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February 2012 Archive for Crop Comments

RSS By: Crop Comments

Read the latest crop reports from the fields across America! Also, submit your own comments.

February Crop Comments

Feb 29, 2012

Use this link to send us your comments (or e-mail about the crops in your local area. Be sure to send us your photos and videos! Comments will be edited for brevity and clarity. (Please keep your comments crop-related.

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Here's a sampling of what some folks are saying: 

  • 2/29 - Hancock County, Ind.: Mid 60's today, neighbors have been putting on anhydrous and chiseling and disking ground. The ground is working up pretty well.
  • 2/29 - Winnebago County, Iowa: We have received some nice rain, close to an inch, but the ground is frozen enough that most of it is ponding in the low ground and running into the creeks. We are very dry underneath the frost. We have no snow! Spring should come early, unless Mother Nature has other plans.
  • 2/29 - Northampton, Pa.: The neighbor was disking corn stalks last week.

  • 2/27 - Glacier County, northern Montana: It is 8° this morning, a long way from thawing out and seeding. I just delivered some spring wheat last week and got absolutely killed by discounts. Mostly nickel and dime, but protein was a minus 25 cents per 1/4%, down from 14%. With all of the discounts at the elevators including a sucky basis and rising costs of inputs, spring wheat doesn't look like a favorable option around here. Lentils, canola, peas, malt barley and feed barley all require less input costs and fewer discounts, plus a shorter growing season. Besides, all I hear about is the glut of wheat on the market, so why add more? The better we do at adding acres and fertilizer, the more corn, the lower the price, the more fertilizer, etc., used, and the higher their price. How intelligent are we? (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's
  • 2/27 - Urbana, Ill.: Much that I read from grain analysts and U.S. government releases portray lower grain prices. Visions of a perfect, high-yielding crop usually decline as Mother Nature becomes active. I choose not to be fooled again after growing 71 crops of corn and soybeans.
  • 2/27 - Dooly County, Ga.: This year is starting out like 2011. It has been mild and very, very dry. Total rainfall in Dooly County for 2012 was 3.52" (2" of that came in a two-hour period) compared to 9.87" in 2011. Winter wheat is doing well but because of the warm winter it is on average 2-3 weeks ahead of where it should be. It is in real danger of freeze damage.  Corn planting will start in 2-3 weeks, but by the soil temp we could have started in January. In Georgia we are lucky and have a statewide micro-climate weather system; you may take a look at I grow cotton, corn, peanuts, wheat and beans. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's

  • 2/24 - Perry County, Ill.: Corn prices up (looks like a record) $4.00. Here we come. LOL.
  • 2/24 - Franklin County, Tenn.: It has been a mild winter with no snow. We have had lots of rain. Winter wheat looks good. High diesel prices together with already high seeds, nitrates and chemicals make spring plantings expensive. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's
  • 2/24 - Darke County, Ohio: It’s too early to plant.
  • 2/24 - Poweshiek County, Iowa/Lamar County, Texas: Live and farm in central Iowa. Will start planting in Iowa in a couple months. Rented a farm near Paris, Texas. Planters ready to roll, just waiting for it to dry out. Hopefully we will be planting by Feb. 26.
  • 2/24 - Cayuga County, N.Y.: Farmers in the Finger Lakes area are mainly dairy and cash crop farmers, with some vegetables, tree fruit and grapes. Major crops are corn, alfalfa, soybeans and wheat. We have had an unusually warm winter with barely any snow, but there has been rain and most fields are wet. We were never able to plant winter wheat last fall because of the heavy rain. We hope to have corn, soybeans and pumpkins planted by late April to mid-May.
  • 2/24 - Texas: Most of the state received rain the third week of February, further greening up pastures and winter wheat, according to reports from Texas AgriLife Extension Service. In some cases, the rains stimulated the growth of winter grasses and small grains to the extent that it relieved the pressure on extremely limited hay supplies. However, in most areas, livestock producers still had to provide supplemental feed and hay to cattle. In many areas, the hay they fed continued to come in from out of state.
    Texas crop 2 24 12

    Rains greened up pastures during February, such as this one in East Texas. However, in many areas the green-up was mainly cosmetic and producers were still buying hay from out of the area as the spring calving season continued, according to Texas AgriLife Extension Service. (Texas AgriLife Extension Service photo by Robert Burns)

    (Have any photos of the crops on your farm? E-mail ( them to AgWeb and have them posted on Crop Comments! Be sure to include a caption.)

