Hope springs a kernel

Published 10:11 am Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Irene? The tropical storm that broke corn stalks at the knees and took our cotton to the skies? Bah!

That was last year. Eight months ago! Those 25 inches of rain are long gone, out frolicking in the Atlantic. I can barely remember stuck tractors and sleepless nights. Gone, I tell you! In the past!

Because we’ve got us a new year! Look out there — what do you see? Corn shooting up from the soil like baby skyscrapers. Cotton rolling out their leaves like an awning, and peanuts busting through the ground like miniature earthquakes.

They’re all saying “Put last year behind you! We’re going to show you something this year! Watch now, or you’ll miss it!”

And it’s off to the races to see who crosses the finish line. Cotton showing off to corn trying to dust past peanuts thumbing their nose at cotton. They’re all stretching their feet into liquid gold and reaching for the heavens, drinking in the sunlight.

My goodness, it’s going to be a good year. Can feel that combine right now chugging through a bumper crop — 200 bushel corn, I tell you!

Yessir, every farmer around will fill up his bins and then some. Millions of giant, yellow kernels cascading into the truck bed. Load after load after load.

And cotton? Why, we’ll never have seen a field so white before picking! Two bales plus, we’re talking. Modules lined all up at the ends of fields. Heavy, too! And white as white can be!

Peanuts? My goodness! Goobers galore! Two tons plus! Always needing another trailer. Big, tasty peanuts, full of meat and dried just right! Can smell ‘em just talking about them!

Because this summer, like a fancy restaurant, all the crops will have to do is order rain when they want it and it will come. Mid-July, big rain. Just when corn loves it. Mid August?

Big rain, just when peanuts and cotton love it. Then the faucet is going to cut off until all the crop is in. Every cotton-picking acre. Yessir, this is going to be one for the record books — that perfect season we all yearn for.

Look out there! Did you see that? Just saw that corn grow another inch!

REX ALPHIN of Walters is a farmer, businessman, author, county supervisor and contributing columnist for The Tidewater News. His email address is rexalphin@aol.com.