School is back in session, many county and even some state fairs have come and gone and the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour is in full swing. Where did summer go?
Although these things make it “feel” like fall is here, the calendar says we officially still have a few weeks of summer left.
With USDA’s latest Crop Progress report putting the nation’s corn crop at 70% in the dough stage and 22% dented and soybeans at 95% blooming and 83% setting pods, it’s starting to feel like there isn’t too much that can happen from here on that will stop the freight train of record yields predicted for the 2014 crops.
Still, locally there are issues and soybeans have some pod filling to do. So we might not count our bushels before they are harvested.
We asked our reader consulting group for reports on crops and conditions in their area. Here’s what they shared with us, by state, in alphabetical order.
John Moore, Manhattan
Here in Manhattan, things are looking pretty good. Corn and bean fill is progressing. Could use another couple of rains to help that along as we are kind of dry right now. Seems like they keep putting rain in the forecasts but take it out or is normal summertime “hit or miss” type rain when it does come. Still, makes it tough to try and make hay when rain is in the forecast every other day and then it’s gone again just as quick as it appeared.
No real bug or disease issues to talk about. I guess it’s just time to get things ready to go for the harvest.
We have had great moisture for our crops. Soybeans are looking really good and full of pods! Corn is denting and is getting close to 100%. My early-plant corn has a 50% milk line. The heat coming this week will be very welcomed! Need some GDDs to speed up crop maturing.
Gerald Gauck, Ripley County
Of all the years that I have been farming so far since 1947 at this time the crops look as good as I have seen in this part of the country. It’s almost scary to a person of my background. I hope that it continues good. Weather has been perfect.
Karen Johnson, Avoca
The good thing is we got our third cutting hay baled Thursday night (it had been mowed a week ago Friday and even though we got no more than a sprinkle of rain, it just would not get dry — cool temps and heavy dews that didn’t go off until 10 or 11 a.m.) Rain was called for Thursday night and all weekend, but it all missed us in southern Shelby County northwest of Avoca. Beans are still short here — halfway between my knees and waist. They do have pods set fairly close, but I don’t look for the yield to be fantastic at all. Corn looks good but a lot of Goss’ wilt is showing itself in our whole area with lots of dead leaves on corn plants. Some of our corn had two ears, but no kernels on the second ears. We could use a good soaking rain again. Our fertilizer and chemical dealer says they’re seeing aphids, bean leaf beetles, and grasshoppers in fields. Sounds like we are to have temps in upper 90s by midweek. School here starts Wednesday — much too early for our summer to end.
Doug Zillinger, Logan
My area is still the drought story. Milo has headed unevenly across the fields. Mostly in the draws and terrace channels. It is so variable right now. I was cutting grass, both native and CRP, 40 miles south on some family land and it was waist deep and green, green, green. Then here at home that same type of grass is boot-top tall and brown. The choppers are starting to roll in the corn that didn’t pollinate in the one cool week we had or that has run out of water. Thank the good Lord for an unbelievable cattle market. We are starting to get more showers (sprinkles up to an inch if you are lucky) and humidity, so maybe the break is coming and we can get our wheat in for a good crop.
Jason Watt, West Kentucky
Where started cutting tobacco crop here it looks average for the ones that busted their butt keeping the water pumped on it. Finally getting some rain showers here; got 0.7 rain this weekend and 0.7 last weekend, but first rain since June 15. Corn crop on the down side here; some have cut a little. The great cool front we had the month of July with record cool nights (50) and 80 degree [days] saved us a little on corn yields. I have been checking yield check all over; been 105 low, 223 bushels per acre highest. … Light soil ground not good; the good topsoil looks great for the year. All soybeans need the rain. Wheat beans are behind about a month and need to get with the program after this last rain. [Soybeans planted after wheat.] All in all, crop good for the year we have had so far.
Phil Carter, New Era
We had about 1/2 inch rain this week, but [it] was far from adequate. Corn leaves are rolling on the lighter ground. Put on an apple spray, calcium, captan and assail for apple maggot. The apples continue to size but could sure use a good drink to bring them home. (If that doesn’t happen, I’ll need the good drink.) County fair is this week so I will get little done this week as Kathy and I are 4-H swine leaders and I am swine superintendent. Have my Primus food safety audit next Tuesday, hope I’m ready; wish me luck.
David Tollefson, Starbuck
Here south of Starbuck, Pope County, Minn., we got dumped on yesterday. (Sunday the 17th) I had 2.85 inches at my farm, but Starbuck and Glenwood had a lot more. On the east end of Lake Minnewaska there were reports of at least one car stranded in water up to the windows.
This came in the space of a little over one hour around 8 yesterday morning, and a good portion of this just ran off (we needed it badly).
I finished my wheat harvest Friday, and some aphid spraying Saturday, so good timing. The wheat was all taken off at around 14%, so took some shrink on that, but better that way than having the standing wheat get 3 inches of rain on it, with more rain on the way.
This rain should make the corn and bean crops; now we worry about early frost, cool temps, and above-normal precipitation going into harvest season. We are behind on growing degree days. At least we’ve avoided hail (last August we had major damage from hail) so far.
Bob Birdsell, Stanberry
We had over six inches; everyone’s rain gauges were running over. That was Friday night and early Saturday morning. There was lots of flooding of low areas; several rivers out. We are needing a nice rain to wash the beans off so they will survive, other than that we are good.
Daniel Hiller, Hardin County
No rain here this weekend, but we have had rain in the last two weeks and crops are OK for moisture. However, 20 miles north of us they missed the rain and they are hurting. Corn is turning pale green and firing.