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The Optimist Has Left the Building
Thursday 1st of September 2011 07:55 AM

By Kim L. Fritzemeier

KFRM Central Kansas Reporter

Farm Wife along the Stafford/Reno County Line

Even a died-in-the-wool optimist has to face facts at some point. Randy fought the good fight. He kept insisting that milo is a hearty crop. With a timely rain or two, we might still have a crop.

But the Drought of 2011 had different ideas. Today we are expected to surpass a record set back in 1936, when the thermometer met or topped the 100-degree mark 50 times. It took us 75 years to tie the record. Somehow I don't think anyone will have a party for breaking the record today. (Unless the beverage of our choice - rain water - could be served. Then we might throw a party.)

There are a few heads of milo that beat the odds and made a little grain. Compare this year's field ..

August 25, 2011

... with last year's crop.

August 10, 2010

I don't believe I'll be sharing pretty pictures of harvest like I did last year.

September 22, 2010

Instead, here's a lovely portrait of the birds' "calling cards" on the milo leaves. What little grain there was in the field has been picked over by birds with as much fervor as football players at an all-you-can-eat buffet. Even the birds are probably asking for a refund since this year's milo buffet is mighty slim pickings.

Just like those football players who leave all the dirty plates on the table, the birds left the hulls behind. (See the difference in the top of the head where the birds have eaten out the rust-colored grain.)

Since there probably isn't enough grain to harvest this fall, we will likely leave it in the field. After a freeze, Randy will graze cattle on the milo stalks. Doesn't a freeze sound good right about now?


   Respond to this Entry
Response 1
Saturday 3rd of September 2011 05:33:05 PM
Submitted by: Sam Oborny
Thanks for sharing the pics and story of the effects of this year's weather. We farm in Marion county; same story here, even have the optimistic husband like you.It has been a summer to leave behind, that's for sure. We are however, hosting a Bar-B-Q tomorrow; a "We Beat the Heat" party with our neighbors. I haven't decided if I'll cancel if the promised cool down doesn't arrive :). Keep the faith, this weather is only temporary and there's always next year!
Response 2
Monday 5th of September 2011 11:28:02 AM
Submitted by: Kim
I hope your We Beat the Heat party was a great success! It was such a pleasure to walk outside on this cool morning! We were visiting our daughter and son-in-law in Topeka after the K-State game. We ate outside on their deck for both dinner and supper. Quite a change! Thanks for taking time to comment! And you're right: There's always next year.

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