The average temperature for July was 20 degrees compared to 21.7 last year and the ten year normal of 21.1.
Rainfall was in the normal range with 89 mm or 3.5 inches. Ormstown had 16 days with some precipitation following the 20 wet days in June which has really delayed the preparation of first cut dry hay. I am embarrassed to say that I just finished my first cut hay on July 21.
The majority of dairy and beef producers have largely discontinued the practice of dry hay preferring instead to make wet bales wrapped in plastic or plastic tubes to prevent spoilage. This system had a distinct advantage this year. Heat units for July were 761 compared to 790 last year and the ten year average of 794. This is the tenth least number of heats units for July in the last 42 years which would not normally be a problem if it were not for the late seeding this May due to wet fields.
For those planting by May 20, like myself, the accumulated total is now 1625 compared to the ten year average of 1837 and 1848 last year. It will be difficult to catch up this late in the summer. The rule of thumb is that the corn must be tasseled by the end of July but this year it is only beginning with a high percentage of most fields showing no tassle.
Those farmers choosing a variety with high heat units rating may have difficulty reaching mature grain before killing frost. Normal heat units for the rest of the summer would give the crop an additional 1402 units. It is somewhat ironic that while Al Gore is hitting the media trail promoting the sequel to his movie “The Inconvenient Truth”, the farmers in Eastern Canada are struggling to get enough heat units to have a mature corn crop by fall.