Western Tour Day Two from Terry Johnston

August 18, 2008 07:00 PM

From the Rows

Another awesome day as we started at Grand Island, NE, and headed for Nebraska City, Nebraska, on the Western Leg of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour.

As we hit the fields and started sampling SE Nebraska we were in mostly irrigated fields and as we work our way east we got into mostly dryland crops. The irrigated corn was better than we sampled yesterday in NE Nebraska, the ear counts were higher and that seemed to be the major difference, although they still weren't as good as we are used to seeing. The other reason we saw some yield reduction in the irrigated corn was due the early wetness and lack of deep root development and as it got drier and the growers turned on the water the roots just didn't get down to some of the nutrients that it needed. We did see some leaf disease pressure in the form of rust and gray leaf spot in the irrigated fields and some pretty widespread hail damage in one county and scattered in others. As we headed east into more dryland corn the leaf diseases subsided and there was very little pest pressure in corn fields we were in today. There's height variability in both irrigated and dryland corn fields attributed to wet conditions earlier in the season. Overall, a pretty healthy corn crop in this part of the state

The irrigated and dryland soybeans looked pretty good, not a lot of disease to speak of; certainly nothing to be concerned about. There were aphids in at least half of the fields we were in on our route and most of the other scouts said the same thing. The spray planes were buzzing all over today. Like yesterday in NE Nebraska we found a bean crop that is behind in development and will have to hustle to beat the frost. As we moved east into the dryland beans, it got noticeably drier and with the number of blooms, small pods and flat pods, the bean crop really needs rain to finish off and reach its current potential. Overall, the bean crop looks pretty good and if conditions are right, it should finish well.


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