Nebraska Crop Reports - 2016

Nebraska Crop Reports - 2016

USDA NASS Report: Potato Production and Storage

Dec. 16, 2016

Nebraska growers, dealers, and processors held 4.30 million hundredweight (cwt) of potatoes in storage on December 1, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Current stocks represent 60.8% of the 2016 production.

Total stocks are defined as all potatoes on hand, regardless of use, including those that will be lost through future shrinkage and dumping. Nebraska is one of 13 major potato-producing states. Of the 405,172,000 cwt produced by these states in 2016, Nebraska produced 7,076,000 cwt. Leading producers were Idaho (139,330,000 cwt), Washington (27,405,000 cwt) and Wisconsin ( 27,405,000 cwt).

Nationally, the 13 top potato-producing states held 269 million cwt of potatoes in storage Dec. 1, 2016, up 2% from Dec. 1, 2015. Potatoes in storage accounted for 66% of the fall storage states' 2016 production, the same as last year. Potato disappearance, at 136 million cwt, was up 1% from Dec. 1, 2015. Season-to-date shrink and loss, at 12.0 million cwt, was 3% lower than the same time last year. Processors in the eight major states used 73.6 million cwt of potatoes for the season, up 4% from December 2015.

Wheat variety trial at McCook - Baenziger
Wheat breeding trials at McCook on Mr. Randy Peters' farm, an excellent farmer-cooperator. It was planted on time (late September) with excellent soil moisture at planting and got off to a great start. (Photos by Stephen Baenziger)
Wheat variety trial at Clay Center
Wheat breeding trials at Clay Center at the UNL South Central Agricultural Laboratory. It was planted the same day as McCook and also had excellent soil moisture at planting. It got off to a good start also.

Extension Report

December 6, 2016

Sarah Schlund, Extension Educator in Dawson County: Some field work is still going on and you can see that some farmers here and there applied fall fertilizer. Quite a few fields are either being baled or grazed at this point. We have had quite a few frosts lately, but in spots the ground is still not quite frozen. Cover crops look pretty good so far.

USDA-NASS

Nov. 28, 2016

Stephen Baenziger, UNL professor and Nebraska Wheat Growers Presidential Chair, discusses winter wheat condition and his optimism for the 2017 crop in this Nov. 25, 2016 Market Journal segment.

Temperatures averaged four to six degrees above normal for the week ending Nov. 27, according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. Rain at mid-week and over the weekend brought an inch of precipitation to eastern border counties and parts of central Nebraska, while western Nebraska remained mostly dry. Fall harvest activities were near completion, with only scattered fields remaining.

Topsoil moisture supplies rated 11% very short, 30% short, 57% adequate, and 2% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 11% very short, 31% short, 57% adequate, and 1% surplus.

Winter wheat condition rated 5% excellent, 48% good, 34% fair, 11% poor, and 2% very poor.

Extension Reports

November 15, 2016

Keith Jarvi, Extension Educator for Dixon, Wayne, Cedar and Knox Counties: Soybean harvest is done and corn is 92-95% done. For the most part, weather has not interfered with harvest. Rains have been spotty and some areas could use a good rain. The Wayne area hasn’t received any precipitation in November and received just ½ inch in October.

Karen DeBoer, Extension Educator in Cheyenne and Kimball Counties: Corn harvest is nearly complete in the southern Panhandle. There are a few acres of grain sorghum yet to harvest. Soils are dry on top and moisture is needed. The winter wheat crop is in good condition, with the exception of a few reports of stripe rust in the area.

Todd Whitney, Extension Educator in Phelps County: Overall, harvest has been completed in our south-central region. Although corn yields were down at least 20 bushels per acre, crop residue and cover/forage crop grazing has been well above average this fall (so far). Area wheat fields have emerged well, but farmers/ranchers would certainly welcome rain.

USDA NASS Nebraska Crop Progress and Condition

November 14, 2016

For the week ending November 13, Nebraska experienced unseasonably warm temperatures, averaging six to nine degrees above normal, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Rain early in the week was confined mostly to south central and central counties, with totals generally less than an inch. Harvest activities made good progress, with many producers now done combining. With limited rainfall over the last month, dry soils were noted in a number of counties.

Topsoil moisture supplies rated 14% very short, 38% short, 47% adequate, and 1% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 11% very short, 32% short, 56% adequate, and 1% surplus.

Corn harvested was at 93%, near 91% both last year and for the five-year average.

Sorghum harvested was 97%, ahead of 90% last year, and near the five-year average of 93%.

Winter wheat condition rated 2% very poor, 10% poor, 35% fair, 48% good, and 5% excellent.

Drought Report Map for Nov. 8, 2016

Nebraska Drought Monitor

Nov. 10, 2016

The area of Nebraska in moderate (32%) to severe (4%) drought or described as abnormally dry (27%) held steady this week from the Nov. 3 US Drought Monitor report for Nebraska.

USDA NASS Updated Harvest Forecast

Nov. 10, 2016

USDA chart of US corn production history
USDA NASS Nov. 10 Crop Production Report
USDA chart of US soybean production history
USDA NASS Nov. 10 Crop Production Report

Based on November 1 conditions, Nebraska's 2016 corn production is forecast at a record high 1.75 billion bushels, up 3% from last year, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Acreage harvested for grain is estimated at 9.50 million acres, up 4% from a year ago. Average yield is forecast at 184 bushels per acre, down 1 bushel from last year.

Nationally, corn production is forecast at 15.2 billion bushels, up 1 % from the October forecast and up 12% from last year. Based on conditions as of November 1, yields are expected to average 175.3 bushels per acre, up 1.9 bushels from the October forecast and up 6.9 bushels from 2015. If realized, this will be the highest yield and production on record for the United States. Area harvested for grain is forecast at 86.8 million acres, unchanged from the October forecast, but up 8% from 2015.

Soybean production in Nebraska is forecast at a record high 319 million bushels, 4% above last year. Area for harvest, at 5.15 million acres, is down 2% from 2015. Record yield is forecast at 62 bushels per acre, up 4 bushels from a year ago.

Nationally soybean production is forecast at a record 4.36 billion bushels, up 2% from October and up 11% from last year. Based on November 1 conditions, yields are expected to average a record 52.5 bushels per acre, up 1.1 bushels from last month and up 4.5 bushels
from last year. Area for harvest in the United States is forecast at a record 83.0 million acres, unchanged from last month.

Sorghum production of 15.5 million bushels is down 33% from a year ago. Area for grain harvest of 170,000 acres is down 29% from last year. Yield is forecast at 91 bushels per acre, down 5 bushels from last year.

Sugarbeet production is forecast at 1.48 million tons, up 11% from 2015. Area for harvest, at 47,000 acres, is up slightly from last year. Record yield is estimated at 31.5 tons per acre, up 3.1 tons per acre from a year ago.

Potato acres of 16,000 were planted in 2016, up 3% with harvested set at 15,900 acres, up 4%.  Production is forecast at 7.08 million hundredweight, up 3% from last year. Yield is forecast at 445 hundredweight per acre, down 5 hundredweight from 2015.

Extension Crop Report

November 9, 2016

sugar beet harvester
sugarbeet harvester with truck
Sugar beet harvest in the Nebraska Panhandle. Above normal temperatures have slowed the pace of harvest to allow for in-ground storage of the beets until conditions cool. (Photos by Gary Stone)

Update on Nebraska's Sugar Beet Harvest

Gary Stone, Extension Educator: This has been a warmer than normal fall for harvest in the Panhandle. All of the dry beans and most of the corn have been harvested, but there are still a few acres of sugar beets that need to come out along with the sunflower crop. Because of the warmer weather, the sugar processing factory is not taking all of the sugar beets at this time. Sugar beets respire, and when they are in piles waiting to be prcoessed, they will heat up and break down, leaving nothing to process. Thus, it is best to leave them in the ground until the weather cools. Growers are limited to a certain number of acres they can harvest in any one day.

The photos show a ROPA sugar beet harvester. This machine will defoliate, lift and transfer the sugar beets to field wagons or trucks in one operation. This machine will harvest 6- to 30-inch rows of beets and the tank has a capacity of 25 tons, or one semi-load.

USDA NASS Crop Condition Report

For the week ending November 6, above normal temperatures combined with dry conditions promoted fall harvest activities, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Temperatures averaged nine to twelve degrees above normal. Rain was limited to a few south central counties, with less than one-half inch received. Most of the harvest activities were focused on corn acres.

Topsoil moisture supplies rated 14% very short, 35% short, 50% adequate, and 1% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 12% very short, 29% short, 58% adequate, and 1% surplus.

Nebraska crop condition report
seedling wheat damaged by grasshopper feeding
The warm fall may be helping wheat get off to a good start, but it has done little to hamper grasshopper feeding in some wheat fields, such as this Lancaster County field this week. Insecticide control at this point in the season would likely be limited, given the grasshoppers' size and limited foliage to intercept the spray. (Photos by Tyler Williams)

USDA NASS Crop Reports

Nebraska crop condition report

Oct, 31, 2016

Unseasonably warm conditions persisted throughout the week ending Oct. 30, with temperatures averaging nine degrees above normal, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

In Nebraska approximately 69% of the corn had been harvested, an increase from 50% the previous week. Nationally, 82% of the US corn crop has been harvested, compared to only 61% last week.

In Nebraska approximately 91% of the soybeans had been harvested, an increased from 78% the week before. Nationally, 91% of the US soybean crop had been harvested, compared to 75% the week before.

Topsoil moisture supplies rated 10% very short, 32% short, 56% adequate, and 2% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 8% very short, 29% short, 61% adequate, and 2% surplus.

Nebraska Extension Reports

October 27, 2016

Sarah Schlund, Extension Educator in Dawson County: Things are running pretty smooth out here. Corn harvest is moving right along and we have heard some mixed reports on yield so we will have to wait and see what the average looks like after harvest. Some field work has been done, but not too much at this point.

October 21, 2016

Keith Jarvi, Extension Educator for Dixon, Wayne, Cedar and Knox Counties: Up here in northeast Nebraska two days of nearly all-day fog earlier in the week and other days of high humidity slowed down the harvest as growers had to wait for soybeans to dry. Even so, about 85% of the soybeans are out and some farmers have finished soybeans and are starting on corn. Corn harvest is just beginning though, with less than 10% out of the field. Panic has not set in yet and farmers are waiting for the crop to be ready before going into the fields. Yield results for soybeans have been well above average for most. (In northeast Nebraska that means upper 50s to mid 60s with a smattering of 70+ bu/ac in spots). Early corn yields appear to be above average as well.

Sarah Schlund, Extension Educator reporting for Dawson and Buffalo Counties: Most of the soybeans have been harvested at this point and farmers are really focusing on getting the corn out of the field. We had some rain here the other day which slowed down harvest, but they’re still pushing to get things out. Most of the 4th cutting of alfalfa has been put up at this point. Lots of growers are baling their corn and bean stubble and putting their cattle out to graze.

Tyler Williams, Extension Educator in Lancaster County: Corn and soybean harvest is progressing in Lancaster County. A series of very humid days, early morning fog, and light rain events have slowed progress, but the warm temperatures have helped dry things out during the day. Yield reports are still variable, but favorable in most cases. The few acres of wheat are up and look great. I stopped at an alfalfa field that was just baling the 4th cutting. There was not a lot of tonnage in this field, but the stand was pretty thin; however, quality should be quite high.

For more on taking the fourth cutting of alfalfa, view a video field report Williams posted this week.

Kochia plant affecting wheat plant population
The kochia plant in this southwest Nebraska wheat field shows the true impact of not controlling weeds during a fallow period. Not controlling this weed allowed it to use valuable soil moisture that the wheat needed for germination. As its roots extended, so did its soil-robbing impact to a wider circle of the field. (Photo by Chuck Burr)

USDA NASS Crop Report

Oct. 17, 2016

For the week ending October 16, temperatures averaged near normal in the east and two to six degrees above normal across western Nebraska, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Sugarbeet harvest was delayed in Panhandle counties due to the above normal temperatures. However, freezing temperatures at mid-week were reported across a wide area of the state. Rainfall was minimal, but heavy morning dews limited soybean harvest progress.|

Topsoil moisture supplies rated 7% very short, 24% short, 65% adequate, and 4% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 7% very short, 24% short, 66% adequate, and 3% surplus.

usda-NE-crop-report-10-17

Extension Reports

Oct. 11, 2016

John Wilson, Extension Educator in Burt County: Harvest is proceeding slowly around our intermittent rains. Growers are seeing outstanding yields for the most part except in areas where there was green snap or areas that didn’t get planted this spring because it never dried out. We had springs running until July where we normally never have springs.

Karen DeBoer, Extension Educator in Cheyenne County: With good weather, moisture and even a little snow wheat planting and emergence is much better than last year. Proso millet harvest is almost done and corn harvest is just getting started. We have more grain sorghum acres than I’ve ever seen out here. Sunflower are also doing well and its proving to be a good for the crops.

Robert Tigner, Extension Educator in Red Willow County: We’re also having a pretty good fall so far. Wheat planting was finished in the area last week. I surveyed a number of agronomists in eight southwest counties and they aren’t reporting any real change in wheat acreage. Some who planted it in irrigated fields may be switching those fields to other crops, but most are in normal rotations. Dryland corn yields appear to be very positive, ranging from 105 bu/ac to the more typical 120 bu/ac and even up to 160-180 bu/ac.

Julie Peterson, Entomologist at the West Central REC, North Platte: Conditions here are cool, overcast, and foggy and a lot of the corn still needs to dry down. We expect to start harvesting our research plots late next week or the week after.

Sarah Schlund, Extension Educator in Dawson County: Harvest is progressing well here. A decent hard frost last Thursday is helping dry things down. A few late-planted fields of corn are still really green. A lot of high moisture corn has already been harvested, as has most of the seed corn in Buffalo and Hall counties. A lot of soybean fields have already been picked. Some growers are reporting lower yields than in the past. Growers are taking their fourth cutting of alfalfa a little behind normal. Some cattle have been turned out into fields.

Ron Seymour, Extension Educator in Adams County: We’ve gotten several small, spotty rains this week and some areas received downpours (up to 7 inches in one area) last week that stopped harvest. Producers are working hard on harvest. About 10% of the corn has been harvested, but most of it could dry down some more in the field. We’re seeing lots of gray leaf spot, but so far, not too much stalk rot. Overall, the crop appears to be standing well. Some wheat cover crop has already been planted following soybean/corn harvest.

Troy Ingram, Extension Educator in Valley, Greeley, Sherman and Howard Counties: Conditions here are very dry. Soybeans have been harvested but there were a lot of green stems. Moisture levels in corn are still high, at 16-20% and growers are waiting for dry down. At the same time, we could really use a good soaking rain this fall to get moisture back into the soil profile.

Tamra Jackson-Ziems, Extension Plant Pathologist for Corn: This week I was examining a small fungicide trial we have in popcorn and found moisture at 16-18%. I also found some ear rot disease, likely fusarium, at low incidence. Even though the producer reported the hybrid should have standability, lodging was at 70-80% in both treated and non-treated plots. This is not unusual as popcorn struggles with standability. We saw some stalk rot, including fusarium and anthracnose. It’s good to get out and walk all corn fields to identify areas of stalk and ear rots and then prioritize harvest to complete problem fields first.

Todd Whitney, Extension Educator in Phelps County: Soybean harvest is mostly done. Some areas were replanted late due to hail and some sorghums haven’t quite made it yet. (Their plants aren’t dead but they aren’t growing either.) Overall corn yields have been disappointing, even in areas that didn’t get green snap, and it’s not drying down well. Irrigated corn yield reports have been around 180 bu/ac, and none much above 220 or 230 bu/ac.

Wayne Ohnesorg, Extension Educator in Madison County: Recent rains put a stop to soybean harvest, which is only 30-35% complete. Yields are good but not great. There has been some issue with high moisture corn drying down so much (less than 20%) that feedlots wouldn’t take it. Some are switching to corn harvest while they wait for beans to dry down.

Charles Shapiro, Extension Soils Specialist at the Haskell Ag Lab: We missed the rain up here and growers are making fair progress on corn and soybean harvest.

