Extension Crop Reports Sept. 18-22

Figure 1. Early sugar beet harvest at the Western Sugar Cooperative factory in Scottsbluff, where they will be processed into sugar. (Photo by Gary Stone)

Extension Crop Reports Sept. 18-22 September 18, 2017

John Thomas, Extension Educator in Box Butte County: Local field temperatures got down to 29°F a week or so ago and stayed fairly cold for a while. Beans are susceptible to cool temperatures, but I haven’t seen any damage. About 15% of our winter wheat is planted. Dry edible bean harvest is underway with about 15%-20% cut and some combined. Early sugar beet harvest has been going 1.5-2 weeks and the factory started running about a week ago today. We got over 1 inch of rain last weekend which will be good moisture for wheat planting. (9/19/17)

Steve Melvin, Extension Educator in Merrick County: Soybean harvest is getting started in Nuckols County and to some extent in Hamilton County. Silage harvest has probably wrapped up around here and a little high moisture corn has come out. (9/19/17)

Nathan Mueller, Extension Educator in Dodge and Washington Counties: Earlier this month I conducted a yield tour across my counties over several days. We’ll have pretty good yields this year, particularly compared to the USDA numbers. (See Mueller’s detailed report in his blog at http://croptechcafe.org/2017-dodge-county-crop-tech-cafe-yield-tour/.) Irrigated corn yields will be higher than the last two years, and dryland yields look to be higher than last year. Soybean yields are down 7 bu/ac from last year and 2 bu/ac from the year before. I saw quite a bit of white mold on soybeans, including in areas where you usually don't see it such as in 30-inch rows and on eroded hillsides in Washington County. I also found some stalk and crown rots in isolated plants in corn. Generally harvest is a little ways off although I did see some harvest in Saunders County near Fremont. Our wheat acreage in this part of the state is less than in western Nebraska, but we’re seeing an increase in winter wheat production for next season.  (9/19/17)

Keith Jarvi, Extension Educator in Dixon, Wayne, Cedar and Knox Counties:  The fourth cutting of alfalfa is done. We finally got a little rain after more than two weeks without any here. A lot of beans still seem to have green and yellow leaves and seem to be maturing later than usual. A few are dropping their leaves, but overall, soybeans seem to be a little behind. (9/19/17)

John Wilson, Extension Educator in Burt County: We got ½ - ¾ inch of rain in the area yesterday. Some soybean fields have almost completely dropped their leaves while others are still green and look to be at least a month away. A lot of the variability is due to a range in planting dates last spring. We’re seeing some white mold in soybean, but not too much. (9/19/17)

Tyler Williams, Extension Educator in Lancaster County: Crops are maturing quickly. Very few soybean fields are green, so it won't be long until we see combines throughout the area. A few fields have already been harvested, but were likely short-season corn and soybeans. (9/18/17)

Todd Whitney, Extension Educator in Phelps County: Dry conditions continue in our region, but rain is forecast for the weekend. Soybean harvest began last Thursday and wheat drilling will likely begin this week. Some high moisture corn has been harvested. (9/18/2017)

Gary Stone, Extension Educator in Scotts Bluff County:  Early sugar beet harvest started earlier this month in the Nebraska Panhandle. The sugar beets are brought in from the field and stored in piles for processing later into sugar. Figure 1 shows piles at the Scottsbluff Western Sugar Cooperative factory. A summary of the sugar beet process can be found at https://www.westernsugar.com/who-we-are/sugar-beet-process/. A brief history of the Western Sugar Cooperative can be found at https://www.westernsugar.com/who-we-are/history/. Dry edible bean harvest was underway until Sunday afternoon when 0.5 to 1.75 inches of rain fell across the Platte River Valley, delaying further harvest until conditions dry. High winds predicted for this area Tuesday will not be good for bean that have been cut and are in windrows. (As of Sept. 17, USDA NASS estimated 35% of the state's dry beans had been harvested, ahead of both last year and the five-year average.) (9/18/2017)

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Sugar beet harvest and processing
Learn more about how sugar beets are harvested and processed in this animation from Western Sugar, whose facilities process the sugar beets grown in western Nebraska.