Monday, April 23, 2012

We had a good weekend here, even if the weather was cooler than we’d like.  Much of the corn has emerged from the soil, and it’s looking for some warmth!  About half the soybeans are emerged, but the cool days and nights have slowed them down.  I am still pretty confident that they will be okay, warmer days are coming, and we had some weekend rain that softened the soil.

The development of an emerging soybean plant is very interesting.  The bean you plant into the soil takes up some of the surrounding moisture and it spouts out a little root.  That root then pushes up the bean you planted to the soil surface.  Those thick, leaf-like parts of the bean are called ‘cotyledons’.  The cotyledons are followed by the first true leaves, called ‘unifoliolate’ leaves… those are singular leaves.  The subsequent leaves to develop are called ‘trifoliolate’, and just like it sounds, those are a cluster of 3 leaves.  Our soils have a tendency to develop a ‘crust’ after a rain, which makes the emergence of the cotyledons more difficult.  We have seen in the past that some soybeans can push so hard against a crust that they ‘break their necks’ doing so.  Not a happy event.  So, frequent rains after planting can be helpful to soften the crust.  But, if the rains are too frequent and heavy, too much water can kill of the baby beans, too!  Therefore, we are in that critical time period for soybean emergence and development.

Here you see that the little emerging soybeans can 'break through' a slightly crusted soil surface.

A couple days after breaking through the soil, the soybeans begin to sprout their leaves.

The emergence of and growth of corn happens entirely differently, with different nomenclature for the embryonic parts.  That emerging spike of plant that comes out of the soil is called a ‘coleoptile’, and the first baby root is called a ‘radicle’.  It is fascinating to know that all the parts of the fully grown corn plant exist inside the germ plasm of every seed.  Most of what you see in a seed is starch that provides enough food to sprout the young corn plant, until the small, new plant can begin to make its own food supply.

This tiny corn plant is hoping for some warmer days, to become greener and to grow more rapidly.

Now the rows of corn are showing up clearly in the morning sun.

In other happy news, last Saturday night, Ross was honored at the alumni gathering of Fritchton High School.  He was named the “Outstanding Alumnus” for 2012.  Many of his classmates from the class of 1961 were present to celebrate with him.  We are all very proud of Ross and his accomplishments that earned him this award.  Ross’ son Dirk produced a video about Ross and his expertise and achievements with Quarter Horses that was shown at the alumni banquet.  As soon as I can get a copy, I’ll post that on the media page.  We congratulate Ross Carnahan, the 2012 Outstanding Alumnus of Fritchton High School.  ‘Way to go, Ross!

Ross accepts the 2012 Outstanding Alumni award from Dean Winkler, President of the FHS Alumni Association

Our sister Sheila Hobson and her husband John were here for Ross’ celebration,  and then yesterday, they were in church with us.  We certainly enjoyed our time together, and we grow more appreciative of one another as we get older.  Funny how that works, huh?

We look for warmer days… the calendar will soon read, “May”.  Does it seem to you that the days are going quickly by?

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