Tyler Williams, Extension Educator in Lancaster County: Soybeans and corn are coming out at the same time. Between the rains and humidity, soybean harvest has been slow going but yields have been good. Other yields have been spotty and I think it might go back to June weather. There was a light frost last week but not vegetative impact. We’re likely to see widespread frost Thursday.

Cody Creech, Extension in the Panhandle REC at Scottsbluff: Nearly all the wheat has been planted in the Panhandle. The moisture and temperature was ideal for wheat planting. The wheat had excellent emergence and the stands are about as good as one could hope for.

Robert Klein, Extension Dryland Crops Specialist: In the McCook area where winter wheat received rains, the stands look excellent. In Imperial, Grant and Ogallala we have some dry areas with 60-70% emergence. Some of these areas received ½ to 1 inch of rain last week which should improve the stands in those areas. Some areas were so dry that the farmers waited until after they received rain to start wheat seeding.

The summer fallowed fields with tillage have the best stands. Continuous cropping fields and no-till summer fallow fields have the lowest stands. The no-till summer fallow fields have good soil water but the top soil was dry and hard and drills were not able to get the seed to the proper depth or to moisture.

Some seed dealers have reported sales of red wheat certified seed dropping by as much as 50% while white wheat sales were down a little to increases of 15-20%, depending on the area. In south central Nebraska early sales of certified red wheat seed were also reported down, as much as 75%.

For areas where wheat seeding has been delayed, this 2015 CropWatch article may be helpful: “Wheat Seeding Delayed? Here’s How to Compensate.

USDA NASS

October Crop Production Estimate: Corn up 2% and Soybean at Record High, up 3% from 2015

Oct. 12, 2016

Based on October 1 conditions, Nebraska's 2016 corn production is forecast at a record high 1.72 billion bushels, up 2% from last year, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Acreage harvested for grain is estimated at 9.50 million acres, up 4% from a year ago. Average yield is forecast at 181 bushels per acre, down 4 bushels from last year.

Nationally, corn production is forecast at 15.1 billion bushels, up 11% from last year but down slightly from the September forecast. Based on conditions as of October 1, yields are expected to average 173.4 bushels per acre, down 1 bushel from the September forecast but up 5 bushels from 2015. If realized, this will be the highest yield and production on record for the United States. Area harvested for grain is forecast at 86.8 million acres, up slightly from the September forecast and up 8% from 2015. Acreage updates were made in several states following a thorough review of all available data.

Soybean production in Nebraska is forecast at a record high 314 million bushels, 3% above last year. Area for harvest, at 5.15 million acres, is down 2% from 2015. Record yield is forecast at 61 bushels per acre, up 3 bushels from a year ago.

Nationally, soybean production is forecast at a record 4.27 billion bushels, up 2% from September and up 9% from last year. Based on October 1 conditions, yields are expected to average a record 51.4 bushels per acre, up 0.8 bushel from last month and up 3.4 bushels from last year. Area for harvest in the United States is forecast at a record 83.0 million acres, up slightly from September and up 2% from 2015. Acreage updates were made in several states based on a thorough review of all available data.

Sorghum production of 15.1 million bushels is down 34% from a year ago. Area for grain harvest of 170,000 acres is down 29% from last year. Yield is forecast at 89 bushels per acre, down 7 bushels from last year.

Dry edible bean production is forecast at 2.96 million hundredweight, down 5% from 2015. Area for harvest, at 130,000 acres, is down slightly from last year. Yield is estimated at 2,280 pounds per acre, down 100 pounds per acre from last year.

Sugarbeet production is forecast at 1.52 million tons, up 15% from 2015. Area for harvest, at 47,000 acres, is up slightly from last year. Record yield is estimated at 32.4 tons per acre, up 4 tons per acre from a year ago.

All sunflower production is forecast at 53.7 million pounds, down 32% from last year. Acreage for harvest, at 39,000 acres, is down 5,500 acres from 2015. Yield is forecast at 1,377 pounds per acre, down 407 pounds per acre from a year ago. Of the acres for harvest, non-oil sunflowers account for 12,000 acres and oil sunflowers account for 27,000 acres.

Alfalfa hay production, at 3.04 million tons, is down 11% from the 2015 crop. Area for harvest, at 800,000 acres, is down 6% from a year ago. Yield, at 3.80 tons per acre, is down 0.20 ton from 2015. All other hay production, at 3.06 million tons, is up 3% from 2015. Area for harvest, at 1.80 million acres, is down 3% from a year ago. Record yield, at 1.70 tons per acre, is up 0.10 ton from last year.

Weekly USDA NASS Crop Condition & Progress Report

Oct. 9, 2017

For the week ending October 9, precipitation in the form of rain and snow in some western counties slowed fall harvest activities, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Accumulations of an inch or more of rain were common across the eastern third of the state.

Temperatures averaged near normal with a season ending freeze reported in some western areas. There were 4.7 days suitable for fieldwork.

Topsoil moisture supplies rated 7% very short, 23% short, 65% adequate, and 5% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 7% very short, 23% short, 67% adequate, and 3% surplus.

Oct. 9, 2016 USDA NASS crop report for Nebraska

Oct. 5, 2016

Strahinja Stepanovic, Cropping Systems Extension Educator in Perkins, Chase, and Dundy Counties: Weather conditions in southwest Nebraska have been dry the past three weeks. We got a good 2.5-inch rain Sunday (Oct. 2) running south of Parkston and east of Grant and Imperial. Wheat planting is 95% done. Potato harvest is done. Soybean harvest is 80% done with yields ranging from 50-90 bu/ac for irrigated and 0-30 bu/ac for dryland.

Harvest of high moisture corn (>26%) started two weeks ago and is about 70% done with yields of 180-250 bu/ac irrigated and 40-100 bu/ac dryland (adjusted to 15.5% moisture). Farmers are discounted for taking dryer corn to feedlot as wet corn. As farmers are finishing soybean harvest, harvest of regular (dry) corn is just starting with yields similar to wet corn. I have not seen farmers combining sorghum yet. It was planted late and August was cool so it’s still maturing in places. Sunflowers will be ready for harvest in a weak or so. Looking forward to see yields of sorghum and sunflower as they looked very good during the season. Sugar beets will be last to harvest.

Seeding wheat in corn residue
Comparison of rainfed wheat stand in corn residue (left) and bare soil at the University of Nebraska Stumpf Wheat Center near Grant. (Photo by Strahinja Stepanovic)

Todd Whitney, Crops Extension Educator for Phelps, Gosper, Harlan and Furnas Counties: Overall, soybean yields are better than expected compared to average, but corn yields are significantly less. Soybean harvest is nearly completed. Green snap has been an issue for many fields especially in the eastern areas. Corn dry down has been slow with most fields still at 17%+ moisture, but harvest is still underway. Irrigated corn yields are lower, in the range of 180-230 bu/ac. (Average in this area is 200 to 210 bu/ac). Wheat and cover crop drilling are mostly complete.

Keith Jarvi, Extension Educator in Dixon, Wayne, Cedar and Knox Counties: Soybean harvest got off to a quick start in late September in northeast Nebraska as soils were dry until Tuesday’s (Oct. 4) rain which temporarily put it to a halt. I’m guessing that within five days we will have 35%-45% of the soybeans harvested. Yields have generally been average to above average. The general rain of about 1 inch more or less was actually needed in many areas as things were getting too dry, a contrast to areas just south of us who have had plenty or too much rain. Silage cutting is done, but no corn has been harvested for grain.

Sarah Schlund, Extension Educator in Dawson County: A lot of the seed corn and high moisture corn fields have been harvested. Early planted corn and fields that dried down early are being harvested now. Still plenty of corn drying down or green yet so farmers are slowly moving from field to field. Soybean harvest is in full swing and lots of fields are gone at this point. Sorghum is maturing and there are still some alfalfa fields that are standing while a lot of them have had their fourth cutting.  Wheat planted in early September is up and looks pretty good. A few guys around here have some cover crops in while others are waiting for their crop to come out and then plant a forage crop. I also saw a few cattle out grazing corn stalks already while a couple of producers have baled their stalks.

USDA NASS Crop Report

Oct. 3, 2016

For the week ending October 2, ideal fall harvest conditions occurred with minimal precipitation and near normal temperatures, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The dry conditions allowed grain moisture levels in standing crops to be drawn down and permitted easy access to fields. Soybean harvest was widespread. Winter wheat was being planted in southern counties. There were 6.6 days suitable for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 8% very short, 28% short, 61% adequate, and 3% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 7% very short, 26% short, 65% adequate, and 2% surplus.

Oct. 2 USDA NASS Crop Report for Nebraska

Nebraska Extension Reports

September 27, 2016

Robert Tigner, Extension Educator in Red Willow: A few producers are still cutting corn silage. Dryland corn, which is planted after irrigated here, is maturing faster than I would have anticipated. Soybeans are dropping leaves. Some wheat has been planted, but there hasn’t been as much activity as usual. We have plenty of soil moisture.

Keith Glewen, Extension Educator in Saunders County: We don’t need any more rain until we get this crop out of the field. We had two rains last week and are now oversaturated in the Todd Valley. I’ve received direct reports of six soybean harvests with yields above 73 bu/ac. I think it’s going to be a bin-buster soybean yield. Corn is drying down faster than expected at the ARDC and harvest will be ramping up soon.

Aaron Nygren, Extension Educator in Colfax County: Corn harvest was just barely getting started when weekend rains delayed it. Growers expect pretty good yields; I’ve heard reports of soybean yields at 67 bu/ac and one at 40 bu/ac in sandy soil.

Keith Jarvi, Extension Educator in Dixon, Wayne, Cedar and Knox Counties: Rains have been spotty, but crops look fairly good. One soybean field in the area has been harvested, but there’s not a lot of other field activity. A fair amount of beans still have their leaves. It looks like about one-third will be ready to harvest toward the end of the week to early next week. We’re seeing a lot of tops of corn turning grey to brown this year with die-off.

Nathan Mueller, Cropping Systems Educator for Dodge and Washington Counties: Dodge and Washington counties got over 6 inches of precipitation in September, which means soil moisture levels are adequate to surplus. Corn is drying down quickly and growers are ramping up for corn and soybean harvest. About 70% of corn has black-layered and about 90% of soybeans have dropped their leaves, with 2-3% harvested. We’re seeing some ear rots and some stalk rots and now southern rust in late-planted corn. A winter wheat variety trial was planted in Washington County. Growers are taking their fourth cutting of alfalfa.

September 22, 2016

Sarah Schlund, Extension Educator in Dawson County: Most of our producers in the area are waiting for their crops to dry down at this point. A lot of the seed corn fields in the area have already been harvested. A few producers this week removed some of their early corn while most of the other ones have been busy harvesting soybeans. Many of the soybean fields have dropped their leaves but there are still a few here and there that are transitioning from green to yellow. Some folks are still cutting their alfalfa or getting it baled before harvest. A few fields of wheat have been planted and are starting to come up. It will be great to see more combines rolling here soon!

September 19, 2016

Nathan Mueller, Extension Educator, reporting on Dodge County Yield Tour Sept. 7-10: The 2016 corn preharvest yield estimate was 184 bu/ac, which is down 13 bu/ac from a year ago. Irrigated and dryland yields averaged 212 bu/ac and 167 bu/ac respectively. Irrigated yields were 3 bu/ac higher while dryland was 21 bu/ac short of 2015. This was largely driven by having 2,200 fewer ears per acre compared to last year.  Much of this reduction came from seedling dampening off in May and then the green snap from the July 5 storm. Fortunately we managed to put more rows of kernels on the ears early this season with an average of 17.0 rows, compared to last year’s 15.7 rows of kernels. Ear length was similar to a year ago. Given the extra heat units in June and portions of July, the corn averaged 3/4 milk line versus 1/3 milk line in 2015.

The 2016 soybean preharvest yield estimate was 62 bu/ac for the county, up 4 bu/ac from a year ago. Irrigated and dryland soybean yields were 70 and 57 bu/ac correspondingly. Compared to last year, beans were found to have more pods. The county average was up nearly 100 pods per 1/10,000 of an acre from 2015, averaging 602. However, yield estimates were dampened by slightly smaller seed size and fewer seeds per pod. Maturity was only slightly ahead of 2015 and the amount of lodging was similar to a year ago. Read the full yield tour report at Crop Tech Cafe.

crop tour tools
Soybeans in Dodge County sampled in early September for the preharvest yield estimate generally had more pods per acre but the pods often had fewer and smaller seeds per pod. (Photo by Nathan Mueller)

Todd Whitney, Extension Educator in Phelps County: Growers are getting into soybean harvest. Corn silage harvest is pretty well complete and growers are waiting for corn to dry down for harvest. Yields are still a little unsure as soybean canopying was three weeks behind normal. We might be 5-7 bu/ac off normal soybean yield. We had 30-40% greensnap in some fields, but I’m not sure of the yield reduction from that. Some are expecting above normal yields while some are expecting less.

Ron Seymour, Extension Educator in Adams County: A lot of soybeans are dropping leaves, and harvest won’t be far off. A Sept. 2 field survey (pre HHD) showed corn at ½ to ¾ starch; it would now likely be close to maturity. I’m seeing a lot of defoliators on soybeans. In corn I saw quite a bit of leaf disease, including southern rust. Some may be bacterial leaf streak. Quite a few fields had greensnap and look pretty tough. We’ve gotten a little rain, but it’s been spotty.

Troy Ingram, Extension Educator for Valley, Greeley, Sherman, and Howard Counties: Last week’s rains were spotty and ranged from 0-3.5 inches, depending on location. Soybeans range from R7 to beginning maturity. Corn ranges from ¼ milk line to black layer. Silage chopping is pretty much complete. One grower has started harvest of 25% moisture corn.

Tamra Jackson-Ziems, Extension Plant Pathologist for corn: We’re seeing increased incidence of stalk rot diseases in corn as recently described in CropWatch and Market Journal. Scout for diseases and prioritize fields with more damage and lodging for first harvest, where possible.

Wayne Ohnesorg, Extension Educator for Pierce County: I’ve seen some silage chopping, but it’s slowed since the last two rains, when we received 1-4 inches. Pivots have essentially been turned off. Beans are dropping leaves.

Keith Jarvi, Extension Educator for Dixon, Wayne, Cedar and Knox Counties: Soybeans are dropping their leaves and corn silage is being cut. Generally things have been pretty calm with heavy rains in southern Wayne County, but almost nothing in Wayne. We may see soybean harvest begin mid to end of next week.

John Wilson, Extension Educator for Burt County: We received 2.5-9 inches of rain in various areas of the county over the last week. Crops are looking good except for where water is standing. A few soybeans are dropping leaves, but it looks like corn is maturing and may be ready for harvest before soybeans this year.

Keith Glewen, Extension Educator in Saunders County: We didn’t get the rains reported in nearby Colfax County (8.5 and 10 inches in some areas), but we’ve had enough and don’t need any more going into harvest. In fields where water doesn’t drain well, it may be hard to get the corn out this year. With good sunlight and drying winds over the next few weeks, we’re apt to see record soybean yields. (Some fields do have a lot of lodging and I’d be concerned about the quality of pods at the bottom of the pile.) I received two reports of kernels sprouting in the ear, likely related to recent wet weather.

Tyler Williams, Extension Educator in Lancaster County: Crops here are maturing fast and harvest won't be long off, especially with a couple of very warm days ahead. Some wet corn and a few soybean fields have been harvested. Soybean yields are expected to be high and corn yields are highly variable.

crop progress as of 9-18-16

USDA NASS Crop Report

September 19, 2016

For the week ending September 18, corn and soybean condition were unchanged from the previous week. Temperatures averaged near normal in the east and two degrees below normal across western Nebraska, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Minimal precipitation fell across western areas, while rainfall was widespread over eastern Nebraska.

Dry bean combining was underway in western counties. Seed corn and silage harvests continued. The first fields of soybeans were being taken and winter wheat seeding was active in the west. There were 5.1 days suitable for fieldwork.

Topsoil moisture supplies rated 7% very short, 23% short, 65% adequate, and 5% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 7% very short, 26% short, 64% adequate, and 3% surplus.

