From the Rows Day 1 (Terry Johnston)

August 22, 2011 08:25 PM

From the Rows with Terry Johnston

Another Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour under way…the 19th, I believe!

As we headed out of Sioux Falls, S.D., this morning it was cool and partly cloudy, which is perfect sampling weather. We took off with eight different routes this morning headed for Grand Island, Neb., and we were sampling southeast South Dakota and northeast Nebraska.

As we traveled through our routes and in and out of the fields in southeast South Dakota, the yield results varied from great to not-so-good. Soybean pod counts and corn yields varied depending on planting dates, from too much moisture in the spring to stress from lack of moisture over the last couple of weeks.

However, there were some consistencies in the crops. As we scouted fields in South Dakota, most routes found the crops to be generally healthy and green and relatively free of insects and diseases. On my route, the northern counties tended to be better. As we moved south of Mitchell, S.D., it got drier and the crops were showing stress from lack of moisture. Much of the crop we saw today would benifit from rain...and sooner rather than later would be best to maximize yield potential.

Overall, the South Dakota crop is good, but based on what we saw on our routes today, probably not as good as last year.

The northeast Nebraska corn crop is also variable. We saw fields that were very good and we saw fields that were very disappointing. In addition to planting dates, rainfall, heat, etc., a major influence in the Nebraska crop was a substantial amount of wind and hail damage in several areas. Many veteran scouts commented they'd never seen as much incidence of hail damage as they saw today. Read that right...they've seen worse hail damage, but they haven't seen hail damage as frequently as they saw it today. Everybody saw hail damage today, but it was (mostly) light damage.

At the Crop Tour meeting in Grand Island, when Western Crop Tour leader Chip Flory asked the 270 (mostly Nebraska) producers how many of them have fields that have been affected by green snap, nearly 80% of the hands went up. (Yep, seriously...80%!)

Scouts also noted they saw more hail damage than they have seen in the past few years…enough that it became somewhat normal to note hail damage in comments as we looked at fields today. Needless to say, that was very telling in explaining what the scouts found in many fields in northeast Nebraska today. Also, scouts noted some disease issues in the corn field from gray leaf spot and some to common/southern rust and Goss’s wilt. None of these were a major problem, but scouts are concerned this could affect yield potential in some fields.

In the soybeans, pod counts varied, but the crop was mostly healthy and green with little disease and insect pressure. Some aphids were noted, but only one instance where concentrations were considered at "threshold." More from Nebraska tomorrow!

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