From the Rows: Day 2, Western Tour - Terry Johnston

August 17, 2010 07:43 PM

From the Rows with Terry Johnston

TJ 2010 Tour-Day 2
Rain on day two of Crop Tour. Yes it’s true... our one day-in-a row of sunshine gave way to cool, wet and muddy conditions today. It’s hard to dampen the spirits of our tour scouts though and they all put in 110 percent in the fields today despite the adverse conditions.

We headed to Nebraska City from Grand Island sampling the southeastern Nebraska crop. The dryland and irrigated corn visually didn’t look as good as last year mainly because in many areas there was too much moisture early in the season which caused some nutrient loss along with a period in the last couple weeks of warm and dry conditions. That pushed the maturity of the crop, resulting in yellow or brown stocks and leaves. It looked somewhat deceiving driving through the countryside, although in reality the yields haven’t been hurt that much according to what we’re finding in the fields. With the added heat units this growing season there is no question the crop is more mature than last year and harvest could very well be ahead of normal. Similar to the northeastern part of the state, there isn’t much to talk about in the way of disease in the corn crop; there were some fields with gray leaf spot, common rust, and Gosses wilt but nothing widespread or with a major impact on yield. There were very few insects in the fields and no significant damage to report.  There were reports of major hail damage in Gage County, which will have an impact in that local area. With the recent rains and good growing conditions to finish the Nebraska corn crop it has the potential to be as good last year.

The dryland and irrigated soybean crop: Even with some variability in pod counts, the crop overall looks to be very solid.  The variation from a little too much moisture earlier in the season to not enough in the last couple weeks, didn’t seem to affect it like it did the corn. The plants are green and uniform and show little signs of stress. We found very little disease pressure in the beans and unlike past years soybean aphids were scarce and certainly not in numbers considered to be threshold. The bean crop is  more mature compared to this time last year and will likely be ready to harvest ahead of last year with good weather the rest of the season. This bean crop has the potential to be as good as, or better, than last year if it has a strong finish.

We all have high hopes for clear skies as we head to western Iowa tomorrow to sample.

More on that tomorrow…

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