From the Rows: Western Crop Tour - Day 1 - Terry Johnston

August 16, 2010 08:12 PM

From the Rows with Terry Johnston

We rolled out bright and early this morning from Sioux Falls, SD, headed for Grand Island, Nebraska. It was cool and sunny…now there are two words I haven’t put together in sentence for quite some time! We had sunshine the whole day and temperature ONLY hit 87 degrees! It did start raining until this evening and those attending our meeting were glad to see it. These Nebraska growers will not be upset with rain in August anytime soon. It will however make for a long day of sampling tomorrow, especially if it rains all day. I would rather take samples in sunshine no matter the temperature, than in rain at any temperature.

As we headed into the fields in SD it was evident that rainfall had been plentiful again this year… the third year in a row! In fact there were many areas that had received too much rain, similar to other areas in the corn and soybean belt, there were areas of ponding that ranged from no crops, to short and yellow stands, to record yield potential. There were a few spots of prevent-plant as well.

The corn crop in southeast South Dakota overall looks pretty good, the stands are good (with the exception of the wet areas) and we didn’t find a significant level of disease or insects in any fields. Yields were pretty consistent. The noticeable change from last year is that this crop is more mature. All of the corn samples we took were in dent to some degree; that certainly reduces the risk factors on early frost dates. The crop might not be quite as good as last year, but if the crop has moisture and time it will be a good crop.

The southeast South Dakota soybean crop looks good as well. There is very little disease or insects pressure and the crop is more mature than last year. Pods are filling and with good moisture the crop will finished nicely. The crop could be as good; or potentially a little better than last year.

As we moved into northeast Nebraska and headed southwest the conditions changed somewhat. Again there was good moisture early and, in a few cases too much, but it got drier as we moved through our routes today.

The dryland corn varied somewhat. It seems the heat and drier conditions the last couple weeks have hurt it a bit, but overall it’s pretty good. With some timely rains it has the potential be a good crop. The irrigated corn seemed to be not as good as last year, but we have more samples to take and more numbers to crunch before that is determined. Like the corn in southeast South Dakota, the crop is more mature this year than last year. We found very little in the way of insects or disease in the corn. There were pockets of wind damage, hail and ponding... but nothing widespread.

The dryland and irrigated beans both looked good in northeastern part of Nebraska. The good moisture early on got the beans off to a good start and like the corn fields they are virtually free of disease and insects. The maturity of the beans is ahead of last year and if the rain continues and the growing season isn’t cut short with an early frost, they should finish strong. 

More on the Nebraska crop tomorrow…


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