Read the latest crop reports from the fields across America! Also, submit your own comments.
February Crop Comments
Feb 21, 2013
Use this link to send us your comments (or e-mail CropComments@agweb.com) 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.)
Here's a sampling of what some folks are saying:
- 2/27 - Dawson County, Mont.: Due to 2012 summer drought and continued dryness and heat in early fall, HRW was seeded late in less than ideal conditions. A lot of wheat did not even come up last fall. With minimal winter snow and zero subsoil moisture, wheat crops will need ideal growing conditions to make an average crop. However, according to drought maps we are supposedly not in drought, which is far from the truth. Due to weakness in wheat prices and continuing drought, a growing number of producers are looking at planting pulse crops in place of spring wheat. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)
- 2/27 - Essex County, Ontario, Canada: Wet snow and rain have taken frost out of the ground. Wanted to start harvesting miscanthus but those plans are shot until spring or another real cold snap. Overseeding wheat with clover will start when it dries up. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)
- 2/26 - Moniteau County, Mo.: Winter wheat looks good. Even with the snow we still need 9-10 inches of rain for the subsoil. Water still is not running out of the drain tile.
(Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)
- 2/26 - Cheyenne County, Neb.: Two storms last week. Nothing as wild as Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, but nice moisture just the same. When all the snow melts, should be about an inch. Most will soak in as the ground is not frozen. No wind so the moisture is fairly uniform for a change.
- 2/25 - Macon County, Ill.: The two farmers from Kansas need a better way to argue. Share phone numbers and discuss your farming practices that way.The next time you feel the need to comment here just tell us your wheat looks bad and stop there.
- 2/25 - Manitoba, Canada: To the lucky farmer from Rochester, Minn.: Better check your dream monitor.
- 2/24 - Southeast Minnesota: Not much as far as precipitation this winter in our area. Lots of wind erosion as Old School Farming practices (turn everything black) has returned with his friend named Greed. Lots of grain moved this past rally. Bins being emptied abnormally early in our area too, and we had a good crop. Cannot wait to see how this market and the world reacts when the reality hits.
- 2/23 - Louisiana delta: Completed harvest on 562 acres. Averaged 233.4 bus/acre on dry land. Best corn crop ever on this farm. Corn in this area looks to be well above average.
- 2/22 - Glacier County, Mont.: Some winter wheat seeded in our area that seems to be doing well. We never plant much. Went to a grower meeting yesterday on pulse crops. Looks like a lot of interest in peas, lentils and canola, plus some malt barley. Delivery time is the big hang-up (buyers call). We keep hearing of the abundant supplies of wheat in the world, so the interest in wheat simply isn't there due to USDA projections of a bumper crop, poor basis and usually steep discount schedules. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)
- 2/22 - Kearny County, Kan.: I'm following up on the Wallace County farmer again. That's why I said we are minnimum till. We have good cover left. Last year, we had a 45 bu. average on our farm on wheat. We don't do the thirds farming like everybody else. Those guys last year only cut in the 20s or worse on wheat. They then turned around and didn't have a milo crop again. I know that seed has gotten better since the thirties and farming practices are better, but if you read history, out here the best way to raise a crop and protect our soil was to go to a wheat-summer fallow rotation out here. Especially when in a drought. You also admitted to what I was trying to say and that is that no-till is not the only answer. When we do plant milo we no-till it, but for wheat we've found that one or two opertions with a sweep plow depending on the year ensures us a better chance of getting a better stand of wheat than the no-till guys. When they destroy all their cover with their no-till drills and get no wheat up, they then begin to blow my wheat out that we got up! Sometimes I think you have to do what works for you and quit worring about everybody else. Sometimes you have to walk in their shoes sometimes to know the whole story. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)
- 2/21 - Buffalo County, Neb.: We are finally getting a widespread moisture event. We have received about 10" of snow in the last 30 hours. The temperature is in the mid-teens so I hope that there is a half-inch of moisture when it melts. If that is the case, this snowfall will represent the largest moisture event in the last 8 months. The drought here continues unabated.
- 2/21 - Dublin, Ga.: Middle Georgia is very wet. We have had around 10 in of rain in the last 10 days. The water is draining well and should be drying up over the next couple of weeks.
- 2/21 - Western Wisconsin: It is cold this week. We’ll be thinking about maple trees soon. Last year we had 25% of average rain. More moisture would be good.