September 16, 2016

Sarah Schlund, Extension Educator in Dawson County: A lot of producers are done irrigating their crops at this point. There's still a few who are finishing up with their center pivots before turning them off for the season. Most of the corn is drying down quickly and will be nearing black layer soon. Those later planted fields are still at dent stage. Many soybean fields are starting to lose their leaves and dry down as well. Fourth cuttings of alfalfa are underway at this point. A lot of producers are getting their equipment ready for harvest.

Drought monitor map for Nebraska for Aug. 2, 2016This drought monitor map is based on conditions as of Tuesday, Sept, 13 and was released Sept. 15.  (Source: droughtmonitor.unl.edu)

USDA-NASS Crop Forecast

Sept. 12, 2016

Nebraska crop reportBased on September 1 conditions, Nebraska's 2016 corn crop is forecast at a record high 1.73 billion bushels, up 2% from last year, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Acreage harvested for grain is estimated at 9.40 million acres, up 3% from a year ago. Average yield is forecast at 184 bushels per acre, down 1 bushel from last year.

Soybean production in Nebraska is forecast at a record high 310 million bushels, up 1% from last year. Area for harvest, at 5.25 million acres, is down slightly from 2015. Record high yield is forecast at 59 bushels per acre, up 1 bushel from a year ago.

Sorghum production of 13.4 million bushels is down 42% from a year ago. Area for grain harvest of 150,000 acres is down 38% from last year. Yield is forecast at 89 bushels per acre, down 7 bushels from last year.

Sugarbeet production is forecast at 1.52 million tons, up 15% from 2015. Area for harvest, at 47,000 acres, is up slightly from last year. Yield is estimated at a record high 32.4 tons per acre, up 4 tons from a year ago.

USDA-NASS Crop Progress & Crop Condition Report

Aug. 22, 2016
Temperatures were slightly cooler (two degrees below normal) across the state for the week ending Aug. 21, but conditions remained dry across much of the state, according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. The southern Panhandle and eastern third of the state received an inch or less while much of the rest of the state remained dry.Topsoil moisture supplies were rated 8% very short, 32% short, 58% adequate, and 2% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 7% very short, 30% short, 62% adequate, and 1% surplus.
USDA NASS Crop Report for 8/21/16

CRP Acres in 4 Counties Eligible for Emergency Haying and Grazing

August 18, 2016

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Nebraska Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Dan Steinkruger today announced four counties have been authorized for emergency haying and grazing use of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres due to drought. The following counties are approved for emergency CRP haying until Aug. 31, 2016, and for grazing through Sept. 30, 2016: Adams, Franklin, Kearney, and Webster.

“Nebraska FSA is making every effort to offer assistance for farmers and ranchers during this tough production year. Emergency haying and grazing can help relieve the burden of losses suffered due to the severe weather Nebraska is experiencing in these counties,” said Steinkruger.

The CRP emergency haying and grazing authorization for 2016 went into effect for these counties over the past week.

Producers who want to hay or graze their CRP contract acres must sign up and receive approval from their local FSA office prior to any emergency haying or grazing activities commencing and must work with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to ensure an amended conservation plan is in place.

Nebraska drought map 8-16-16

To take advantage of the emergency haying and grazing provisions, authorized producers can use the CRP acreage for their own livestock or may grant another livestock producer use of the CRP acreage. CRP participants can donate, but are not allowed to sell, the hay.

Steinkruger adds, “There is no payment reduction for CRP acres used for haying and grazing under these emergency provisions. However, participants are limited to one hay cutting.”

For questions, contact your local FSA office or visit Nebraska Farm Service Agency online at www.fsa.usda.gov/ne.

Extension Crop Reports

Aug. 18, 2016

Paul Hay, Nebraska Extension Cropping Systems Educator, in Gage County: In Gage County and surrounding areas, the irrigated corn looks good with expected average to better than average yields.  Some low yielding wells are limiting use.  Irrigation in the Little Blue watershed has been shut down mid-July to mid-August. In dryland corn we expect variable yields from 60 to 150 bu/ac. Variable rains will result in county averages down 30% to the 100 bu/ac range. Irrigated soybeans look good and we're still hopeful for dryland soybeans, but we will need help with rains in late August and early September.  With modest rains dryland yields will range from 20 bu/ac to 45 bu/ac, with most being in the high 20s to low 30s. 

Sarah Schlund, Extension Educator in Dawson County: We had rain and a little wind damage last weekend, but overall crops look good. Corn is anywhere from early milk to dough to early dent in this area. Soybean pods are filling pretty well. Seed corn production fields are starting to dry down a little bit. I have seen some spider mites in corn fields along with gray leaf spot. A lot of hay is down right now from third cutting. Some sorghum fields are just starting to get some color while others are being cut for silage.

Keith Glewen, Cropping Systems Educator, in Saunders, Douglas, and Sarpy Counties: “Irrigated corn planted in April and early May is in excellent condition. Corn planted in late May and early June as a result of excessive precipitation in May is currently in excellent condition but will need a normal or later-than-normal frost freeze date to reach black layer. Recent August rains have positioned soybeans in excellent condition.

Nathan Mueller, Cropping Systems Educator, in Dodge and Washington Counties: On rainfed corn, I have done three recent yield estimates. I only found 138 bu/ac on a field with 10% green snap and hail damage. However, on two other fields I have yield estimates of 187 and 202 bu/ac. These yields are probably slightly above average in the area. In 2015, rainfed corn in these same areas went 200 to 240 bushels per acre. In the field with a 202 bu/ac yield estimate, ear counts were highly variable, ranging from 18,000 to 29,000 ears per acre, with an average of 24,000. However, kernel row numbers averaged 17.8 in this field. Even though we have had good rainfall compared to average, early season damping off from Pythium and early July pre-tassel green snap really dropped our ear count compared to normal. Fortunately corn foliar diseases have been lower than normal; we have very little northern corn leaf blight compared to the last two years. Foliar fungicide applications occurred on significantly fewer acres this year. At this time, the only thing holding irrigated corn yields back is the lower-than-normal ear counts in Dodge and Washington counties. Going into August, soybeans looked fantastic with great pod set, but now soils are getting drier and additional rains are needed to keep the great yield potential. Overall, disease and insect pressure has been low, but we now have soybean aphids at low numbers, 5 to 50 per plant.

Aug. 16, 2016

Julie Peterson, Extension Entomologist at the West Central REC: Green cloverworm were found feeding and causing defoliation in a soybean field near Gothenburg. Other defoliators were also active in the area. I got a call from Chamberlain, S.D. reporting red-headed flea beetles clipping silks in corn. They have a similar threshold as rootworm beetles and growers in western Nebraska may want to watch for them.

Ron Seymour, Extension Educator in Adams County: Grain sorghum is in good condition and heads are starting to color. No pest issues were noticed. Field corn is in good condition, but quite a few fields have green snap and pest issues. The corn is in the soft dough to hard dough stages. A few fields had ears that were not filled out to the tip. Twospotted spider mites were found from lower leaves to the ear leaf.  About 20% of the ear tips had western bean cutworm larvae that have about completed their development. Quite a few of the plants had grey leaf spot and a few plants had some southern rust. Soybeans are also in good condition, but some defoliation was noticed.  Maturity ranges from pod elongation to pod fill. Quite a few fields had adult grasshoppers present that were causing damage at the field edges. In a number of fields bean leaf beetles and green clover worms have caused 10%-15% defoliation.  A few soybean stem borer adults are still being found.

Jennifer Rees, Extension Educator in York and Seward Counties: Rainfed fields are really stressed and southern Clay through Nuckolls counties are struggling without moisture. We need a good rain. Corn is in the dough to early dent stage. We’re seeing some early tip back and a lot of other ear abnormalities. These may have been caused by stressful weather conditions in early July. There also may be some genetic/environment interaction. Soybean is in seed fill and there’s been some over irrigating as lodging is a problem in some fields.  Stem borers and defoliators are in soybeans and spider mites can be found all the way up the plant in some corn fields. In sorghum there are some greenbugs.

Troy Ingram, Extension Educator in Valley, Greeley, Sherman and Howard Counties: Conditions here have been really dry and dryland corn is starting to turn brown in sandier areas. Irrigation is running heavy. Several fields damaged by green snap a couple weeks ago are now trying to shoot out a small ear with some big kernels that are not likely to make it to maturity by the first freeze. Third cutting of alfalfa is almost complete.

Keith Jarvi, Extension Educator in Dixon, Wayne, Cedar and Knox Counties: Rains have been spotty without much rain from early June to early August. Then, in the Wayne area we got 1.5 inches last Thursday and 0.80 inch Tuesday morning.  We’re not going to get record yields, but we should see very good yields. I’ve seen some soybean aphids, but not at treatable levels. We aren’t seeing any major disease or insect pressure this year and some growers have cut back on “insurance” pesticide treatments. Soybeans here are at R4-R5 and growers are advised to keep monitoring for soybean aphids for another week or so. Usually we would have seen more by now if they were going to be a problem, but there’s a chance populations may bloom with this weekend’s cooler temperatures.

John Wilson, Extension Educator in Burt County: We were blessed with a 2-inch rain Aug. 1, another 2.80 inches last Thursday, and 0.30 Tuesday morning. Corn is at dough stage or beyond. Soybean are at pod-setting to pod-fill. Third cutting of alfalfa is ¾ done.  

Wayne Ohnesorg, Extension Educator in Madison, Pierce and Antelope Counties: We received some much needed rain on Aug. 11, with reports ranging from 1-3 inches depending on location. Some additional rainfall fell last Aug. 15, but I only had 0.10 inch in my gauge. Rainfed crops were looking a bit rough prior to rainfall. Third cutting of alfalfa has been cut and baled. Soybean fields are in R4. Soybean aphids are present but in low numbers. I have seen some white mold. Crop related insect questions have been about grasshoppers and forage loopers. I do have one report of a field by Pierce that was scouted and they missed western bean cutworm egg masses and now have larvae in the ears.

NASS Forecasts Record-Setting Corn and Soybean Crops

August 12, 2016

Based on August 1 conditions, Nebraska's 2016 corn production is forecast at a record high of 1.76 billion bushels, up 4% from last year, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.  Acreage harvested for grain is estimated at 9.40 million acres, up 3 percent from a year ago.  Average yield is forecast at 187 bushels per acre, up 2 bushels from last year and the highest  on record.

Soybean production in Nebraska is forecast at a record high of 310 million bushels, up 1% from last year.  Area for harvest, at 5.25 million acres, is down slightly from 2015.  Yield is forecast at a record high of 59 bushels per acre, up 1 bushel from last year.

Nebraska’s 2016 winter wheat crop is forecast at 63.6 million bushels, up 38% from last year.  Harvested area for grain, at 1.20 million acres, is down 1% from a year ago.  Average yield is forecast at a record high of 53 bushels per acre, up 15 bushels per acre from 2015.

Sorghum production of 14.0 million bushels is down 39% from a year ago.  Area for grain harvest, at 150,000 acres, is down 38% from last year.  Yield is forecast at 93 bushels per acre, down  3 bushels from last year.

Oat production is forecast at 2.52 million bushels, down 6% from last year.  Harvested area for grain, at 40,000 acres, is unchanged from last year.  Yield is forecast at 63 bushels per acre, down 4 bushels from 2015.

Dry edible bean production is forecast at 3.15 million cwt, up 1% from last year.  The average yield is forecast at 2,350 pounds per acre, down 30 pounds from last year.  Acres planted by class are as follows:  Pinto, 88,900; Great Northern, 38,300; Black, 6,700; Light Red Kidney, 4,300; Chickpeas, 3,100;  Navy, 1,000; All Other, 2,700.

Sugarbeet production is forecast at 1.52 million tons, up 15% from 2015.  Area for harvest, at 47,000 acres, is up slightly from last year.  Yield is estimated at a record high of 32.4 tons per acre, up  4.0 tons from a year ago.

Alfalfa hay production is forecast at 3.04 million tons, down 11% from last year.  Expected yield, at 3.80 tons per acre, is down 0.2 ton from last year.  All other hay production is forecast at 3.06 million tons, up 3% from last year.  Forecasted yield, at a record high of 1.70 tons per acre, is up 0.1 ton per acre from last year. 

Extension Reports

August 11, 2016
Sarah Schlund, Extension Educator in Dawson County: We are still seeing sprayer planes flying overhead in our area. Gray leaf spot has become more prevalent in the past couple of weeks and there are still quite a few fields with rootworm beetles trying to feed. Southern rust has been reported or confirmed in counties to the south and east of us so producers are keeping an eye on their fields. We have seen a lot of tip back and some ears with aborted kernels in our corn. Swarms of corn borer moths in the northern part of our county have been reported too. Soybeans seem to be filling out nicely, but we could certainly use a good rain. Producers are also starting to get their third hay cutting under way.

USDA NASS Crop Condition & Progress

August 8, 2016
Nebraska crop progress was ahead of 2015 crop progress for this period and on track with five-year averages, according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service report Monday.
Corn: 47% at dough, compared to 37% in 2015 and the five-year average of 45%; 9% dented, compared to 4% in 2015 and same as average.
Soybean: 94% blooming, near 93% last year and for the five-year average; 65% setting pods, near 63% for last year and five-year average.
Sorghum: 73% headed, near 75% last year, ahead of 62% average; coloring was at 5%, near 4% last year and equal to average.
Alfalfa: Third cutting 59% complete, ahead of 38% last year, and the average of 45%; fourth cutting was 4% complete, near 3% last year.
Dry edible beans: 92% blooming, ahead of 83% last year and five-year average of 86%.
USDA NASS Crop Condition Report 8-7-16

Extension Reports

August 2, 2016
John Wilson, Extension Educator in Burt County: On Aug. 1 we received 0.25 to 1.25 inches during the day and another 1.9 inches overnight for a total of 3 inches in 24 hours in some areas. Neighboring Dodge County had even higher amounts. The rains raised the humidity and kept alfalfa from drying. Corn is looking good — tall enough to hide the bad spots. Silking is almost complete and probably a fourth of the crop is in dough stage. In the last week or so soybeans finally put on some growth and canopied in fields that were lagging. Fields are flowering, except for a few spots, and one-third to one-half of the fields are setting pods. About one-third of the third cutting of alfalfa is done. We’re finding an occasional soybean aphid, usually less than 10 per plant, as well as lots of little grasshoppers that are moving from ditches into fields. Growers should be keeping an eye on them.

Tyler Williams, Extension Educator in Lancaster County: Crops are looking good, but we’re getting dry. We got some rain Monday – just under one inch in Lincoln last night. Corn, which is at the blister stage and developing fast, is in good shape and we’re expecting great yields. Soybeans are beyond flowering most everywhere and it looks like a lot of soybeans may not canopy; soybean yields may be a little more hit or miss than in corn. We’re seeing a lot of grasshoppers this year.

Ron Seymour, Extension Educator in Adams County: Corn is looking good and is mostly in the blister stage, with some near the milk stage. Insect injury includes some western bean cutworm in ear tips, corn earworms, and some stink bug feeding in corn. We’re also seeing some gray leaf spot in a few corn fields, but it hasn’t been severe. Fields suffered green snap and other damage from a recent windstorm; in the Kenesaw area some fields were complete losses and growers are planning to put in cover crops. Most soybeans are starting to canopy pretty well and are at early pod-fill. We’re seeing some defoliation damage in soybeans from grasshoppers, a few bean leaf beetles, loopers, painted ladies, stink bugs, and a few dectes stem borers. Growers should be keeping an eye out for defoliation damage. We’re seeing a few lygus beetles in alfalfa and some black stem.  Overall our conditions have been pretty dry and we need a good rain.

Troy Ingram, Extension Educator in Ingram, Valley, Greeley, Sherman and Howard Counties: Recent rains have been spotty across these four counties, ranging from ½ inch to 5 inches. Some areas are particularly dry, especially in Greeley County. A lot of aerial applications are being made, although I’m not seeing a lot of disease. Alfalfa is in its third cutting, beans are setting pods, and most corn has blistered or moved to the milk stage. About 10-14 days ago, straight line winds caused green snap in 15-50% of some Greeley County fields. Some dryland fields in nearby Merrick County appear to have burned up, but may improve with the 1-2 inches of recent rain.