  • 2/23 - Power County, Idaho: Our fall wheat looks very good but we have concerns over the lack of moisture through the winter. Spring crop will be planted with very little submoisture. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's
  • 2/23 - Eastern Kansas: We have had a unusually mild winter. Less than 3" of snow. We have gotten some rain since the end of January. We currently have good topsoil moisture, we could still use some soaking rains to fully recharge the subsoil. I hope we don't have the heat we had last summer again!
  • 2/23 - McLennan County, Texas: Wet now, but wind is blowing and 80°. Might be able to start planting corn Monday.

  • 2/22 - Murray County, Minn.: Our last measurable rain was Aug. 12. Since then we have received a few dustings of snow, which has done little to recharge our soils. Producers are wondering, "What’s the point?" of planting anything with such dire conditions. As of now, our yield forecast for the 2012 crops is zero! Nevertheless we will plant it in dust and hope for the best!

  • 2/21 - Livingston/LaSalle counties, Ill.: Like most of the country, this winter has been warmer than normal, with minimal snow cover.  Have had more rain than snow.  Soil moisture is adequate!  Applied N to the wheat on Feb 13. Had a couple cool mornings. There were some wet spots, but were able to get over it without breaking through!  In this area, the wheat looks better than it has in the recent five years or so. Have been reports of some wheat heaving with the fluctuations in temperature, but the majority looks very good! In the past two weeks, I've had the opportunity to travel approximately 500 miles radius, and I wouldn't trade moisture/crop conditions with anybody else! I've seen too much moisture to the south, maybe a little too dry to the west, lack of wheat plantings to the east, and lack of moisture to the north. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's
  • 2/21 - Cayuga County, N.Y.: We’ve had 36" of snow so far this winter. We have none on ground now and mid 40s this week. Should be around 120" by now, normal year around 140". Last year this time, 160" and finished winter at 200".
  • 2/21 - Rapides Parish, La.: Wheat had one shot of fertilizer and with all the rain, still has a yellow tint to it. Received 16+ inches of rain in February. Little or no burndown on corn land done due to very wet conditions. Airplanes will be flying this week for sure. Good luck and be safe! (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's

  • 2/21 - East central Iowa: The little snow we have had so far this winter is gone (again). It has allowed everyone to move a lot of corn to town. Saturday and Sunday temps were in the 40°-50°F range. I don't think we are not short of moisture. We had fall rains that delayed our harvest when everyone else missed them. There may be a little more corn on corn, but with our soil, the poorer ground seems to do better with corn/soybean rotation (plus with no-till we don't dig up the rocks). And with the price of hay, there could be a little more seeded down.
    2 21 12 Iowa
    2 21 12 Iowa 2

    -- East central Iowa

    (Have any photos of the crops on your farm? E-mail ( them to AgWeb and have them posted on Crop Comments! Be sure to include a caption.)

  • 2/21 - Falls and Milam counties, Texas: Since Nov. 22, 2011, we have received 20" of rain. We should be planting corn right now, but it will be 10 days at least before we can get in the fields. We went from the worst drought in recent times to overabundant moisture in three months. If it dries up, at least we have plenty underground moisture for our crops.
  • 2/21 - Alliance, Neb.: Wheat looked good for the most part going into winter. We have had very little moisture since Jan 1. No snow cover and lots of temp fluctuations and a few windy days. I pray we get some spring moisture! (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's

  • 2/17 - Rock Island, Ill.: Clearing hedge rows, tree root mass dirt is like the middle of August, the way the soil crumbles away so easy. We need spring rains to make up for the complete lack of snow fall.
  • 2/17 - Central Texas: After our worst drought in history in 2011, we've received 19" rain since Nov 8. Flash flood watch tonight and Saturday. Corn planting starts third week in February, not likely this year. Wheat looks excellent. Cotton in April. Hopes are high. Severe flooding 10 days ago washing topsoil badly as nothing here to hold it due to drought. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's
    Feb 2012 flood

    -- Central Texas

    (Have any photos of the crops on your farm? E-mail ( them to AgWeb and have them posted on Crop Comments! Be sure to include a caption.)

  • 2/17 - Clay County, Ark.: Very, very, wet. Stock ponds are full to overflowing. Must say though, the rain is very much needed after last year’s drought. A timely dryout in March would be beneficial to wheat and corn ground prep. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's
  • 2/17 - McLeod County, Minn.: VERY DRY HERE!! I have not plowed or shoveled any snow yet this winter. Last winter we had around 100" of snow. Lots of worried farmers here. The little snow that we have had has melted and evaporated. I would guess that corn acres around here are going to be normal or a little higher. THERE IS NO SEED LEFT. I have been in contact with several dealers who are sold out of everything good and they are worried they may not get what they sold from winter production. You can still get some of the less impressive varieties, but not much. All of the drought-tolerant corn is long gone. As the farmer from New Ulm mentions, there are soil boulders everywhere in the southern half of Minnesota. We haven’t had any precipitation to soak into them and break them up in our area. Lots of guys increasing crop insurance. Fertilizer prices are holding steady and basis is still pretty good. I anticipate portions of Minnesota will run out of corn before the new crop gets harvested.
  • 2/17 - Solano County, Calif.: We grow processing tomatoes, alfalfa, sunflowers, vine seed, wheat and corn. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's