- 2/21 - Wallace County, Kan.: I am following up the reply comments from the Kearny County farmer's reply to my past comments. No no-till will NOT forever prevent soil erosion from wind or water. However I would say that maintaining as much cover as can be grown with the moisture God gives will help. Of course that cover will not last forever without replacing it. Yes no-till will get compacted on the top without rain. In a drought cycle like we are currently in NOTHING works. I'm only saying that over time with proper cover maintenance and adequate (not even average) rainfall, no-till protects the soil better than traditional farming practices. Kearny County farmer writes that neighboring no-till farmers have had soil erosion, too. Without knowing there farming rotation history I can't comment on his situation. I am happy to say that the ground I farm is well protected from wind at this time. I did not plant wheat last fall as I felt its survival, if could even germinate, was not optimal. Neighboring traditional, sweeps and pickers) farmers are in the situation now that their soil is moving on windy days and they don't have any cover to help the situation. I assert that at this time if they had practiced no-till they would have a better situation. No-till is not a panacea and will not fix all problems in a drought, but it gives options that aren't there in this situation. The farmer that owns the land in my pictures says his intention is to summer fallow again with the intention of planting wheat again in fall '13. As we all know weeds seem to grow even without rain my concern is that if he doesn't change his practices during the summer he will be in at least the same situation next fall. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)
- 2/21 - Kearny County, Kan.: To the gentleman in Wallace County, KS: Come on down to SW Kansas and I'll show you the same dirt piles coming from no-till farming. We have piles like that in the last 5 years and it is all coming from no-till. We farm what I call minimum till. The no-till guys never get their wheat up because their ground is hard and dry like concrete. We have always got our wheat up and harvested a crop as long as we don't get blown out by our neighbors. It is really dry here right now. Last year we had only 41% of normal. I wish this drought was over, but in reading all the history of droughts out here it might just be starting! We are also getting chemical resistant weeds from our no-till neighbors, but I'll save that for another day. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)
- 2/21 - Jackson County, Okla.: Weather has been spotty. Our early wheat in no till fair to good. The rest of wheat is still coming up. We have a very wide range of emergence. Doesn’t not look good for wheat prospects, but you know wheat, it has to be lost 9 times before it's made. Soil water profile is poor to none. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)
- 2/21 - Central Nebraska: With a few warmer days this week, one farmer in central Nebraska took to the field to do some stalk shredding. Temperatures over the next two weeks are expected to vary considerably with two winter storms on the horizon.
- 2/19 - Buena Vista County, northwest Iowa: We have had a little moisture this winter, but very little. There is no sub soil moisture at all versus a year ago, might be enough to germinate a crop this spring but that’s about it, we are well over 10 inches under the normal. It’s so dry we just had to drill a new well on our farm, old one went dry. Well driller said he can’t keep up, over 40 to drill on his schedule by spring. We are not going to change our rotation any for 2013, still at 50-50 corn soybean rotation no matter what markets do. Our 2012 corn was better than we expected but still below the norm, beans were not as good as we expected, nothing to brag about. From Iowa Bob.
- 2/19 - North Carolina: Starting to combine corn, we were running about 160 bushels per acre. And after we combined the soybeans, we were running about 56 bushels per acre.
- 2/19 - Olmsted County, east of Rochester, Minn.: This is me harvesting 80 bushels soybeans. We also harvested 260 bushel dry corn. We were, and are dry but 2012 was our best crop ever. Can we do a repeat?
- 2/15 - Kearny County, Kan.: I'm commenting on the Wallace County farmer comments. If he wants to come down to SW Kansas, I'll show him the same dirt piles coming from no-till farming. We farm what I call minimum till. We have some neighbors farming no-till now for over 15 years now and in the last 5 years we get dirt blown onto us from them. Their soil gets so hard and tight that they cannot get their wheat up. N We get our wheat up! Oh by the way last year we received 41% of our annual rainfall and it is still dry now! (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)
- 2/15 - Sevier County, Tenn.: Primarily a forage producing county, what started out as a dry fall has turned into a wet winter with over 12 inches of rain in January alone. Not complaining though, especially with the way the folks in the Corn Belt have suffered.
- 2/15 - Hancock County, Ill.: We lateral tilled 80 acres after the 2-inch rain at the end of January. The tile is running. We were excited.
- 2/13 - Madison County, Ind.: Soil is well supplied with moisture and tile ditches are running. There is occasional ponding after rains.
- 2/13 - Renville, Minn.: Corn and soybean yields were excellent. Caught some timely rains that made the crop. Test weight on corn was excellent. Going into this year with little to no sub moisture.
- 2/13 - Cheyenne County, Neb.: Snow storm?? 1-3" with some decent wind. Mostly blew off the wheat. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)
- 2/11 - Carroll/Ogle counties, Illinois: Sold the rest of the 2012-2013 bean crop and it yielded 71.6 bu/acre on 114 acres. Caught a number of spotty rains. No insurance payout on any crops. Corn was 90 some percent of normal according to government bin measures. Finishing cattle are eating the corn up which really looks to be a losing enterprise again. Wish I had those $12 bean contracts back from last spring but sold some $15 beans this fall and averaged $14.26 for the year. The government price projection was right on for me. Rained Sunday but the ground is frozen and all the water ran off into the creaks. Creaks were up significantly. Subsoil is very dry. The Lord blessed us with prices we may only dream about for a number of years to come. A 154 acre farm sold, at auction, for $14,440 per acre last week. Heroes or fools, only the good Lord knows!
- 2/11 - Buffalo County, Neb.: One year ago today we had a full moisture profile, today we have nothing, even on the irrigated. I get a kick out of Gulke and all the others on how we don’t need that big of a crop because demand has slowed down. It will be interesting to see how many wells go dry this year, they all said you can’t drain the Ogallala but it’s already happening. You can’t come out of a drought of this size in one year.