Drought monitor map for Nebraska for Aug. 2, 2016This drought monitor map is based on conditions as of Tuesday, Aug. 2 and was released Aug. 4. This week, for the first time since August 26, 2014, a portion of Nebraska was described as in severe drought. This include a large portion Adams County and smaller areas of Webster and Kearney counties. Nebraska fared better than its neighbors to the north (South Dakota) and west (Colorado), both of whom have much largeSource: droughtmonitor.unl.edu)

USDA NASS Crop Condition & Progress

August 1, 2016


Nebraska temperatures averaged two to four degrees below normal, lessening crop moisture demands and livestock stress for the week ending July 31, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Precipitation amounts ranged from little to no accumulations in extreme eastern counties to over three inches in portions of central Nebraska. Hail was reported in localized areas.

Topsoil moisture supplies rated 7% very short, 27% short, 65% adequate, and 1% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 5% very short, 25% short, 69% adequate, and 1% surplus.

Crop Progress

Winter wheat harvest was 97% complete, ahead of 90% last year and the five-year average of 89%.

Corn silking was at 95%, near 91% last year and the five-year average. Twenty-five percent was at the dough stage, ahead of 20% last year, and near the five-year average of 26%.

Sorghum heading was at 42%, behind 52% last year, but head of the five-year average of 37%. One percent of the crop had colored, near 3% last year and for the five-year average.

Approximately 87% of the soybeans were blooming, near 86% last year and for the five-year average; 43% of the crop had set pods, behind 48%

Table of Nebraska crop conditions 7-31-16

Map of abnormally dry and drought area in Nebraska

Extension Reports

July 20, 2016

Sarah Schlund, Extension Educator in Dawson County: The sound of spray planes flying over fields has become more frequent in the past week as insecticide applications are being made. We haven’t seen too much disease in the area with the exception of common rust in corn becoming more apparent. Still seeing western bean cutworm egg masses in the mid to upper leaf canopy of corn fields and western corn rootworm beetles have enjoyed fields that are silking. Grasshoppers are still an issue in the area as they are now moving from roadside ditches and alfalfa fields to corn fields. Some producers are still working on their second alfalfa cutting, but some are already done. The hot weather this week has encouraged more irrigation in the field, but the crops look pretty good.

July 19, 2016

Strahinja Steponovic, Cropping Systems Extension Educator in Perkins, Chase, and Dundy Counties: The wheat harvest is done with reports of 40-100 bu/ac yields. The field pea harvest has just started with yields of 25-40 bu/ac. Sunflowers are looking good; potatoes are covering canopy; soybean is at R2; some corn is tasseling; and hopefully we will get a little more rain this week.

Chuck Burr, Extension Water Educator at the West Central REC: We were lucky and got 1.20 inches of rain last week and another 1.5 inches last night. There was quite a bit of hail in the Hershey/Sutherland area. Most corn is ready to pollinate and soybean are flowering.

Todd Whitney, Extension Educator in Phelps County: Growers saw very strong wheat yields this year. Corn started pollination near Orleans last week and is fully in the pollination process across the area. Soybean aren’t as canopied as I would like. We’re seeing quite a bit of Palmer amaranth and we will be doing more to try to curtail resistance development/spread.

Tyler Williams, Extension Educator in Lancaster County: We’re seeing weed issues in soybeans, but otherwise I haven't heard of any widespread pest problems in corn and soybeans.  A few isolated fields have green snap, N deficiency, and slow growth from early saturation. We have caught enough timely rains to keep the corn and soybeans free of drought stress, but this week will test the root systems.  Climate forecasts indicate it’s less likely that La Nina shows up in the next few months and more likely it may develop with lower impact this winter. 

Gary Lesoing, Extension Educator in Nemaha County: A big wind storm came through and caused quite a bit of damage with winds clocked at over 90 mph at the Cooper Nuclear power. Some fields were really hit hard, causing some leaning in corn. We’re waiting for crop insurance feedback regarding injury assessments, but some fields were at 20% injury from green snap. Corn caught some rain a couple days ago. Spraying is done and marestail was a problem in some areas. Wheat harvest is done with yields of 40-80 bu/ac reported. After wheat cover crops and quite a bit of double-crop soybeans were planted as we’ve been lucky to catch some good rains this year. We are going to have a combination corn and soybean disease meeting on the evening of August 24 in Nemaha County. 

Nathan Mueller, Extension Educator in Dodge County: Conducted a crop tour in Dodge County Monday. Corn stages ranged from V12 to blister and soybean from V2 to beginning pod. Wheat harvest is half done on the 500 acres in the county with yields ranging from 96-101 bu/ac. We got 3-5 inches of rain earlier in July and Monday night got 6 inches of rain in northern Dodge County, causing some flooding. This makes it upward of 10 inches of precipitation in July in the county. Washington County has seen less.

The July 5 storm caused green snap of 60-70% in several fields. Irrigation had started in June in some areas. Found minor defoliation in soybean and some gray leaf spot along the river bottom. Generally, plant disease pressure is low across the county. On my field tour survey I found Japanese beetles feeding on silks and western, southern and corn rootworm beetle, all at low numbers. For a more detailed report with more photos, see Mueller's blog, Crop Tech Cafe.

Field of fully caopied soybeans
Field of fully canopied soybeans in the Elkhorn River Valley in Dodge County.  (Photo by Nathan Mueller)

Roger Elmore, Extension Cropping Systems Agronomist: With good soil moisture and/or irrigation in many fields going into this heat wave, heat stress during during corn pollination is not nearly the problem it would have been a decade ago. High temperatures increase the rate of pollen shed and decreases the silk elongation rate, which can reduce the anthesis-silk interval (ASI). This could reduce pollination and fertilization, which in turn could reduce seed set and yield. If this interval is off and anthesis and silking don’t correspond — a failure to “nick,” there will be fewer kernels per ear and less yield.

We’re continuing to conduct green snap research (as part of a wind/hail injury project) with researchers in other states using similar protocols. Research we conducted in the 1990s suggested a one-to-one relationship with green snap: If you lost a plant, you lost that percentage of yield. With today’s hybrids, losses appear to be less. This work is being funded by the National Crop Insurance Services.

Several factors affect green snap: enhanced early season growth; hybrid differences; maturity of crop when winds hit; and row orientation relative to wind direction. This summer high winds in some fields caused corn to bend, but not break.  Within two days it was moving back toward vertical. Also, after tasseling, the whole plant response to wind changes and plants bend they don’t often break. When plants are bent, there’s likely to be some harvest difficulty and yield loss, but less than we would have seen several decades ago.

Improving Corn Pollination

“One of the best indicators of how plants respond to stress during flowering is the anthesis-silk interval, ASI,” Roger Elmore wrote in an IPM newsletter article, Stress, Anthesis-Silk Interval and Corn Yield Potential while at ISU.” “This measures the time in days between pollen shed and silk emergence. We also are concerned about “nick,” referring to the overlap of these two critical developmental stages. The ASI for older hybrids in good condition might have been two to three days with a range up to a week or more.

"Corn breeders over the last five to six decades worked toward developing hybrids that shed pollen and silk at nearly the same time. They have succeeded. With some modern hybrids, silks actually emerge before pollen shed even begins. These reductions in ASI over the decades helped stabilize modern corn yields in stressed environments."

Need a refresher on the corn pollination process? Also see Purdue University Agronomist Bob Nielsen’s articles on sex in the corn field at the Chat ‘n Chew Café

Robert Wright, Extension Entomologist:  We’re seeing heavy western bean cutworm moth flights in west central Nebraska and the Panhandle and lower levels in eastern Nebraska. Growers are also reporting Japanese beetles and other defoliators on soybean. Japanese beetles, which are about five times bigger than rootworm beetles, like to feed on silks. Degree of damage depends on silk loss prior to pollination. Once corn is fully pollinated, we don’t worry about silk feeding.  Also, rootworm beetles are emerging in many areas and will be feeding on silks. Growers should be scouting and consider adding an insecticide if they’re applying a fungicide.

John Wilson, Extension Educator in Burt County: We got 1.5 - 2.5 inches of rain on Sunday/Monday. We have a lot of small grasshoppers, primarily in ditches and alfalfa. We had some wind damage from the July 5 storm, but mostly as leaning corn rather than green snap. The second cutting of alfalfa is wrapping up, corn is looking good, soybeans are still looking a little ugly, but are finally canopying in most fields.


USDA NASS Crop Progress & Condition Report

July 18, 2016

For the week ending July 17, temperatures in Nebraska averaged one to three degrees below normal, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Precipitation was minimal across the Panhandle and southwest. Parts of central and eastern Nebraska received an inch or more of rain. Winter wheat harvested was near completion in the southwest with most of the remaining unharvested acres in the Panhandle. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 7% very short, 22% short, 70% adequate, and 1% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 4% very short, 19% short, 75% adequate, and 2% surplus.

Crop Progress
  • Corn silking was at 55%, near 51% last year, and ahead of the five-year average of 48%.
  • Soybeans blooming was 54% of the crop, near 56% for last year and average; approximately 1% of the crop had set pods, behind 13% for both last year and average.
  • Approximately 75% of the state's winter wheat crop had been harvested, well ahead of 52% both last year and for the five-year average.
  • Sorghum headed was at 7%, behind 15% last year, and near the average of 8%.
  • Oats coloring was at 93%, near 91% last year; 49% of the state's crop had been harvested, well ahead of 25% last year, and the average of 43%.
  • Alfalfa second cutting was 80% complete, ahead of 61% last year, and the average of 67%. Third cutting was 7% complete.
  • Dry edible beans blooming was 30%, near 29% last year, and ahead of the 18% average.
USDA NASS Crop Report July 18, 2016

Extension Reports

July 14, 2016

Strahinja Stepanovic, Cropping Systems Extension Educator in Perkins, Chase, and Dundy Counties:A number of farmers reported diseased wheat in fields at harvest, specifically, darker colored wheat plants and empty wheat heads. These symptoms may be mistakenly identified as loose smut, a seed-borne disease often managed through fungicide seed treatments. This is more likely take-all disease, which was pretty common this year due to wet spring. If you try to dig the plant out, it would have damaged or no roots and the lower stem would be dark. It showed on both certified and bin-run seed in our plots at the Stumpf Wheat Center near a road ditch that had had standing water for two days in the spring. Plots were planted behind fallow with wheat stubble in it. Disease is residue-borne more likely to be present in wheat-fallow rotations, and wet areas of the field (low drainage, compaction, heavy-textured soils). Wheat dies prematurely, so it appears white during grain fill period (instead of being green) and back at harvest (instead of being yellow/gold). Pathogen also survives on downy brome and other grassy weeds that may be in in ditches. Disease has potential to wipe out the whole field. For management rotate your wheat with corn, sorghum, peas, etc., give residue time to break down, and control grassy weeds.

Cody Creech, Dryland Cropping Systems Specialist at the Panhandle REC, Scottsbluff: Wheat harvest is really picking up speed with the arrival of custom harvest crews in the Panhandle. Wheat harvest is 40% complete and with continued dry weather should near 90% by the end of next week. Yields and test weights have generally been strong approaching 50 bu/ac on dryland. Some lower yields have been seen in fields significantly impacted by leaf rust, reducing yields to 20 to 30 bu/ac Low protein levels in the wheat are common across the region as most wheat did not have adequate nitrogen for the yield that was produced. The second crop of alfalfa is almost completely off the fields and irrigation is running again. Irrigation is having a hard time keeping up with the current demand and some restrictions are in place for surface water. Some early planted corn is just starting to tassel in Scottsbluff this week but the majority is only at the V10 stage.

July 13, 2016

Nathan Mueller, Cropping Systems Educator for Dodge and Washington counties: Dodge and Washington counties have been fortunate to receive 3 to 5 inches of rain over four events in early July.  As a result, topsoil and subsoil moisture are adequate with some surplus conditions. Abnormally dry conditions in eastern Washington County have been alleviated by the recent rainfall. Unfortunately, a storm on July 5 created 60 to 80 mph wind gusts with small pockets of hail in a band from southwest through northeast Dodge County and into northwest Washington County. Over 213 square miles were impacted by this wind storm with over 75,000 acres of corn damaged through pinched stems, green snap, lodging, and hail.

About 25% of the corn is silking (R1). Corn growth stages range from V8 through R2, with most acres at V18-VT growth stage (see photo). Therefore, a large increase in the acres silking will occur over the next week. Corn not impacted by wind damage is in good to excellent condition.

Soybeans are blooming and ranging from beginning bloom (R1) to early pod set (R3) growth stages. Septoria brown spot is the only foliar disease observed so far. Defoliating insects including yellow-striped armyworms, grasshoppers, and alfalfa caterpillars have not caused enough defoliation (20%) to warrant treatment.

Alfalfa second cutting is complete and third cutting is just starting. We don’t have much winter wheat (less than 500 acres), but two wheat fields in Washington County yielded 121 and 96 bu/ac.

Agronomic checklist for the coming week:

  1. Continue scouting for soybean insects that cause defoliation (grasshoppers, caterpillars, beetles)
  2. Continue scouting for corn foliar diseases, specifically for gray leaf spot in susceptible hybrids
  3. Scout and take notes on fields or portions of fields with waterhemp, palmer amaranth, and marestail escapes to make adjustments next spring for increased pressure.
Corn in Dodge and Washington County area
Figure 1. Most corn acres were planted the first week of May and are now at V18 to VT growth stages.

Keith Jarvi, Extension Educator in Dixon, Wayne, Cedar and Knox Counties Rain continues to be spotty in northeast Nebraska but most of the area crops have adequate sub-soil moisture, at least for now. Those areas that have been unlucky enough to miss the showers are irrigating if they are able. Overall the corn and soybean crops look good.  Now that the corn is entering the pollination period (tassels are just beginning to emerge) daily water use will reach its maximum and irrigation will increase to stay ahead/keep up. We have a few soybean fields showing yellowing in patches and we are trying to figure out what is causing this. The latest cutting of alfalfa is in. We will be digging our corn rootworm plots later next week. Initial pressure appears to be low as we were wet and planted later than usual. Survival of corn rootworms is generally better in earlier planted corn.

John Wilson, Extension Educator in Burt County: A storm with high winds last week (evening of July 5) caused a lot of corn to lean and some lodging and green snap. This week we received 1-2 inches of much-needed rain Monday evening. Most corn fields are tasseling or are within a few days of tasseling so we’re at a critical time to avoid moisture stress and until this rain, we were definitely short with fields curling on hot days. Soybeans are behind with most fields blooming, but full canopy has not been achieved in half or more of the fields. No major insect or disease problems. Second cutting alfalfa is winding down.


July 12, 2016

Sarah Schlund, Extension Educator in Dawson County: We are starting to see both western and southern corn rootworm beetles out now. Quite a few fields have either started or are near tasseling. A couple fields are starting to push silks so pollinating is right around the corner in some parts of the county. Soybeans are in bloom and wheat is being harvested. Many producers are working on their second cutting of hay and I have seen quite a few grasshoppers in field ditches and especially in alfalfa fields. With second hay cutting in full swing, those grasshoppers will start to move into crop fields soon. I wouldn’t be surprised to see producers considering insecticide applications here in the next few weeks.

USDA Forecasts Record Setting Wheat Harvest

July 12, 2016

Based on July 1 conditions, Nebraska's 2016 winter wheat crop is forecast at 60.0 million bushels, up 32% from last year’s crop, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Average yield is forecast at 50 bu/ac, up 12 bushels from a year earlier. If realized this would be a new record yield.

Acreage to be harvested for grain is estimated at 1.20 million acres, down 10,000 acres from a year ago. This would be 94% of the planted acres, above last year’s 81% harvested.

Nationally, winter wheat production is forecast at 1.63 billion bushels, up 8% from the June 1 forecast and up 19% from 2015. Based on July 1 conditions, the US yield is forecast at a record high 53.9 bu/ac, up 3.4 bushels from last month and up 11.4 bushels from last year. The area expected to be harvested for grain or seed totals 30.2 million acres, unchanged from the June 30 report, but down 6% from last year.

Hard red winter wheat production, at 1.03 billion bushels, is up 10% from last month. Soft red winter wheat, at 370 million bushels, is up 4% from the June forecast. White winter wheat, at 224 million bushels, is up 4% from last month. Of the white winter wheat production, 21.2 million bushels are hard white and 202 million bushels are soft white.

