From the Rows - Jason Franck - Western Tour Day 2
Day two of the Crop Tour is always fun, because we start really hitting those irrigated field that can wow us with their yields. Did they? I was anxious as we started to see how today was going to compare with the immaturity/variability type of a crop we dealt with yesterday. Could the area of the state with a greater portion of irrigation, make Nebraska go over the top in 2014?
We took off heading east out of Grand Island. Our first sampled field was irrigated. One thing I noticed instantly was how much water hemp was surrounding the outside edge. As normal, we got off the end rows and made our 35 paces in, only to find some disappointment! For irrigation, I expected the ear counts to be better. This field ended up only slightly better than average which means the rest of our trip needed to be better because this was irrigated. As we continued on, this poor ear count continued to be our theme of the day. So, what caused this to happen?
From my observations, it was more of what took place early on. We saw many gaps in the field telling us that emergence was a problem early on and from our route, we noticed heavy residue being a partial contributor to the poor emergence. Sadly, loss of population is not anything that can be remedied to help this crop get any better.
Lastly, one other observation that stuck out to me on day 2 as oppose to day 1, was the increase in disease pressure. I mentioned that day 1 was filled with a lot of plant health, but on day 2, I was not in a field of corn that didn't have some disease present. Now was this impacting every field? No. But we did have some showing a reduction in yield that will impact the bottom line.
The key take always when comparing day 1 to day 2, was how much more mature the crop was as we headed east towards our destination. On day 1, we were seeing many corn ears in the late milk/early dough stages. So, what concerns does that present? When analyzing these stages, we know that the days to maturity from late milk to early dough, can range from 25-35 days. Additionally, if we were to shut down the crop at these stages, we could expect yield losses to range from 15-36%. As we moved into day 2 the maturity level was much further along in both crops. So, if the corn crop shutdown at the full dough stage, the losses would range around 10-15%. As a result, we can conclude that an early shut down of this crop would not impact what we saw today, unlike how it could with what we saw yesterday in northeastern Nebraska.
In regards to the soybeans, on our route we had a very consistent day. Our pod numbers did not seem to fluctuate that much. Comparing to the 3 year average, we were right in line with the average. The biggest observation with the soybeans on day 2 was the amount of water hemp in every field. I saw from the road only two weed free fields on day 2. I remember from last year that this was a growing problem throughout Nebraska, but I underestimated how quickly it would advance year over year.
All in all, on our route, the southeast Nebraska corn and soybean crop seemed to be aligning with the 3 year average numbers for Nebraska.
Tomorrow is a new day and a new state. Many people are awaiting the comments coming from these two remaining states. Let's see what Iowa has in store for day three.