- 2/11 - Wallace County, Kan.: A couple of pictures showing exactly what our situation is in SW Wallace County KS. I'm trying to avoid this by no-till farming and maintaining as much cover on the land as possible. It took centuries to get the topsoil we have and it takes only one day to lose it and those that are still farming with the traditional tillage methods are seeing this result. The wheat stubble is about 12-15" tall and it is filled with topsoil from the neighboring field. So sad. Is this good stewardship? What a disgrace. February and March are normally our windiest months. God help us and pray for rain, it may only be starting. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)
- 2/8 - Eastern Klickitat County, Wash.: We had a long dry fall this last year. We first started to see some moisture about November and had some decent precip through December. However, now all of the snow is melted and we haven't had any measurable precipitation in over a month. Our soil probes indicate moisture only down 24 inches. The drought map may not show it, but a large part of Eastern Washington State is very dry with no relief on the horizon any time soon.
- 2/7 - Jackson County, Minn.: Good crops last year, but very dry. No sub soil moisture. Will take ideal conditions to get an average to good crop this fall.
- 2/6 - Winnebago County, Iowa: We are still very dry here. No late fall rains and very little snow. The only way it would seem to me to get enough rain to start the 2013 crop is a really wet spring, probably so wet that we can't get the crop in. I don't think we have enough subsoil to start the crop but I hope I'm wrong!! Almost all piles are gone in this area and my bins are empty also, which looks like the norm in this area, too.
- 2/5 - Atchison County, Mo.: Drainage ditches are dry, some of which I have never seen dry in 30 years.
- 2/5 - Elkton, S.D.: Fields are almost black. We recieved about a foot of snow in December, maybe a couple inches since. One day we had freezing rain, very little moisture, evaporated before reaching the ground, still made roads a mess. Our corn in 2012 was pretty good,140-180 dryland, 230 irrigated. The beans on poor land made 8 bpa. Some here had awesome beans and very poor corn. No wheat this year as corn has such a premium, and insurance can cover a profit with corn. $400 input costs still make me nervous! (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)
- 2/5 - Cheyenne County, Neb.: I am hearing pivot irrigated corn acres will be down due to the three year water restrition usage limitation. More irrigated millet will be planted because it requires alot less water. (18" corn or more, 5-7" for millet)
- 2/5 - Sauk County, Wis.: We just had about 1.5 inches of rain a few days ago. Most ran off. Now temps back below 0 again with on an off snow. Areas of frost down to 12 inches or more. Once you dig down below frost the ground is dry as a bone. We need slow steady rains this spring if we want to slowly more out of the drought. Plus more snow with a slow warm up.
- 2/5 - Seneca County, Ohio: Our soils are saturated and we have lots of standing water around. We have been that way since early September. Just about the time we start to dry out another weather system moves in and dumps rain on us.
- 2/5 - Winnebago County, Ill.: There were respectable yields, we averaged 156 on corn , but I can tell you that was on bean ground and the trucks are idle now and processors are asking for march deliveries NOW! We sold everything after a few contracts for 7.60 Many farmers were oversold because lack of knowledge on crop insurance. Ya gotta take the (HARVEST OPTION) We had 2.5 inches of rain followed by 2 inches of snow. TNT FARMS
- 2/5 - Northwest Saskatchewan: What a difference a year makes. We had absolutely no moisture one year ago. Since then we had over 26 inches of rain and now snow. More than the last 3 years combined. Hang in there your turn will come.
- 2/5 - Calloway County, Ky.: Tucker Farms: We have about an inch of snow early Thursday night. After the long persistent drought we've had adequate amounts of rain through the past few weeks. Still behind a few inches but were about to break the 2012 Drought. We are very pleased with the amount of rain we've had lately. And the wheat crop looking very good so far. That said look forward to the 2013 crop season. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)
- 2/1 - Cheyenne County, Neb.: End of January. No decent moisture since October. Wheat will emerge from No subsoil moisture to speak of. Top 6 to 12 in. has some moisture, enough to get started. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)
- 2/1 - York County, Neb.: Lots of irrigated corn 200 bpa. Dryland very poor. Lots of bins empty due to dry corn at harvest that went direct to town. Ethanol plants closing and cattle feeders taking a blood bath to the price of corn.
- 2/1 - Fillmore County, Neb.: Very dry. The 2 main snow events of this winter add up to about 8 inches. Not a great start to 2013. If not for irrigation, we would not have raised a bumper crop in 2012. Lots of corn sold at harvest and those with corn in bins waiting till the price climbs even more.
- 2/1 - Dakota County, Neb.: Lost 2/3 of the corn and the upper 1/3 of the soybeans in 2012. Soil is extremely dry!
- 2/1 - Chester County, Tenn.: Wheat is good to excellent. Early split ammonia application completed. Seven inches of rain followed by an ice storm recently. Super hot day Tuesday caused severe weather last night. Major damage at east end of county from very high wind. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)
- 2/1 - Lawrence County, Ark.: Wheat looks ok, not much of it planted this year. 2" of rain in last 24 hrs rainfall is about average for this year. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)