Oat production is forecast at 2.60 million bushels, down 3% from 2015. Yield, at 65 bu/ac, is forecast to be down 2 bushels per acre from a year ago. Acreage for harvest, at 40,000 acres, is unchanged from last year.

Wheat harvest in west central Nebraska. (Photo by Rodrigo Werle)
Harvesting a UNL winter wheat variety trial in west central Nebraska.  "Plots look great," reports Rodrigo Werle, UNL Cropping Systems Specialist at UNL's West Central REC at North Platte.

USDA NASS Crop Progress & Condition Report

July 11, 2016

For the week ending July 10, rainfall at midweek brought an inch or more of moisture to most of the eastern half of Nebraska, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Precipitation was lighter in western areas and missed much of the southwest. The midweek storms were accompanied by high winds, with lodging and green snap reported in eastern counties. Temperatures averaged near normal.

Topsoil moisture supplies rated 5% very short, 25% short, 68% adequate, and 2% surplus. Subsoil moisture rated 4% very short, 18% short, 76% adequate, and 2% surplus.

Wheat harvest was 38% done, ahead of 24% at this time last year and the five-year average of 34%. Winter wheat coloring was 99%, near 95% last year and the average of 96%. Corn silking was at 29%, ahead of 17% last year and the five-year average of 22%. Approximately 28% of soybeans were blooming, behind 38% last year and the five-year average of 36%.

Nebraska crop conditions

Extension Crop Reports

July 5, 2016

Keith Jarvi, Extension Educator for Dixon, Wayne, Cedar and Knox Counties:  We received a few isolated showers over the weekend ranging from a few hundredths to an inch. Growers are spraying and a few have started irrigating. Access collection data for black light insect traps for west central, south central and northeast sites at http://entomology.unl.edu/agroecosystems/black-light-trap-data

John Wilson, Extension Educator in Burt County: While we got 0.8-1 inch rain across the county last week, the soil is still pretty dry. A lot of fields had gotten to the point where they were curling and not uncurling by morning. Recent rains soaked the top six inches and then there was a gap to further moisture. A few corn fields have tassels starting to pop. We’re reaching the time when growers should be checking soybean roots for signs of soybean cyst nematode. (See story in July 15 CropWatch) This marks the 30th year since SCN was discovered in Nebraska in Richardson County. 

Nathan Mueller, Extension Educator for Dodge and Washington Counties: Corn is just starting to tassel and replanted soybeans are emerging. Second cutting of alfalfa was just taken. Dodge County has gotten more precipitation than Washington, where growers have started irrigating. Saturday there was broad rainfall across Dodge County of 1-1.3 inches; before that the top 1-1.5 feet were pretty dry. Common rust is appearing in corn, but there hasn’t been any gray leaf spot or northern corn leaf blight. In soybean seed defoliators have been more visible, including grape colaspis, grasshoppers, and bean leaf beetles at low levels.

Wayne Ohnesorg, Extension Educator in Madison County: Conditions here are fairly dry despite the ½-¾ inch rain Saturday. They’ve been irrigating in sandier areas for a couple weeks. The second cutting of alfalfa is underway.

Tyler Williams, Extension Educator in Lancaster County: The northern part of county got some decent rain in the last week, but the southern half missed out. It’s getting fairly dry there and into Otoe County and we could use some more soil moisture until the roots grow further down. Some corn west of Lincoln is tasseling and some soybeans are flowering. Weeds seem to be in issue in some soybean fields.

Paul Jasa, Extension Engineer: Over the weekend we got 0.70 inch of precipitation on the south edge of Lincoln and 1.15 inches on the east side. At the Rogers Memorial Farm east of Lincoln we finished wheat harvest with about 75 bu/ac, seemingly fairly typical for the area but above the long-term average of 50-60 bu/ac. A lot of spraying is underway in the area. Late planted soybeans are not near canopy, but early planted fields have canopied.

Gary Lesoing, Extension Educator in Nemaha County: Rains have been scattered in the area with some areas receiving 1 inch while others received 2-3 inches over the last three to four weeks. Wheat yields have been really variable in southeast Nebraska, ranging from 40 to 80 bu/ac. With the early wheat harvest and good moisture afterward some producers are double-cropping soybeans. Most of the second cutting of alfalfa is up and growers have been applying chemicals. Most fields have good weed control, although a few have herbicide-resistant marestail.

Jennifer Rees, Extension Educator in York County: We are mostly seeing bacterial diseases here. We had some physoderma brown spot in corn misidentified as southern rust and some bacterial disease in corn misidentified as gray leaf spot. Fungicides will not be effective against bacterial diseases. Corn growth stage ranges from V12 to full tassel. Growth stage of beans, some unusually short, ranges from initiating flowering to beginning pod. Many growers have had weed control issues this year. Wheat fields look great with 60-75 bu/ac for the majority of fields, although some will have much lower yields. We’re not seeing much scab despite optimum conditions for it and have received few calls regarding ergot in wheat. Second cutting of alfalfa is done.  We got about 1 inch of rain over the weekend.

Michael Rethwisch, Extension Educator in Butler County: Columbus got over 3 inches of rain and other areas got 1.5-2 inches, stopping field activities in these areas. Some wheat has been harvested and some second-crop soybeans have emerged. Some soybeans are near flowering. Second cutting of alfalfa is mostly done. Even with recent rains, some corn is showing “pineapple” leaf puckering. Soils were very saturated early and there was limited root growth followed by hot, dry conditions, leading to the stress conditions shown in the leaves.

Todd Whitney, Extension Educator in Phelps County: We’re seeing a lot of irrigation and corn looks stressed, although deeper soil moisture is holding strong. West of Holdrege got 1.5-2 inches of rain, other areas less. Wheat yields are strong, although stripe rust did cause some loss. Growers are waiting for some areas to dry down to continue harvest. Some tasseling in corn and hopefully the cooler weather will aid pollination.

Ron Seymour, Extension Educator in Adams County: Last weekend we got ½ inch of rain near Hastings. People are installing their soil moisture sensors and finding moisture further down. Corn looks good and is at the 10- to 11-leaf stage, with few insect or disease issues. I’m following a field of non-GMO field corn west of town where I found some 3rd instar European corn borers and quite a few corn earworms. Some on the tassel were causing damage. Soybean has 5-6 trifoliate leaves and a few are starting to flower. Herbicides are being applied. In a couple fields I found quite a few grasshoppers, bean leaf beetles, and dectes stem borers (10 dectes per 50 sweeps). Some folks have started their second cutting of alfalfa; in some areas there wasn’t a lot of regrowth after the first cutting. Most wheat has been harvested.

Sarah Schlund, Extension Educator in Dawson County: We got a little rain last week, but conditions have been mostly hot and dry except for the weekend. Corn is at V10 and not quite tasseling. Soybeans are at V4; a few are starting to bloom. A lot of alfalfa is in bloom waiting to be cut. Some wheat’s been harvested. We’re seeing quite a few grasshoppers in alfalfa and some in soybeans and corn. Also seeing soybean stem borer beetles and physoderma brown spot in corn, along with some European corn borers.

Julie Peterson, Extension Entomologist at the West Central Research and Extension Center at North Platte: Western bean cutworm flights are taking off and pretty well matching up to predictions made using our degree day model. (See Using Degree-Days to Predict Western Bean Cutworm Flights.) Egg masses have been reported near Duncan. I have seen some small grasshoppers in field edges and would expect to find rootworm beetle adults yet in traps.

Robert Wright, Extension Entomologist in Lincoln: We found 160 WBC over three nights in the SCAL light trap. Rootworm beetles have been emerging for a couple weeks in south central and east central Nebraska. They will scrape the leaf surface until silks are available. New CropWatch story at http://cropwatch.unl.edu/2016/scout-emerging-western-corn-rootworm-beetles

USDA NASS Crop Condition Report

July 5, 3016

Nebraska crops experienced widespread rainfall and cooler temperatures for the week from June 27-July 3, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Moisture accumulations of an inch or more were common with smaller amounts in some southern counties. Temperatures averaged two to four degrees below normal in central and eastern areas but near normal across the Panhandle. Wheat harvest progressed in central and southern counties. There were 5.7 days suitable for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 5% very short, 28% short, 65% adequate, and 2% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 2% very short, 19% short, 77% adequate, and 2% surplus.

Approximately 20% of this year's winter wheat crop has been harvested, ahead of 13% last year, but near the average of 21%. Winter wheat coloring was at 94%, near 91% last year, and ahead of the five-year average of 88%.

Nebraska drought monitor

USDA NASS Acreage Report

June 30, 2016

Nebraska corn growers planted 9.70 million acres, up 3% from last year, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Biotechnology varieties were used on 95% of the area planted, down 1% from a year ago. Growers expect to harvest 9.40 million acres for grain, up 3% from last year.

Nationally, corn planted area for all purposes in 2016 is estimated at 94.1 million acres, up 7% from last year. This represents the third highest planted acreage in the United States since 1944. Area harvested for grain, at 86.6 million acres, is up 7% from last year and represents the third highest area harvested for grain since 1933.

Soybean planted area is estimated at 5.30 million acres, unchanged from last year’s total. Of the acres planted, 96% were planted with genetically modified, herbicide resistant seed, up 1% from a year ago. Acres expected to be harvested are 5.25 million, down less than 1% from a year earlier.

Nationally, soybean planted area for 2016 is estimated at a record high 83.7 million acres, up 1% from last year. Area for harvest, at 83.0 million acres, is also up 1% from 2015 and will be a record high if realized. Record high planted acreage is estimated in Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Winter wheat seeded in the fall of 2015 totaled a record low 1.28 million acres, down 14% from last year. Harvested acreage is forecasted at 1.20 million acres, down 1% from a year ago.

Nationally, planted area of all wheat in 2016 is estimated at 50.8 million acres, down 7% from 2015. The 2016 winter wheat planted area, at 36.5 million acres, is down 7% from last year but up 1% from the previous estimate. Of this total, about 26.5 million acres are Hard Red Winter, 6.58 million acres are Soft Red Winter, and 3.42 million acres are White Winter.

Alfalfa hay acreage to be cut for dry hay is 800,000 acres, down 6% from 2015. Other hay acreage to be cut for dry hay is 1.80 million acres, down 3% from last year. Sorghum acreage planted and to be planted, at 190,000 acres, is down 30% from a year ago. The area to be harvested for grain, at 150,000 acres, is down 38% from last year.

Oats planted acres decreased to 100,000 acres, down 26% from the previous year. Area to be harvested for grain, at 40,000 acres, is unchanged from a year ago.

Dry edible bean planted acres increased to 145,000 acres, up 4% from last year. Harvested acres are estimated at 134,000 acres, up 2% from the previous year.

Proso millet plantings of 80,000 acres are down 24 from a year ago.

Sugarbeet planted acres, at 48,700, are up 3% from last year. Oil sunflower acres planted decreased to 16,000, down 45% from last year. Non-oil sunflower planted acreage is estimated at 14,000 acres, down 30% from a year ago.

Fall potato acres planted increased to 16,500 acres, up 500 acres from previous year. Harvested acreage is forecasted at 16,300 acres, also up 500 acres from the year earlier. The percent planted by type of potato is: 51% white, 46% russet, 2% red and 1% yellow.

View national acreage data presented graphically.

Planted and harvested acres from 1996-2016 (Source: USDA NASS)

Chart showing corn acres planted & harvested from 1996-2016 Chart showing US soybean acres planted and harvested 1996 - 2006 Chart showing US wheat acres planted & harvested 1996-2016

USDA NASS Stored Grain Report

June 30, 2016

Nebraska corn stocks in al positions on June 1, 2016 totaled 540 million bushels, up 18% from 2015, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Of  the  total, 285 million bushels are stored on farms, up 30% from a year ago. Off-farm stocks, at 255 million bushels, are up 8% from last year. Soybeans stored in all positions totaled 73.6 million bushels, up 37% from last year. On-farm stocks of 23 million bushels are up 53% from a year ago. Off-farm stocks of 50.6 million bushels are up 30% from 2015.

Wheat stored in all positions totaled 30.1 million bushels, up 74% from a year ago. On-farm stocks of 1.0 million bushels are down 9% from a year ago while off-farm stocks of 29.1 million bushels are up 80% from last year.

Sorghum stored in all positions totaled 3.70 million bushels, up 134% from 2015. On-farm stocks of 400,000 bushels are up 54%, while off-farm holdings of 3.30 million bushels are up 150% from last year.

On-farm oats totaled 360,000 bushels, down 14% from 2015.

Nebraska Extension

June 30, 2016

Cody Creech, Dryland Cropping Systems Specialist at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center, Scottsbluff: Wheat is ripening quickly and harvest should get started in the Panhandle in one or two weeks. A number of storms have moved through the area this week bringing some much needed moisture and relief from the heat. Hail damaged fields in the Kimball area and near Hemingford. Wheat yield loss from the hail has been reported at 20%-30% in the northern Panhandle to 100% in some fields near Kimball. Wheat lodging has occurred across much of the Panhandle, but is limited.

Corn is anywhere from V4 to V10 and looking really good. Cultivating is almost complete and furrow irrigation was started this week. The second hay crop should begin to be cut the latter part of next week. This first hay crop was put up with very little rain with excellent yield and quality. Herbicide applications are ongoing in dry bean and sugarbeet fields with some reports of kochia and Palmer amaranth not being controlled very well. Overall, the condition of the crops across the region is very good with sufficient soil moisture from recent storms although more would be welcome.

Sarah Schlund, Extension Educator in Dawson County: Crops look pretty decent in the past week. Wheat harvest will begin soon and some have been cutting their oats as a forage crop. The second alfalfa cutting is getting underway and looks good so far. Corn ranges from V7-V13 and some soybeans have started to put on flowers while others are still in the vegetative growing stage. I have noticed some insect damage in the corn that includes European corn borers and leaf miners. I have also seen a few stem borer beetles in soybeans. Grasshoppers are also quite prolific so far this year in corn, soy, and alfalfa and have been causing some crop damage. (For information see information on scouting for and managing grasshoppers in this week's CropWatch.)

June 29, 2016

Extension Educators Keith Glewen (Saunders County) and Randy Pryor (Saline County) this week reported Japanese beetles damaging corn. It likely may be found in other corn or soybean fields in eastern or south central Nebraska.

In a CropWatch archive story, Japanese Beetles Emerging; Identification Key to Management, UNL Entomologist Bob Wright writes: "Japanese beetles (Popillia japonica Newman) can contribute to defoliation in soybeans, along with a complex of other insects, such as bean leaf beetles, grasshoppers, and several caterpillar species. In corn, they will scrape off the green surface tissue on leaves before silks emerge, but prefer feeding on silks once they are available. This may interfere with pollination if abundant enough to severely clip silks before pollination."

For more information on Japanese beetles, treatment thresholds, and photos of it and the sand chafer, also known as the false Japanese beetle, see this CropWatch story.

Japanese beetle and damage in corn. By Keith Glewen
Sparse populations of Japanese beetle were found feeding in isolated areas of this Saunders County corn field June 29. (Photo by Keith Glewen)

June 28, 2016

Strahinja Stepanovic, Extension Educator in southwest Nebraska: We had a little bit of rain during the week, and a severe storm hit west Perkins County and west Chase County last weekend (June 25-26). Golf-ball size hail was observed with damage to houses, windows, vehicles, crops, etc.

Crop growth stages here are corn at V3-V10, soybeans at V2-V6, sorghum at V2-V6, potato at flowering, sugarbeets at 70% canopy cover, wheat near harvest, and field peas at grain fill. Everyone has started irrigating. Generally, crops look good, but there are some problems in continuous corn. Also, injury from western corn rootworm is present where it shouldn’t be (we have history of resistance in the region) and goss’s bacterial wilt is an issue in fields that got hailed. Dryland wheat yields are expected to be 30-70 bu/ac, which is good. After a mild storm an irrigated field of 100 bu/ac wheat was lodging. When wheat produces 100 bu+/ac, we’re seeing increased interest in adding it to irrigated rotations, but we need to make sure lodging is not an issue by selecting varieties with good straw strength, applying growth regulators, avoiding excessive fertilization, and using the recommended seeding rate. Find more on Stephanovic’s blog, Ag with Strahinja

US Drought Monitor for Nebraska

Nebraska Drought Monitor for June 28 2016

Nebraska Drought Monitor
 

Abnormally dry and moderate drought designations returned to Nebraska for the first time since November, mostly in the Panhandle, an area of south central Nebraska, and an area of southeast Nebraska.

