What is it about the weekly Crop Progress & Condition report from the USDA that sometimes sounds like poetry to us? For the week ending July 27, the newsletter reported that “Field corn was growing tall and beginning to tassel,” and a poem started to unfurl before our eyes. OK, back to more dry (or wet, as the case may be) practical matters, reports from the field from Maine’s county representative. Here is, in part, what they had to say:

In Aroostock, “Dry conditions have slowed growth,” Larry James reported. But in Cumberland, there was rain, so “grasses are nice and green,” Sandy Truslow wrote. Alas, “potato farmers are battling Colorado Potato Beetles, which seem to be difficult to control this year,” he added.

Elsewhere in the state, rain also took its toll. “A mummy berry problem has been reported on highbush blueberries,” Gary Raymond wrote from Hancock. “There could be a problem with fire blight on apple orchards: just too many intense showers…And a lot of hayfields have been rutted because the soils are saturated.” The silver lining? “Gardens look excellent!” he reported.

There are bug problems in Piscataquis, too, Donna Coffin reported. “Japanese Beetles have attacked raspberries and other crops.” On the positive side – and we hope readers of Source don’t need anyone to tell them this – “Farmers’ Markets and Road Side Stands are filled with fresh fruits and vegetables.”

— From staff reports

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