A Difficult Harvest and Pumpkin Spice Caramel Apple Dip

Between a Rock and a Very Hard Place

Can’t win for losing. Have you ever heard of that phrase? It means you can’t win if you’re losing all of the time.

The crop was put in weeks behind a typical growing season. Rainfall this season is above normal and the harvest season is now weeks, bordering on months behind. Grain moisture is high for harvest timing and the air temperature is 20 degrees below normal. It’s been rainy and windy for weeks on end, compromising the crops in the field. The wind dries the crop at the same time, but does it need to blow 20-40 miles per hour EVERY day?

And prices are below the cost of production. Yay us? Can’t win for losing.

Dry corn in a soggy field
The wind is blowing, the corn is slowly drying, the harvest is late, and fields are soggy!

The Cost of LP Gas

Another thing that’s really driving the “Can’t Win” bus is the cost of liquid propane gas. If corn is above 14-15 percent moisture, it has to be dried in a bin. The process of drying grain in a bin is a combination of liquid propane gas, an electric blower and external air temperature. This season the combination is totally out of whack! The corn is too wet and the air temperature is 20 degrees below normal. When the air temperature is too low, you have to increase the LP flow to increase the temperature of the incoming air. Did I mention that corn prices are low? The gas truck has stopped at the farm too many times to make this scenario profitable.

Alternatives to LP Gas

O•U•C•H! So what to do? We wait to combine later in the day for the corn to dry further to get grain moisture into a better range. No one wants to leave their entire income sitting out in a field while the wind blows, as fall segues into winter weather, but it has to be done.

How long can our Amber Waves of Grain sit out in the field? It may be a while. I’m assuming every farmer in the United States is hoping that it will snow later than sooner this year. The longer the crop sits, the drier it will become. But this scenario also comes with risk. There’s the risk that winds will knock down and twist the corn plant that has a compromised stalk because of too much rain during the growing season. There’s a risk that it will snow early, shutting down the harvest until a snowmelt and then a ground freeze. Is your head spinning?

Can’t win for losing? Let the battle begin.

Be Blessed!

P.S. The night this essay was posted, it snowed 2.75 inches, and there’s a prediction of 1-3 inches of snow in the next two days. Can’t win for losing…

Pumpkin Spice Caramel Apple Dip

Today’s recipe is Pumpkin Spice Caramel Apple Dip! You will notice an October apple trend. That’s because who doesn’t like an apple with caramel and pumpkin spice? This recipe is based on an old Amish recipe, with much less sugar and plain yogurt substituted for sour cream. I promise you won’t taste the difference. NOTE: This dip is much smoother if you let the cream cheese soften completely before mixing and please mix the brown sugar and cream cheese well. Like a Michael Jackson song….Beat it! You can store this in a one-pint canning jar with these lids I keep harping about. You can buy them at your local Target, Walmart or hardware store.

Pumpkin spice caramel dip with apples
Makes a full pint of dip! Use it with fruit or graham crackers.

 

Pumpkin Spice Caramel Apple Dip

Tools you’ll need:

Stand or hand mixer

Bowl to mix in

Pint canning jar to store dip in refrigerator

Ingredients:

1-8 oz package of cream cheese-softened

½ Cup brown sugar

Beat until smooth

Add:

1 Cup plain yogurt

1 Cup milk

1 package 3.4 oz instant vanilla pudding

2 t. lemon juice

1 t. vanilla

1 t. pumpkin pie spice

Add the rest and beat until smooth. Chill 1 hour. Makes one pint of dip. Serve with sliced apples or graham crackers. Yum!

Pumpkin Spice Caramel Apple Dip

 

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