Nebraska Extension

June 21, 2016

Sarah Schlund, Extension Educator in Dawson County: Some farms were damaged by storms that came through central Nebraska June 17. Producers in the eastern half of Dawson County and the west central to central part of Buffalo County were hit with heavy wind and some hail this past weekend. Crops in the area range from V5—V6 to V8—V10 for corn and around V2—V4 for soybeans. In some fields plant's leaves were pretty stripped or barren. A couple pivots were turned over during the storm in eastern Dawson County. Average rain around the area varied from 1 to 3 inches.

The wheat crop is maturing well and should be ready to harvest within the next two to three weeks or so. Some of the wheat was lodged during the storm which should make harvest interesting. The heat has allowed the crops to grow quickly and some producers have turned on their pivots while others have gotten their gravity pipes set up to irrigate. A lot of producers are ridge-tilling or field cultivating in the area. Early morning or late evening herbicide applications are still being applied for weed control. Most all of the first hay cutting is down or baled and the second crop is growing quickly.

John Wilson, Extension Educator in Burt County: We’re dry as can be, but did get 0.10 to 0.50 inch Monday evening. Friday was particularly hard on corn and there was leaf curling in most fields. Subsoil moisture is still good, but corn hasn’t rooted down that deep. A good soaker could help a lot. Alfalfa first harvest is in and planting is done, except for a few soybean fields that just won’t be planted this year. Most areas have two stages of corn — some that’s waist high and some just 3-4 inches, depending on whether they were planted before or after the rainy period.

Nathan Mueller, Extension Educator in Dodge County:  Parts of Dodge County got rain Tuesday night, some areas up to 3 inches and then late Friday/early Saturday a band of precipitation from the northwest to the southeast brought intense precipitation in a short period. Fremont got 6 inches in two hours and most homes got some water in the basement. Some areas had up to 8 inches. Snyder was particularly hard hit, which led to flooding down river, including Scribner. Corn was flattened in some fields and is laying in the mud. Water drained pretty quickly as the Elkhorn still had carrying capacity, but millions of dollars of damage was done in Fremont and other locations, and to some agricultural areas. Just north of this band, from Uehling to north of Hooper, a band of hail with another 1.5 – 3 inches of rain moved through Monday night.

Corn ranges from recently planted to waist high. Soybean planting is mostly done and spraying is occurring in corn and soybean. Marestail is a problem in some areas. Wheat is turning color and the first cutting of alfalfa is in.

Washington County mostly missed the last two rains and could use some moisture. During a recent field survey found a lot of small grasshoppers in eastern Washington County corn and soybeans.

Thomas Hunt, Extension Entomologist, Eastern District: I’m not seeing many insects in beans and corn in this area; typically this is a slow period before increased insect activity. Recent rains in some areas may provide natural control of small grasshoppers as the moisture will be conducive to grasshopper disease. The rains also may green up field borders, which would keep grasshoppers feeding there longer. We’re getting abysmally low numbers of corn borers in our light traps, as it appears others are too. (See UNL trap reports for the south central, northeast, and west central sites at http://entomology.unl.edu/fldcrops/lightrap.)

Flooded corn field north of Fremont June 2016
(Above) Flooded corn field north of Fremont.  (Below) Hail-damaged soybean field in Dodge County. (Photos by Nathan Mueller)
Hail-damaged soybean field

Gary Lesoing, Extension Educator in Nemaha County: Recent rains have varied from 0.10 to 1-2 inches across Nemaha County and we could definitely use some more rain in the area. In Nemaha and Johnson counties we’re seeing grasshoppers and a lot of stress on corn from the hot weather. Topsoil moisture is becoming more limited, but there’s good moisture below. Last week I visited a vegetable field in northern Lancaster County where grasshoppers and cucumber beetles were really bad. Growers have been putting up hay. Wheat harvest is underway in Kansas and some cutting might be expected this weekend. We’re not seeing so much yellow corn as the roots have likely grown down to the N.

Ron Seymour, Extension Educator in Adams County:  We’ve had little rain and conditions are mostly dry. Some growers have started their pivots. Corn is at the 7-8 leaf stage and had some leaf curling in last week’s heat. Soybeans are looking good and are at the 2-3 trifoliate leaf stage. Found quite a few grasshoppers at the 1-2 instar stage in the borders of one soybean field border. Wheat looks mostly good and is in the hard dough stage, about 7-10 days from harvest in the southern part of the county. Pastures are starting to dry down.

Strahinja Stepanovic, Extension Educator in Southwest Nebraska:  Conditions are getting pretty dry here, although we got some rain in the last week, up to .70 in some areas.  Wheat harvest is likely to start in two weeks. Corn is anywhere from 2-leaf to 9-leaf stage. We’re seeing quite a bit of rootworm damage. Previously growers in this area have applied a rescue treatment through their pivot and are wondering about other options as insect resistance has been a problem in these areas. Sorghum is at the 2-3 leaf stage. Field peas are not doing as well as last year and are really short. We had really cold temperatures in late May and then it ramped up to 95 for 10 days, which may be a factor in their condition.

USDA-NASS Crop Condition & Progress

June 20, 2016

Hot conditions continued during the week ending June 19 as temperatures averaged six to nine degrees above normal, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Some areas receive an inch or more of rain during the week. Irrigation was active as a large area of south central Nebraska remained dry. The heat and humidity boosted row crop development and wheat was rapidly turning color in southern counties.

Topsoil moisture supplies rated 3% very short, 27% short 66% adequate, and 4% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 1% very short, 15% short, 79% adequate, and 5% surplus.

  • Corn condition rated 1% very poor, 2% poor, 18% fair, 65% good, and 14% excellent.
  • Sorghum condition rated 0% very poor, 0% poor, 17% fair, 79% good, and 4% excellent. Sorghum emerged was 85%, ahead of 69% last year and 78% average.
  • Soybeans condition rated 0% very poor, 2% poor, 21% fair, 65% good, and 12% excellent. Soybeans emerged was 96%, ahead of 84% last year, and near 94% average.
  • Winter wheat condition rated 3% very poor, 9 poor, 26% fair, 50% good, and 12% excellent. Winter wheat headed was 99%, equal to last year, and near the five-year average of 96%. Coloring was 62%, near 58% last year, but ahead of 49% average.
  • Oats condition rated 1% very poor, 1% poor, 25% fair, 65% good, and 8% excellent. Oats jointed was 97%, near 94% last year. Headed was 76%, ahead of 70% both last year and average. Coloring was 25%, well ahead of 2% last year.
  • Alfalfa condition rated 2% very poor, 3% poor, 11% fair, 69% good, and 15% excellent. Alfalfa first cutting was 95%, well ahead of 70% last year, and ahead of 80% average.
  • Dry edible beans condition rated 0% very poor, 0% poor, 28% fair, 60% good, and 12% excellent. Dry edible beans planted was 96%, ahead of 82% last year and 90 average. Emerged was 67%, well ahead of 43% last year, and ahead of the five-year average of 57%.
  • Proso millet planted was 65%, well ahead of 41% last year, but equal to average.
Pasture Report
  • Pasture and range conditions rated 1% very poor, 1% poor, 15% fair, 68% good, and 15% excellent.
  • Stock water supplies rated 0% very short, 4% short, 93% adequate, and 3% surplus.
Crop Progress Report 6-19-16 Crop condition report 6/19/16

Nebraska Extension

June 17, 2016

Cody Creech, Extension Dryland Cropping Systems Specialist at the Panhandle REC: As far as I have observed, we had very limited lodging from the weekend storm. The rain was much needed and high yields are still expected across the region. Rust in the southwest corner of the Panhandle continues to be an issue and yield loss of 30-50% should be expected in heavily infested fields. Some heavily infested fields have been swathed for forage. Most producers have sprayed and the wheat looks good. Another concern is the extremely high temperatures which will limit grain fill and lower test weights.

June 15, 2016

Keith Glewen, Extension Educator in Saunders County: The photo shows a winter wheat field on the Carl and David Sousek farm near Prague that experienced significant lodging from heavy winds and 3+ inches of rain on June 13. The Souseks are evaluating the positive and negative effects of including a third crop into their corn-soybean rotation. Although very little soil erosion occurred during this storm event, when looking at only profitability, wheat struggles to be competitive with the two-crop corn-soybean rotation.

John Wilson, Extension Educator in Burt County: It’s amazing how quickly things change. We’re dry and could use a rain (although many springs are still running out of hillsides). Rains the last couple days have been spotty at best. I had less than one-tenth inch and a co-worker (Mary Loftis) about 10 miles away had over one-half inch. Planting (and replanting) is basically done, except for the springy areas which will never get planted this year. Not that much alfalfa up here, but first cutting is done and growers report excellent yields. Corn has put on good growth with good moisture reserves in the soil and warm temperatures. Soybeans haven’t taken off as fast (yet). We aren't seeing any major crop pest problems yet.

Sarah Schlund, Extension Educator in Dawson County: The hot weather last week allowed for rapid corn growth throughout this area. Herbicides are still being applied, but have slowed a little with the rain we’ve had the past couple of evenings. There were reports of 1.5 inches of rain earlier this week in parts of Dawson County. Soybeans look pretty good and are growing well with the warm temperatures. Most of the first hay cuttings have been put up, but a few are still cutting or have their hay down. A few producers have started their pivots due to the dry spell we had, and more will likely turn on their pivots with the expected temperatures this weekend.
Lodged wheat in Saunders County

USDA NASS Crop Condition & Progress Report

June 13, 2016

For the week ending June 12, hot, dry, and windy conditions dried soils and allowed most of Nebraska's remaining crop acres to be planted, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Rainfall of generally less than an inch was limited to Sunday in central and western areas. Temperatures averaged six to eight degrees above normal.

Topsoil moisture supplies rated 2% very short, 23% short, 70% adequate, and 5% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 0% very short, 12% short, 82% adequate, and 6% surplus.

Field Crop Condition
  • Corn condition rated 1% very poor, 2% poor, 18% fair, 67% good, and 12% excellent. Corn emerged was 99%, near 95% last year and the five-year average of 97%.
  • Sorghum condition rated 0% very poor, 0% poor, 15% fair, 81% good, and 4% excellent. Sorghum planted was 98%, well ahead of 74% last year, and ahead of 90% average. Emerged was 71%, well ahead of 43% last year, and ahead of 60% average.
  • Soybeans condition rated 0% very poor, 2% poor, 19% fair, 69% good, and 10% excellent. Soybeans planted was 97%, ahead of 89% last year, and near 96% average. Emerged was 84%, ahead of 73% last year, and near 86% average.
  • Winter wheat condition rated 2% very poor, 9% poor, 25% fair, 52% good, and 12% excellent. Winter wheat headed was 89%, near 92% last year and 87% average. Coloring was 37%, ahead of 25% last year and 26% average.
  • Oats condition rated 0% very poor, 1% poor, 20% fair, 71% good, and 8% excellent. Oats jointed was 88%, near 87% last year. Headed was 61%, ahead of 50% both last year and average.
  • Alfalfa condition rated 2% very poor, 3% poor, 10% fair, 70% good, and 15% excellent. Alfalfa first cutting was 81%, well ahead of 50% last year and the average of 61%.
USDA-NASS Nebraska crop conditions
Nebraska planting progress

  • Dry edible beans planting was 88% complete, well ahead of 52% last year and 67% average. Emerged was 20%, ahead of 11% last year, but behind the 25% average.
  • Proso millet planting was 34% complete, well ahead of 14% last year, but behind the average of 40%.

See the national USDA NASS crop progress and condition report at http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/nass/CropProg/2010s/2016/CropProg-06-13-2016.pdf

USDA NASS Forecasts Record-Setting Wheat Harvest

June 10, 2016

Based on June 1 conditions, Nebraska's 2016 winter wheat crop is forecast at 62.5 million bushels, up 36% from last year’s crop, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Average yield is forecast at 50 bushels per acre, up 12 bushels from a year earlier. If realized this would be a new record yield. Acreage to be harvested for grain is estimated at 1.25 million acres, up 40,000 acres from a year ago.

Nebraska Extension

June 7, 2016

Todd Whitney, Extension Educator in Phelps County: Since this area missed rains last week, irrigation is now in full swing. However, field spraying has been delayed, so some weeds are as tall as corn. Alfalfa producers are welcoming more hay curing weather. Wheatlage forage harvest is yielding the best ever for many local feedlots. One feedlot reported over 20 tons per acre (as fed) with wheat forage green chop. Most corn stands are looking good. However, 13-lined ground squirrels and pocket gophers have reduced stands in many fields. Broadcasting 3-4 bushels of corn per acre, as an alternative food source for the rodents, has provided limited success. Apparently, ground squirrels are similar to raccoons and prefer digging moistened new corn seed versus the dry corn kernels scattered on the surface. So, it may help to pre-soak corn grain prior to broadcast. Overall, wheat grain yield potential looks strong; however, unsprayed, susceptible wheat varieties may have disappointing yields due to stripe rust infection.

Tamra Jackson-Ziems, Extension Plant Pathologist:  We've seen some seedling disease, but most corn is growing out of the most vulnerable stage. Now is the time for sampling nematodes in corn — up to the six-leaf stage. See story in this week's CropWatch.

Keith Jarvi, Extension Educator in Dixon, Wayne, Cedar and Knox Counties: Hay is cut and row crops are planted and mostly emerged. Soil moisture levels are good, still with no rain for one week.

John Wilson, Extension Educator in Burt County: Planting is mostly done, with some variation in growth stage due to replanting. We're seeing low levels in insects traps. Hay harvest is moving along.

Keith Glewen, Extension Educator in Saunders County:Some soybean is still being planted, and most corn that needed to be has been replanted. Some river bottoms may need to switch away from corn. Erosion is very significant this year from heavy rains. Corn planted April 1-15 looks very good, anything after isn’t looking as good.

Nathan Mueller, Extension Educator in Dodge County: Corn stage is highly variable from just emerging to v7. Soybean ranges from third trifoliate to not yet planted. The first cutting of alfalfa is in. Stripe rust was an issue on winter wheat. All but one grower sprayed for rust. Areas got dime-sized hail last Friday in places. Some area are great others are poor. Planting date and hybrid has affected final corn stand

Gary Lesoing, Extension Educator in Nemaha County: We missed some of the early rains and now growers are starting to think it may get too dry. Corn that was planted before rains started April 18 looks good. We're seeing quite a bit of Pythium in soybean, but not severe enough for replanting. Hay is mostly put up.

Tyler Williams, Extension Educator in Lancaster County: Early-planted corn looks good. Rain affected some corn and soybean planting.

Sarah Schlund, Extension Educator in Dawson County:  Corn stages are variable. Some yellowing on corn, side dressing may be needed. Herbicide applications are being made this week. Soybean planting is just finishing in Hall County. Hay is down, and most is being put up.

Chris Proctor, Extension Educator for Weed Science: We're starting to see complaints about herbicide failure. Some cases may be due to heavy rain. Several complaints about hard-to-control marestail. Best recommendations are to move to fall herbicide application for winter annual weed control.

USDA NASS: Crop Progress & Condition Report

June 6, 2015

Crop condition chart 6/5/16
Crop progress report

For the week ending June 5 temperatures averaged a few degrees above normal in eastern Nebraska and near normal in the west, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service June 6 report. Rainfall was limited to half an inch or less across most of the state. Field activities picked up as producers were able to get back into fields. Soybean planting was active, although wet spots remained in low lying areas. Alfalfa harvest was widespread as clear skies provided good drying weather. Wheat diseases were again noted in western counties. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 1% very short, 6% short, 85% adequate, and 8% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 3% short, 87% adequate, and 10% surplus.

