected this week into the weekend. following week of Sept, A strong NW flow, which means well below Avg temps, but this usually also means little to NO precip. I know,,the bad news, wet blanket, always downer LoneRanger again. Hope the NWS is wrong...All I can say...
 

hillrunner

PMA Member
We're dry, fall plots may fail. More importantly though, we had decent early moisture and most crops in my area will do pretty well.
 
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