  • 2/16 - Sevier County, Tenn.: I’m a commercial grass hay and alfalfa grower. Much above-normal rainfall, very wet since late fall. Cannot get on ground to spray, fertilize or plant. Very deep soil moisture.
  • 2/16 - Northeast North Dakota: Very mild winter, very, very little snow. We went into freeze-up in a drier trend but there is plenty of moisture to get the crop started. All traditionally grown crops remain an option at this time. I believe the winter wheat will be OK. We hope to get an early start this year, barring any 4" spring downpour. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's

  • 2/15 - Southern Manitoba, Canada: Soil conditions here are the same as everywhere else. Dry, dry. No significant precipitation since Sept. 15. Virtually no snow all winter and record-breaking temps almost every week. Winter wheat is a big question mark. This condition exists throughout western Canada. If this continues, there will be no spring runoff and germinating anything will be a big challenge. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's
  • 2/15 - New Ulm, Minn.: With a bit of snow last night, brings our total to about 2" of liquid precipitation since Dec 1. I couldn't bring myself to create soil "boulders" in my fields last fall -- some were disked, some no tillage. Since Dec. 1, the inch-wide cracks in the no-till have closed.
  • 2/15 - Sevier County, Ark.: Hay, timber, cattle, broilers in our area. We're having a lot more rain this winter than in the last couple of years. (Thank the Lord!)
  • 2/15 - East central Iowa: Winter weather hasn’t been too bad here compared to the previous two winters. Roads overall have been real good to get some corn moved to town. I have heard of a few problems with corn going out of condition (both covered piles and bins). Video courtesy of scotthinch’s YouTube channel.
  • 2/15 - Texas: Mother Nature sent many Texas farmers an early Valentine’s Day card in the form of rain the last week. According to reports from Texas AgriLife Extension Service, there were notable exceptions, but many parts of the state received moisture, further improving pastures and rangeland and raising soil moisture levels for spring planting.
    TExas 02 14

    Even if rainfall patterns hold, fertilizer and other input costs will be big factors controlling the recovery of drought-damaged pastures and stocking rates, say Texas Agrilife Extension Service experts. (Texas Agrilife Extension Service photo by Robert Burns)

    (Have any photos of the crops on your farm? E-mail ( them to AgWeb and have them posted on Crop Comments! Be sure to include a caption.)

  • 2/15 - Teton County, Mont.: Crops are winter wheat and spring wheat and barley, both feed and malt. Some canola, camelina, lentils. We’ve had one rain and one snowstorm since June. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's

  • 2/14 - Northern Nebraska: We have almost zero soil moisture. After the crops dried up in early September, we have had a total of 2" of moisture, most of which came in October. Enough snow to eliminate the dust. Unless we get enough rain in the spring to fill the soil profile, I'll cut my corn population back to 15k and drop my fertilizer back to a 100 bu. yield goal.
  • 2/14 - Chippewa County, Iowa: Dry, dry, dry! We’ve had 17" less snow than normal and not much rain from July on. We need spring rains.
  • 2/14 - Madera, Calif.: We’ll grow grapes this year.
  • 2/14 - Elkhart County, Ind.: We will probably try out a micronutrient/biological additive this year if it is expected to be a dry year. However, research states that 95% of them don't work. It’s important to go with a proven one.
  • 2/14 - Far western Minnesota: Our crop mix will stay the same. Why change it? No seed (corn, soybeans or wheat) will sprout in our dry lumpy topsoil and if it does it will soon hit dry subsoil. Sloughs are dry all along the Hwy 212 corridor. Water tables are constantly dropping. And now they're predicting dry conditions thru the end of April for us. It's a slow motion disaster in progress. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's

  • 2/13 - Union County, N.C.: This was my first time in over 40 years of farming I spread wheat with a GPS guided spreader truck and incorporated the seed with a Great Plains Turbo-Till at 10 mph. This was done on land that had been under continuous 100% no-till for 25 years, and I can say without doubt it is the worst looking wheat I've ever grown up to this point. We've had too much rainfall, and it has caused the minimum tilled soil to melt into a close particle form which in return kept the roots from breathing and taking up nutrients, whereas if the wheat was drilled into no-till ground, it would have allowed the excess moisture to move away from the roots faster. The only benefit from planting wheat in this method is the tremendous number of acres you can cover in a day; the downfall side is I can see from my tiller count the yield will be lowered in comparison to being drilled in a no-till application. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's
  • 2/13 - Bee County, Texas: 1.5" of rain last week. We will start planting corn next week. It looks like soil conditions will be good for planting for the next several weeks.