June 3, 2016

Scouting Corn Stand Problems

On closer examination of a corn field near Lincoln May 25, Nebraska Extension agronomist Roger Elmore documented several stand emergence problems which were thought to have been caused by the corn plants imbibing cold water directly after planting. (Read more on this.) The leaves of the plant on the left appear to have become "tied" within the plant. On digging up the plant (center), it appeared to have tried to leaf out underground. Imbibitional (fast) water uptake occurs within the first 48 hours after a seed is planted. When the soil temperature drops much lower than 50°F within that time frame, there is potential for chilling injury which can affect seed germination.

Corn leaves "tied"
corn leafing out below ground
Corn leafing out below ground

USDA NASS Crop Progress & Condition

May 30, 2016

For the week ending May 29, numerous rain events limited planting activities and made hay harvest difficult, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Accumulations of an inch were common, with rainfall totals of three inches or more recorded across the southeast. Temperatures averaged two to four degrees above normal in the east, but near normal in the west. Soil crusting was reported with some producers running pivots to help crops emerge. There were 3.1 days suitable for fieldwork.

Topsoil moisture supplies rated 0% very short, 2% short, 78% adequate, and 20% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 0% very short, 2% short, 84% adequate, and 14% surplus.

Field Crop Progress & Condition
USDA NASS Crop Report through May 29, 2016

  • Corn condition rated 0% very poor, 2% poor, 26% fair, 62% good, and 10% excellent. Corn planted was at 96%, near 93% last year, and the five-year average of 97%. Emerged corn was at 78%, near 80% last year and the five-year average of 82%.
  • Sorghum planted was 55%, near 53% last year and the average of 59%. Emerged was at 20%, behind 25% last year, but near the average of 23%.
  • Soybeans planted was 73%, near 70% last year, but behind the average of 82%. Emerged was at 36%, equal to last year, but behind the average of 49%.
  • Winter wheat condition rated 1% very poor, 5% poor, 29% fair, 54% good, and 11% excellent. Winter wheat jointed was 98%, near 95% last year, but ahead of the average of 92%. Headed was at 72%, ahead of 60% last year, but well ahead of the average of 50%. Coloring was 1%.
  • Oats condition rated 0% very poor, 1% poor, 21% fair, 72% good, and 6% excellent. Oats emerged was 95%, near 99% last year and the average of 96%. Jointed was 56%, near 59% last year. Twenty-two percent had headed, near last year's 18% and the average of 19%.
  • Alfalfa condition rated 0% very poor, 1% poor, 11% fair, 72% good, and 16% excellent. Alfalfa first cutting was at 31%, ahead of 19% last year, but near the average of 27%. Dry edible beans planting was 11% complete, ahead of 5% last year, but behind the average of 17%.

May 27, 2016

Brandy VanDeWalle, Extension Educator in Fillmore County: On Thursday, May 26, parts of Fillmore County received nearly 2 inches of rain within a couple of hours, with overnight totals over 3 inches in some areas. Low-lying portions of fields and ditches flooded in some areas of the county.  For information on crop survival in flooded conditions, see this week's Views from VanDeWalle.

Gary Lesoing, Extension Educator in Nemaha County: There was significant progress in soybean planting and herbicide application to corn and soybean acres last week. Soybean planting is probably 75% complete. Corn has greened up and is growing with sunshine and warmer weather. Flooding along the Little Nemaha River has some bottom fields of corn in standing water. 

Field ponding and flooding
(Photo by Brandy VanDeWalle)
Flooded field
Corn field flooded just north of Auburn near the Little Nemaha River due to runoff from heavy rains May 26. (Photos by Gary Lesoing, @SAREMAN on Twitter)
Nemaha flooding
Little Nemaha River north of Auburn running bank full and out of its banks causing flooding
Barley yellow dwarf of wheat
Jenny Rees, Extension Educator in York County: This barley yellow dwarf was found in wheat this week. See further crop updates in Rees' blog, JenREESources. (Photo by Jenny Rees)

May 26, 2016

Sarah Schlund, Extension Educator reporting for Dawson, Buffalo, and Hall Counties: Some of the corn is still emerging throughout the three counties and other fields are growing quickly with the warm weather and rain we had lately. Soybeans are still being planted and the fields that are starting to emerge look good. Corn seedling diseases have been an issue for some farmers along the river where there is standing water. Rains have slowed down producers a bit this week but they are hoping to finish planting soybeans soon.

May 23, 2016

USDA NASS Crop Progress & Condition

For the week ending May 22, dry conditions allowed producers to get back into fields and resume spring planting activities, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Late in the week central and north central counties received an inch or more of rain. Temperatures averaged two to six degrees below normal.

Corn planting was end, soybean planting was continuing, and growers started taking the first cutting of alfalfa, with insect pressure noted in some fields. Wheat diseases were a concern in untreated fields. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 3% short, 81% adequate, and 16% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 3% short, 85% adequate, and 12% surplus.

Crop Condition

USDA NASS Crop Report through May 22, 2016

  • Corn planted was at 90%, equal to last year, and near the five-year average of 93%. Emerged was at 51%, behind 68% last year and the five-year average of 62%.
  • Sorghum planted was at 30 percent, behind 47 last year and 40 average.
  • Soybeans planted was at 54%, equal to last year, but behind the five-year average of 67%. Emerged was at 13%, near 17% last year, but behind the average of 25% average.
  • Winter wheat condition rated 5% poor, 29% fair, 55% good, and 11% excellent. Winter wheat jointed was at 94%, equal to last year, but ahead of the five-year average of 83%. Headed was at 43%, ahead of 35% last year and the five-year average of 31%.
  • Oats condition rated 1% poor, 21% fair, 73% good, and 5% excellent. Oats planted was at 96%, near 100% last year and the five-year average of 99%. Emerged was at 90%, behind 97% last year, but near 92% average. Jointed was at 46%, near 49% last year. Headed was at 7%, ahead of 1% last year, but near 4% average.
  • Alfalfa condition rated 1% poor, 9% fair, 75% good, and 15% excellent. Alfalfa first cutting was at 13% percent, ahead of 8% last year, but near the average of 17%.
  • Dry edible beans planted was at 2%, equal to last year, but behind the average of 7%.

Extension Crop Report

May 19, 2016

Paul Hay, Extension Educator in Gage County: We’re seeing some frost damage to corn tip leaves and minor wireworm damage in corn. Some soybean stands are uneven, slow growing, and causing concern for growers. Alfalfa growers should be scouting field, particularly spring-seeded fields for potential leafhopper damage.

May 17, 2016

Nathan Mueller, Extension Educator in Dodge and Washington Counties: During the May 17 crop tour, I covered 175 miles and the nine major soil regions of Dodge and Washington counties. Past planting dates this spring for corn have been April 13-17, April 24, May 5-8, and May 14-15. Corn planted prior to April 18 is at the V2 to V3 growth stage. This early planted corn had some issues with chilling injury, crusting, ponding, and seedling damping off (Figure 1) that negatively impacted plant populations. Quite a few acres of corn and some soybeans were planted May 5-8 and are now emerging.

Some light cutworm activity and early season phosphorus deficiency in corn was observed. As for soybeans, only a few fields can be rowed from the road. I did see bean leaf beetles in uncut alfalfa fields that will be moving to emerging soybean fields. Alfalfa is just starting to bloom and first cutting is underway. Most of the corn acres (80%) have been planted, but a significant portion of the soybean crop needs to be planted. Good soybean planting progress has been made over the past few days and good progress will be made this weekend. To read the full crop tour report with 25 pictures, visit Crop Tech Cafe.

Michael Rethwisch, Extension Educator in Butler County: Last Tuesday (May 10) we got over 2 inches of rain in the western portion of the county and over 4 inches in the eastern half. Planting resumed after a couple days in the western half. Pastures are looking very good. There is some yellow corn.

Corn seedling damping off

John Wilson, Extension Educator in Burt County: About 75-80% of the corn is in and while it’s a little behind normal, it’s catching up. Of the early planted corn, what’s not drowned is looking pretty good. From April 17 to May 16 we got over 12 inches of rain. There may be as much as 10% replant in the Missouri River bottom and as much as a third of that may not even be replanted this season because it’s too wet. We have springs showing up in areas where they’re rarely seen.

Tyler Williams, Extension Educator in Lancaster County: A lot of planting finished up last week before the rains hit. We don’t have a lot of flooded soils, but do have some yellow corn. Forecast is for a big storm system early next week (May 23-25) with possible severe weather in a slow moving storm with locally heavy rain. Toward the end of the month we should see some big systems every five to seven days.

Ducks in a field
Areas of Burt County have had more than 12 inches of rain in the last month creating springs where there haven't been any in recent history, such as in this corn field, and providing a comfy environment with food and water for these Canada geese. (Photo by John Wilson)

Gary Lesoing, Extension Educator in Nemaha County: We missed a lot of last week’s storm although some farms had structural damage. Most corn planting is done except in a few wet areas and some have started planting soybeans. The corn looks good, although there’s a lot of yellow corn. This year I’ve heard more complaints about pesticide drift, particularly to trees and vegetables, than I have in all my other years combined.  Wheat doesn’t look too bad and some soybeans are starting to peak through.

Paul Jasa, Extension Engineer: Corn and soybeans are up and milo is spiking through at the Rogers Memorial Farm near Lincoln. Some corn in the area came up yellow but appears to be growing out of it. About 25% of the beans in the area have been planted.

Troy Ingram, Extension Educator reporting for Valley, Greeley, Sherman and Howard Counties: We got 0.5 inches of precipitation yesterday in Ord, making it 10.5 inches for the month. We still have a lot of corn and beans to be planted. Very little corn is up, and what is is fairly yellow. Pasture looks good and rye cover crop has headed out and is going to seed.

Ron Seymour, Extension Educator in Adams County: We had a nice planting window last week and 90% of the corn is in and some have turned to planting soybeans. Corn planted in early April is at the 2-leaf stage and looking good. We got about 0.20 inch of rain last night. Wheat is at the boot stage, looks good, and has some virus issues, although not severe. Pastures look good. We could use a little more dry weather to finish up the soybeans.

Roger Elmore, Extension Cropping Systems Specialist, Lincoln: With these cool, wet conditions, growers should be on the lookout for seedling death. The comments about yellow corn aren’t surprising given the rains and cool conditions leading to an extended ugly duckling period for this year’s corn until good sunlight prevails and roots grow down to nitrogen.This is related to the period when seedlings transition from getting their nutrients from the seed to getting them from the nodal root. In cool, wet conditions this transition can slow and plants may begin to appear yellow if they can’t immediately reach the nutrients they need in the root zone.

Todd Whitney, Extension Educator in Phelps County: Conditions here have been good. Corn is pretty well planted and more than 50% of soybeans are in. Wheat has headed out and is looking good. With a few days of sun, any yellow corn should grow out of it.

Julie Peterson, Extension Entomologist at the West Central REC, North Platte: We’ve had wet conditions that slowed corn planting, but nothing like east of here. Wheat just started to shoot its flag leaf and should be heading around Memorial Day. We’re looking for fields to dry up some so planting can continue. A question came up relative to the potential for pillbug damage in irrigated no-till soybean following corn. As historical reports indicate spraying wasn’t too effective, light tillage may be needed. (2010 CW at http://cropwatch.unl.edu/unl-cropwatch-may-21-2010-pillbugs-damage-seedling-corn-jefferson-county)

Gary Stone, Extension Educator in Scotts Bluff County: We’ve had freeze warnings the last two nights here. Sugarbeets are in and dry bean planting should start in the next 10-14 days. Two of the Wyoming reservoirs on the North Platte are full and the rest are near full (http://www.usbr.gov/gp-bin/hydromet_teacup.pl). Lake McConaughy is at 90%. There is some flooding between the Wyoming border and Lewellen and there will be more.  See the North Platte River Basin Water Update in CropWatch (http://cropwatch.unl.edu/2016/north-platte-river-basin-water-update-0).

Martha Shulski, Nebraska State Climatologist: A review of the 6-10 day and 8-14 day outlooks indicate a pretty decent chance for above normal temperatures for all of Nebraska, along with above normal precipitation. Further out, it looks like the transition from El Nino to La Nina will be mid to late summer with an increased chance of dryness in late summer. Above normal temperatures are likely through fall.

Sarah Schlund, Extension Educator reporting for Dawson, Buffalo, and Hall Counties: Some producers are still planting corn in the area while others have started to put soybeans in the ground. Corn emergence was slow initially, but warmer temperatures last week allowed for emergence throughout the county. Rainy conditions to start this week will slow down some producers, especially with cooler temperatures projected for the week. I would estimate that more than half of the corn in the area has been planted while soybean planting has just started.

Strahinja Stepanovic, Extension Educator in Southwest Nebraska: In the last two weeks we received about 1 inch of precipitation, average air temperatures ranged from 45°F to 65°F generating 123GDD (growing degree days), and soil temperatures gradually increased from 50°F to 58-62°F. Wheat is generally in good condition and pushing flag leaf. There have been isolated reports of stripe rust. Wheat is showing signs of nitrogen deficiency, particularly in low areas of the fields with standing water and poor drainage conditions.  See the author’s blog, Ag with Strahinja, for more details and information on field pea research with area farmers.
Yellowish wheat due to nitrogen deficiency
Nitrogen deficiency as indicated by yellowish wheat in southwest Nebraska field. (Photo by Strahinja Stepanovic)

USDA NASS Crop Report

May 16, 2016

Rains in eastern Nebraska and hail in portions of the state slowed planting in some areas for the week ending May 15, according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (see table). Winter wheat condition rated 3% poor, 30% fair, 55% good, and 12% excellent. Winter wheat jointed was at 91%, near 90% last year, but ahead of the five-year average of 74%. Headed was at 34%, ahead of 19% last year and the five-year average of 17%.

Planting-progress-5-15-16

Sarah Schlund, Extension Educator reporting for Dawson, Buffalo, and Hall Counties:
Some producers are still planting corn in the area while others have started to put soybeans in the ground. Corn emergence was slow initially, but warmer temperatures last week allowed for emergence throughout the county. Rainy conditions to start this week will slow down some producers, especially with cooler temperatures projected for the week. I would estimate that more than half of the corn in the area has been planted while soybean planting has just started.

May 13, 2016

Michael Rethwisch, Extension Educator: Cutworm feeding on emerged corn was reported from Butler County during the past 10 days. These cutworms were thought associated with variegated cutworm flights noted in mid-April. Based on data from insect pheromone traps, black cutworm and variegated cutworm moth numbers at or beyond sensitive points were noted during the last seven days from Saline and Butler Counties. Crops in these areas need to be scouted closely over the next few weeks for cutworm caterpillar activity.

Soil erosion in Saline County
hail-damaged alfalfa field

Randy Pryor, Extension Educator in Saline County: The southeast part of Saline County experienced soil erosion and crop damage during a May 9 storm. This is back-to-back years where the same area experienced heavy rainfall events and flash flooding. Unofficial reports were 3 to 5 inches of rain with hail in less than 1.5 hours. Alfalfa and wheat fields were damaged. Silty clay loam soils have low infiltration water rates. Research has shown that continuous no-tilled fields have less soil erosion and/or where fields have cover crops planted that protect and hold soil. On highly erodible land and near ephemeral areas of fields, tilled fields can experience large top soil losses during intense, early spring rainfall events. Once precious topsoil moves offsite, it will never be recovered in our lifetimes.

Common waterhemp seedling

Common Waterhemp Reminder

May 12, 2016

Amit Jhala, Extension Weed Specialist: Common waterhemp has started emerging in south central Nebraska. Growers should take action now to control this yield threat while it's still at a manageable size. (On a May 13 Market Journal segment (above) Jhala discusses management of glyphosate-resistant common waterhemp.)

USDA NASS Wheat Harvest Estimate

May 10, 2016

Based on May 1 conditions, Nebraska's 2016 winter wheat crop is forecast at 61.3 million bushels, up 33% from last year’s crop, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Average yield is forecast at 49 bushels per acre, up 11 bushels from a year earlier. If realized this would tie 2014's record yield.

Acreage to be harvested for grain is estimated at 1.25 million acres, up 40,000 acres from a year ago. This would be 93% of the planted acres, above last year’s 81% harvested. May 1 hay stocks of 1.45 million tons are up 16% from last year.

