Tuesday, September 05, 2023

Country Views: Hot Labor Day Ride

Escape Route: Prairie Grove Park
Labor Day is typically a warm, muggy deal around these parts, but this year it was a completely different. experience. 

Many of you readers are aware that the Mid-West has been in a severe drought for most of the Summer. It has really impacted us this year to the point that I believe that the nation's economy is going to feel the negative impacts of this hot, dry season well into next year. I won't bore y'all with details, you'll see it for yourself in the images today.

It was a scorcher out and I wanted to sneak in something for a ride regardless. The temperatures were hovering right near the century mark and the wind was out of the Southwest at a constant 20+ mph with gusts over 30mph. Let's just say it was rather unpleasant out there. This promised to be a short ride, and it did turn out that way.

That's a cornfield off to the left which has completely dried up.

Some cut grass in wind rows ready to be baled.

Yeah, it's so weird this year that it has become spooky. I have never seen cornfields dried completely up on Labor Day. At the end of September? Sure. But now? 

It's very worrisome. My heart sinks when I think about the farmers, and for us, as corn products are a big deal around the nation and beyond. How the soybeans will fare is anyone's guess, but you have to believe that everything is going to be way off in terms of yields this year. 

I cannot believe that the media hasn't picked up on this, because it is a disaster of epic proportions that is about to hit everyone square in the jaw. I'm sure once the harvest starts that yield reports will be alarming enough that at that point you'll begin to hear more about this. But trust me, that bad news is coming. 

The Standard Rando v2. Riding through a dry and weary land.

Looking East up Washburn Road.

The wind was brutal. I've ridden in heavy winds before plenty of times, but generally those times were cooler. Much cooler. Riding in 25+ mph winds in 100 degree heat is totally something different. A "not good" different. 

I decided that about an hour of that was enough and I tailored my route accordingly. The roads varied from totally fresh, deep crushed rock to almost moon dust, smooth and fast. No in between either. Of course, the last mile of gravel was the freshest and most difficult. Despite the heavy tailwind I still was working hard! 

This was taken on September 4th, not October 4th!

I cut the ride shorter than my desire to ride was at, but wisely so. I didn't want to over-extend myself for a ride when it was so extreme outside. But at least I got outside. 

The good news is that this heat spell is supposed to break today and the high Wednesday will be 20 degrees cooler than today. Wild! I keep saying Fall is coming, but this weird weather makes one think otherwise.


Steve said...

I think this is underreported because weather has become politicized like everything else, to the point where we can't even agree to disagree:
Such anger out there!
I think a gravel ride would do some folks a lot of good.


Nooge said...

Although it’s super dry in Iowa, that is not representative of US farming as a whole. In Michigan this is the wettest summer of my adult life. In the plains states it’s been a mixed bag. So on the whole US crop production is probably OK.

Source: https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/monitoring/us-maps/1/202307?products%5B%5D=prcp-pon

Guitar Ted said...

@Nooge - Top corn producing states: https://worldpopulationreview.com/state-rankings/corn-production-by-state

Drought Monitor: https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

Note: Of the top four states ion annual corn production, three have been severely hit by the drought this Sumner. This will affect yields significantly.

Nooge said...

The corn production rankings change a lot depending on type of corn being compared, but yes I see Iowa dominates in all categories. This combined with the war in Ukraine means lower food supply globally, unless others can make up the difference or wet can reduce non-dietary usage of corn to make up the difference.