  • 2/10 - Cottonwood County, Minn.: We’ll plant corn and soybeans. Soil is bone-dry.

  • 2/9 - East central Iowa: We’re getting ready for spring (just kidding)! The following pictures are from a farm and home show that I had to work at. A gentleman makes toys out of wood that look almost real. Snow is pretty much gone around here and it is supposed to get into the  single digits, which will hopefully freeze the ground hard to help with fall compaction issues and kill any pest that could potentially suffer from the cold.
    2 9 11 toy show
    2 9 11 toy show2
    2 9 11 toy show3

    -- East central Iowa

    (Have any photos of the crops on your farm? E-mail ( them to AgWeb and have them posted on Crop Comments! Be sure to include a caption.)

  • 2/9 - Crawford County, Wis.: There’s still some snow on the ground and not much subsoil moisture. We will not change rotation for corn beans.
  • 2/9 - Gove County, Kan.: This is wheat country. Then seconds are corn and milo. Dryland farming is nearly the same year in, year out. We would like to be able to plant dryland beans if we could find them. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's
  • 2/9 - Lac qui Parle County, Minn.: Drier than a popcorn fart here in western Minnesota. Less than 3" of liquid precipitation since Aug 1. Perhaps this is the year to plant that $29.00 a bag (60-lb. bag) of open pollinated conventional corn and see if it rains enough this summer to raise a crop in '13. John Faust would be proud.
  • 2/9 - York County, Pa.: Finished corn and bean harvest about one week before Christmas. Corn planted between May 10 and June 1 had the best yield again. That makes four of the last five years that this has happened. This just happens to be when the fields finally got fit to plant. Normal planting time for this area is around April 20. Early planted crops were mudded in and patience has paid off again. Corn basis is 0.80 to 0.100 over the March right now and the corn supply will be very tight before new crop comes in this fall. We had 77" of rain this past year; normal is 36". Rain came early and late this past season, which made it another challenging year. Wheat and barley will have to be added to feed rations to stretch the corn supply. Corn supplies were very tight this past year, with no carryover before we started harvest. Corn supply might be out there, according to USDA, but not in the real world. Corn basis are more than double of what they normally are for this area. WHAT DOES THAT TELL YOU, USDA?
  • 2/9 - Henry County, Ohio: Still some standing corn and beans in northwest Ohio. Lots of tillage work will need to be done this spring before planting can start.
  • 2/9 - Texas: Recent rains greatly improved soil-moisture levels in many parts of the state, according to reports from Texas AgriLife Extension Service county agents. However, many parts of the state remained critically dry, including the Panhandle, South Plains, Far West Texas and parts of the Rolling Plains and Coastal Bend areas, according to the reports. The more fortunate areas experienced mild weather and timely rains -– as much as 6" in some areas, with 1" to 2" more common. The warm weather spurred the growth of winter wheat and winter pastures. It also raised farmers’ optimism in those areas for summer grazing and the planting of spring row crops. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's
    2 9 12 Texas orchard

    Peach trees in East Texas are a couple of weeks away from opening buds, according to Texas AgriLife Extension Service horticulturists. (Texas AgriLife Extension Service photo by Robert Burns)

    (Have any photos of the crops on your farm? E-mail ( them to AgWeb and have them posted on Crop Comments! Be sure to include a caption.)

  • 2/6 - Summit County, Ohio: I will finish beans on 2/4. Are you kidding me? It has been one heck of a long season and these beans don't look too good. The field has been completely waterlogged for the last few months, and we have had about 10 days with no rain or snow. I am going to give it heck and hope for the best.
  • 2/6 - Texas: Ironically, fears of another drought may result in fewer irrigated and more dryland cotton acres in the Texas High Plains this year, says a Texas AgriLife Extension Service expert. Typically, the Texas High Plains cotton acres are nearly evenly split between dryland and irrigated, says Mark Kelley, an AgriLife Extension cotton specialist in Lubbock. This adds up to about 2 million dryland cotton acres planted, with the same number of irrigated acres.
    Texas 1 31 crop weather

    With the soil moisture profile very dry, Texas High Plains cotton producers are rethinking planting strategies, says a Texas AgriLife Extension Service cotton specialist. (Texas AgriLife Extension Service photo by Mark Kelley)

    (Have any photos of the crops on your farm? E-mail ( them to AgWeb and have them posted on Crop Comments! Be sure to include a caption.)

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