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September 15

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General view Sept. 15, 2003Our field appears to be in about the same shape that it was last week, but there are some subtle differences.  There aren't as many leaves on the plants as there were last week.  The birds continue to visit the field and feast on the seeds. 

Standing plants

There are only 3 to 5 leaves left on these plants and they are yellowing.  The stalks are still very green and wet. 

 


Back of headsThe heads continue to dry down, but at this pace it's going to be a couple more weeks before we can harvest.  We were hoping to get this field harvested by October 1 so we could plant no-till wheat.  A killing frost would speed things up, but I'd rather have a nice, long fall. 


Head frontThis head is the one on the left of the previous picture.  At first glance you might think this head is just fine, but on closer inspection you can see there are not very many seeds in the center. Let's take a closer look. 


Cross section of sunflowerSure enough, there aren't many seeds in the center.  You can see some head moth damage on the outside edges.  Nothing new here.


Cross section centerLooking a little closer at the center of the head, you can see an area about the size of a silver dollar that virtually has no seeds. 


Seeds in handsIn order to see how wet the head is, I broke the head into pieces.  As you can see some seeds popped right out, but others remained attached to the head parts.  This indicates the head is still very wet and if this field were harvested right now the seeds would not be threshed from the heads and a considerable amount of seeds would be lost.  So, we are just going to wait until it's ready to be harvested.