The Heat is On.
I remember this song from Glen Frey, I had to look it up. The video starts with the close-up of a fan, exactly what we have been using for the last month. It was on the soundtrack of Beverly Hills Cop with Eddie Murphy. What a great movie!
It took some time for the warm weather to start but now that it is here, it has not stopped. Maize and soya love it. Heat/rain/heat/rain/heat/rain…Maize is 11 feet high and cross pollination has started; it happens when pollen from one plant lands on the silks of another plant. Corn silk is the long, thread-like strands of plant material that grow underneath the husk of a fresh ear of corn. It is the female portion of corn reproduction while the tassel, you see on the top of each plant, is the male. The silk catches the pollen released from the tassels. Corn is a monoecious plant, meaning it produce separate male and female flower on the same plant.
After 4 years, I learned the details of corn pollination this year! It is the same whether it is cow corn or sweet corn. We grow both, the sweet corn is not for sale, just for the enjoyment of employees, family, and friend.
I like watching corn grow. It can grow almost a foot in one day, from morning to night! Sometimes in the evening my partner tells me to listen because we can hear the corn grow… and we can!! The movement of the leaves can be heard. The roots are complex; it is a fibrous system that captures limited and unevenly distributed water and nutrient resources from soil, allocating them to the energy-delivering, aboveground parts of the plant.
It was very windy in the province last week, having two tornados, one in Central Québec where the corn flattened in some field because of the wind. But corn is strong and within 2 days it was back up building stronger roots. Nowadays farmers use drones to look at their field from the sky, we do too. It is easier and you can see the whole field without going in. Within a couple of minutes, you can see how the field is doing and adjust work accordingly.
Very rarely maize in my region, Lac St-Jean, is growing at the same rate as in the South. But this year we are at the same level of growth because we were able to go into our fields earlier than the farmers in the South, they had so much rain they could not go in without damaging the soil.
We will only know when we harvest if the protein level in the maize is good enough for the cows who can eat everything from the corn kernels to the corn stalks. The adaptability of the bovine digestive system helps, us farmers be more sustainable by using every part of the plant. It is also an excellent energy source. Meanwhile it is a pleasure looking at it grow.
July is my favorite summer month on the farm. After the first and second hay cuts are done, its machinery maintenance time, getting ready for harvest, and yes, even vacation for a couple of days!
Hopefully, everyone can take a few days off this month. Let’s hope for great weather for farmers across Canada as they work tirelessly on these long summer days.
Have a great rest of your summer!
A consistent consumer of Canadian products (food, clothing, furniture, etc.), Isabelle Bouchard is a city girl now living in the countryside on a dairy and crop farm in Lac Saint-Jean, Québec.
Self-employed since 2019, she was previously employed by great Canadian companies and the Government of Canada. Consult her LinkedIn profile for details.
Isabelle is excited to participate with friends in this great project. Both Canadian producers and products need the support and love of Canadians to shine and prosper. There are so many people who denigrate our producers and our Canadian products that she feels it is almost a duty to participate in C3FC.