Nationally, winter wheat production is forecast at 1.43 billion bushels, up 4% from 2015. As of May 1, the United States yield is forecast at 47.8 bushels per acre, up 5.3 bushels from last year. If realized, this will equal the record yield set in 1999. Hard Red Winter production, at 863 million bushels, is up 4% from a year ago. Soft Red Winter, at 357 million bushels, is down nearly 1% from 2015. White Winter, at 208 million bushels, is up 13% from last year. Of the White Winter production, 17.4 million bushels are Hard White and 191 million bushels are Soft White.

Extension Crop Report

May 10, 2016

Gary Stone, Extension Educator in Scottsbluff with North Platte River Basin Water Update: Lowland flooding is occurring along the North Platte River from Lewellen west into southeastern Wyoming.  The areas affected are primarily the river bottom, mostly pasture but some cropland and homes.  River flow levels are expected to remain high for the foreseeable future as the US Bureau of Reclamation is moving water down through the reservoir system to make room for the snow melt/runoff.

The rest of the Panhandle is drying out from this past weekend’s precipitation and growers should be able to get back into the fields Thursday or Friday.  Most, if not all of the sugar beets have been planted and corn planting is approximately 50% complete.  Dry bean planting will not start until the end of May. 

The forecast for the weekend calls for a chance of precipitation and lower than normal temperatures.  In some areas of southeastern Wyoming, there is a chance of moderate snow accumulations, mainly in the Laramie, Sierra Madre, and Snowy Range mountains.  Snow water equivalent (138%) and total precipitation (115%) for this time period remains well above average across the North Platte River basin in Wyoming.  

For more information on the North Platte River Surface Irrigation Projects and Power Generation, view the slideshare presentation on the UNL Panhandle Research and Extension website. Information on US Bureau of Reclamation water operations is at http://www.usbr.gov/gp/wyao/index.html  and snow water content graphs can be found at http://www.usbr.gov/gp/lakes_reservoirs/wareprts/wygraph1.html

USDA NASS Crop Progress & Condition

Monday, May 9
For the week ending May 8, growers were able to get into the field to plant, but by the end of the week many were shut out due to rains and ponding in low-lying areas, accoring to a May 9 report by the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Topsoil moisture rated 15% suplus, 81% adequate, 3% short, 1% very short. Subsoil moisture rated 8% surplus, 87% adequate, 5% short.

  • Corn planting was at 53%, behind 71% last year and the five-year average of 59%. Fifteen percent had emerged, behind 24% last year, but equal to average.
  • Soybeans planting was at 13%, behind 21% last year and for the five-year average.
  • Sorghum planting was at 5%, behind 20% last year, but near the average of 9%.
  • Winter wheat condition rated 3% poor, 31% fair, 55% good, and 11% excellent. Winter wheat jointed was at 81%, ahead of 75% last year, and well ahead of the five-year average of 54%. An estimated 10% had headed, ner 7% last yer and the average of 8%.
  • Oats condition rated 1% poor, 23% fair, 71% good, and 5% excellent. Oat planting was at 89%, behind 100% last year and the average of 95%. Appoximately 79% had emerged, behind 89% last year and the five-year average of 72%.

Extension Crop Reports

Wednesday, May 4

Sarah Schlund, Extension Educator in Dawson County: Quite a bit of corn has been planted in the area. With all of the rain over the past couple of weeks and more anticipated for this weekend, producers have not been able to get into the field. Very minimal corn has emerged. The wheat crop looks really healthy and is growing well with all of the rain we’ve had. Producers are hoping to get back into the field at the end of this week to continue planting and get their spraying done.

Flooded field northwest of Fremont in the Platte River Valley
Field with poorly drained Luton soil series northwest of Fremont in the Platte River Valley. With 6.57 inches Fremont had the wettest April on record since 1893. (Photo by Nathan Mueller)

Nathan Mueller, Extension Educator in Dodge County: In Dodge and Washington counties, corn planting was off to a fast start during a stretch from April 10 to April 17. Many growers were able to get 10% to 70% of their corn planted, averaging close to 20-25%. Due to the windy conditions in this same time frame, spraying preplant/preemerge herbicides was limited. The area did not receive rainfall the first 17 days of April. Some growers ceased planting ahead of the predicted rains the third week of April. Depth control was becoming poor due to insufficient down pressure on row units caused by the lack of rain and hard surface soil conditions. In between rains on April 24-25, some growers and service providers did get fieldwork done in drier areas including spraying and some planting. For a more detailed crop report, see the Crop Tech Cafe blog.

Tuesday, May 3

Charles Shapiro, Extension Soil Fertility Specialist: Fields in northeast Nebraska are wet from weekend rains. At UNL's Haskell Ag Lab this week we’re laying out plots and spraying fertilizer. Soil temps are still hovering in the 50s; this morning the temperature was at 52°F. We aren't seeing any corn up yet in this area. 

Wayne Ohnesorg, Extension Educator in Madison, Wayne, Pierce, and Stanton Counties: Due to the moisture, farmers are fairly idle, waiting to plant.

Michael Rethwisch, Extension Educator in Butler County: We received 3-4 inches of rain since last Tuesday. Alfalfa and brome hay, as well as weeds, are growing well. Continuing to collect data from pheromone traps and sharing it in CropWatch. Variegated cutworm have had some hot spots in Phelps and Merrick counties; black cutworm numbers have been hit and miss. Greenbugs have been reported in wheat in Pawnee County.

Troy Ingram, Extension Educator in Valley, Greeley, Sherman, and Howard Counties: We’ve received a little over 8 inches of precipitation since April 17 so there’s not much field activity at this time.

Gary Lesoing, Extension Educator in Nemaha County:  Things are pretty wet here too as we’ve gotten 5 inches of precipitation since April 18. A lot of corn that was planted hasn’t been sprayed due to wet field conditions. It’s really a Catch 22 as growers want the windy days to help dry out the soil, but can’t spray because of the windy days. Approximately 75%-80% of the corn is in and most is up. Alfalfa, wheat, and pastures look good with all the rain.

Tyler Williams, Extension Educator in Lancaster County: We got rain, but not the amounts they had in south central and northeast Nebraska. With sunshine and warmer temperatures, growers will be back in the field this week.

Todd Whitney, Extension Educator in Phelps County: We got 12 inches of rain in the last two weeks near Holdrege. Planting ranges from barely started to 8% done and 50% done for some. We’ve had trace levels of stripe and leaf rust mid canopy in wheat. Growers are waiting to apply a fungicide to protect the flag leaf, likely late this week.

Al Dutcher, Associate Nebraska State Climatologist: Expect a dry stretch the remainder of this week with a slight precipitation chance Friday afternoon in eastern Nebraska. Look for widespread rain across the Panhandle Saturday, moving eastward Sunday-Tuesday. Next week shows chances for some precipitation in central and eastern Nebraska. Planting progress will depend on where upper air patterns set up and rains beak out. For the remainder of this week expect above normal temperatures; next week temperatures will depend on the cloud cover, although it’s safe to say we appear to be moving into more of spring pattern. (Check out Al's story on El Nino and the longer term forecast in this week's CropWatch at http://cropwatch.unl.edu/2016/shift-la-nina-likely-late-summer-or-earlier.) 

Strahinja Stepanovic, Extension Educator in Perkins, Chase and Dundy Counties: The weekend of April 16-17 southwest Nebraska got 3-4 inches of rain, and last weekend they got another 1-2 inches. Some corn was planted between the rains but emergence is slow. There’s a lot of water and some ponding. Some wheat is starting to yellow, likely due to too much moisture and loss of nitrogen. Growers are waiting for the flag leaf to spray fungicides for stripe rust. Consultants from Dundee and Keith counties have reported isolated incidents of stripe rust.

Chuck Burr, Exension Water Educator, West Central REC, North Platte:  The 3-4 inches of snow we got over the weekend has melted. Northern parts of the region got 10 inches.  

John Wilson, Extension Educator in Burt County: Field work is at a standstill due to wet conditions. From April 17-May 1 we got 9.4 inches of rain. There is water standing where I’ve never seen it before and concern for those who planted corn early as well as concern for those who can’t get into their fields. With all this moisture, it’s an excellent year for morel mushrooms around here.

Paul Jasa, Extension Engineer, Lincoln: A lot of corn in southeast Nebraska is in and coming up, but some fields are looking a little ragged as timely spraying wasn’t possible. Our corn at the UNL Rogers Memorial Farm east of Lincoln in and soybean planting starts today. No-till On the Plains will host no-till meetings June 21 near Winside and June 23 near Alliance. Both will have field tours and indoor presentations. 

Amy Timmerman, Extension Educator in Holt and Boyd Counties:  We received 2-5 inches of rain over the last week. Low area flooding is occurring. Planting has slowed down but will likely resume starting today in fields that are higher and have lighter soils. Alfalfa is looking good with the first cutting just around the corner.

USDA NASS Crop Progress & Condition

Monday, May 2

For the week ending May 1, wet, cool conditions kept producers from making widespread planting progress, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Snow blanketed the southwest as well as Panhandle counties late in the week with accumulations of six inches or more recorded in portions of the Panhandle. Statewide rainfall of one to two inches was common with heavier amounts in central Nebraska. Temperatures averaged four to six degrees below normal. Producers were waiting for soils to dry before planting could resume.

Topsoil moisture supplies rated 1% very short, 6% short, 70% adequate, and 23% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 1% percent very short, 6% short, 82% adequate, and 11% surplus.

  • Corn planted was at 26%, behind 45% last year and the five-year average of 31%. Emerged was at 7%, near 6% last year and the average of 4% average.
  • Sorghum planted was at 1%, behind 8% last year and near 3% average.
  • Soybeans planted was at 2%, behind 9% last year, but near 6% average.
  • Winter wheat condition rated 0% very poor, 4% poor, 35% fair, 50% good, and 11% excellent. Winter wheat jointed was at 71%, well ahead of 42% last year and the average of 32%. Headed was at 1%, near 2% last year and 3% average.
  • Oats condition rated 1% poor, 33% fair, 62% good, and 4% excellent. Oats planted was 86% complete, behind 98% last year, but near the average of 88%. Emerged was at 70%, behind 80% last year, but ahead of the five-year average of 59% emerged.

Extension Crop Reports

Sarah Schlund, Extension Educator in Dawson County: While the rain was much needed in this part of the state, the amount that we have received in the past couple of weeks has definitely slowed down planting progress in Dawson, Buffalo, and Hall counties. For producers who have been able to get into the field, quite a bit of corn has been planted and farmers are starting to get their planters ready for soybeans. A few producers have been getting their fields sprayed when they are not planting to help control early emerging summer annuals. With more rain forecasted, farmers may have to wait until their fields have dried out to start planting again. The alfalfa fields have also been growing quite a bit and greening up lately with all of the rainfall in the area. (April 28)

USDA NASS Crop Progress & Condition

April 25, 2016

For the week ending April 24, temperatures averaged 2-4 degrees above normal in eastern areas, but were near normal elsewhere, according to report from USDA NASS. Rainfall was common across the eastern third of the state.

  • Corn planting was 16% completed, compared to 13% last year and the five-year average of 11%. One percent of the crop had emerged.
  • Sorghum planting was 1% complete, equal to last year and the five-year average.
  • Oat planting was 85% complete, behind 92% last year and the five-year average of 80%. Fifty-four percent had emerged, behind last year's 63%, but ahead of the five-year average of 41%.
  • Winter wheat condition rated 10% excellent, 50% good, 36% fair, and 4% poor. Fifty-six percent of the crop had jointed, well ahead of 14% last year and the19% according to the five-year average.

Extension Crop Reports from Across the State

Tuesday, April 19

Keith Jarvi, Extension Educator in Dakota, Dixon, and Thurston counties: We got a really nice rain Monday. It’s been cool and we haven’t seen much planting yet.

Charles Shapiro, Extension Soil Fertility Specialist, Northeast REC: Soil temperature is at 58°F here. Any corn in the ground will grow fairly slowly until we warm up. (See daily soil temperature updates.)

John Wilson, Extension Educator in Burt County: Farmers here have been fairly aggressive with planting, getting 10%-15% in before the rains hit. We had been really dry and got 0.4-0.5 inches. Growers also have been completing normal spring activities, including spreading fertilizer and applying herbicides.

Michael Rethwisch, Extension Educator in Butler County: After a windy, drying period last week, the rains were welcome. Growers had commented that they would have liked to have been spraying last week, but windy conditions precluded that. We’re seeing a lot of henbit. Field work included stalk disking. Probably just 2%-3% of corn has been planted.

Nathan Mueller, Extension Educator, reporting for Dodge and Washington Counties: Growers have been aggressively planting. Some have as much as 50% of their corn in. Some backed off from planting and waited for the rain as the ground was hard and they were having trouble getting enough planter pressure to penetrate the soil, particularly in no-till. We received 0.8-1 inches of precipitation in the area. It was so windy last week that some growers couldn’t get their pre-emergence applied. Some did apply and their neighbors and adjacent farmers were concerned about spray drift.

Keith Glewen, Extension Educator in Saunders County: Conditions are similar to those in Dodge and Washington counties. About 20% of our corn is in.

Gary Lesoing, Extension Educator reporting for Nemaha, Richardson, Johnson, and Pawnee Counties: Corn planting made significant progress in southeast Nebraska April 11-16 and is probably 50%-70% complete. Application of herbicides is also occurring where conditions allow. We received .65-1.00 inch of precipitation in the area on April 18.  Most anhydrous fertilizer applications are complete.

Tyler Williams, Extension Educator in Lancaster County: Biggest concern here for growers was getting enough downpressure on planters to penetrate deep enough. With the numerous shots of rain predicted for the next few weeks, not sure if crusting will be a concern.

Troy Ingram, Extension Educator reporting for Valley, Greeley, Sherman and Howard Counties: We got 4-4.5 inches of rain. Few here have started planting.

Ron Seymour, Extension Educator in Adams County: Before the rains, conditions here had been pretty dry. About 20%-25% of the corn was planted before we got 3.5 inches of rain, most of which appeared to have soaked in. We found rust in Webster County wheat.

Todd Whitney, Extension Educator in Hamilton County: Conditions here are similar; we got over 5 inches of rain. We’re getting reports of glyphosate-resistant kochia. About 20% of the corn is planted.

Julie Peterson, Extension Entomologist at the West Central REC, North Platte: As other sites reported, we received a lot of precipitation over the weekend and are waiting to dry out. I scouted wheat for army cutworms, but did not find a problem and have not received calls on other crop insects in the west central area.

Gary Stone, Extension Educator at Scottsbluff: We got 1-3 inches of moisture across the Panhandle. Most of the field peas and approximately half the sugar beets are planted. Not aware of any corn being planted in the area. The Bureau of Reclamation indicated good snowpack and a good water year.  (See more in this week’s CropWatch story.)

April 19, 2016 NE Drought Monitor

USDA NASS Nebraska Crop Progress and Condition, April 18

For the week ending April 17, temperatures averaged four to six degrees above normal with widespread precipitation across the state. Corn planting started during the week but was halted due to the rain. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 6% very short, 24% short, 64% adequate, and 6% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 3% very short, 17% short, 77% adequate, and 3% surplus.

  • Corn planting was 7% complete, near 3% for both last year and the five-year average.
  • Winter wheat condition rated 3% poor, 40% fair, 48% good, and 9% excellent. Winter wheat jointed was at 18% percent, ahead of 4% last year and 12% average.
  • Oats planted was at 71%, behind 80% last year, but ahead of the five-year average of 66%. Oat emergence was 23%, behind 36 last year, but near 21 average.

USDA NASS Nebraska Crop Progress and Condition, April 11

For the week ending April 10, temperatures throughout most of Nebraska averaged two to eight degrees above normal, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The State received minimal amounts of precipitation. However, high winds limited fieldwork activities such as spraying and spreading fertilizer.

Topsoil moisture supplies rated 7% very short, 26% short, 66% adequate, and 1% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 3% very short, 20% short, 75% adequate, and 2% surplus.

Winter wheat condition rated 0% very poor, 3% poor, 40% fair, 50% good, and 7% excellent. Ten percent of the winter wheat had jointed.

Oat planting was at 50%, behind 63% last year, but ahead of 44% for the five-year average. Two percent of the oat crop had emerged, behind 9% last year and the five-year average of 8%.

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