The only constant when dealing with Mother Nature is that no two years are the same! Mother Nature has thrown a few curveballs this summer with major droughts and severe heat, as many of you are experiencing. When it comes to managing habitat, devising your plan of attack well in advance is a great idea…but being able to switch to Plan B in a hurry is a must.
The drought has brought on headaches in terms of lack of precipitation for crops and moist soil foods. However, we have managed to sneak through it thus far and we’re looking very good overall. The wells that we use to flood our farms in the Fall have been used this summer to ‘flash flood’ different areas to ensure moisture and healthy plants. While the impacts of a drought are primarily negative, there are a few positives as well. Coming off of a wet cycle the last several years, this dry spell has allowed us to properly manage some areas that have been too wet in the past. Some of the wetland units have started to be overtaken with spike rush during the wet years. The drought this year, however, has provided an opportunity to get the spike rush eliminated and get good moist soil foods back in place. Another benefit is that our corn plots in areas that frequently flood, or are usually too wet to plant at all, are now boasting of beautiful stands. If you look hard enough, even droughts have their benefits.
With the duck numbers at or near all time highs, it should be a good Fall! The weather is going to throw some wrenches into pumping plans as well, but there will be a lot of ducks looking for water. There is still a lot to get done, but we are on the homestretch now. Cooler times and whistling wings lay ahead!