Extension Crop Reports (July 22-26)
Todd Whitney, Extension Educator in Phelps County: Area aerial applicators have been making many insecticide applications for western bean cutworm control and scattered fungicide applications for grey leaf spot. On Tuesday, Brian Maust is planning to harvest our WCREC replicated wheat plot on Terry Woollen’s farm north of Alma. Overall wheat harvest in the area is about two weeks behind normal, but yields have been much higher than normal.
Pivot irrigation was just starting up this week when we received another 0.75-2.0 inches on Saturday and Sunday across our region. Mostly, irrigation costs have been much lower than normal with strong corn yield prospects, except for some scattered flooded fields and numerous pivot corners. Some are concerned that their soybeans are not growing as well; and there have been a few bands of severe hail (mostly 4-5 miles wide from Orleans/Oxford (Harlan County) extending east of Wilcox (Kearny County). Forage harvesting has been difficult this spring and early summer. However, our second cutting of alfalfa has generally gone great with a break in the rainy weather.
Crop marketing has been limited this week due to concerns that flattened corn zones may result in a 20-25% lower yield than normal and predictions that the Eastern Corn Belt will have below-normal yields. So, less than half our local crop is likely priced. (7/22)
Jennifer Rees, Extensin Educator in York County: Most corn is tasseling and soybeans are at late flowering through early pod stage. We had a huge number of second-generation thistle caterpillars, other defoliators, and some Japanese beetles. The fields being most impacted are those that were late planted or where the canopy hasn't closed. We have beans dying from Phythophthora. In corn there’s been some spraying for western bean cutworm in York and Seward counties, but more active spraying in counties south of us. (7/23)
Wayne Ohnesorg, Extension Educator in Madison County: We really needed that couple weeks of drying weather to dry up some of the puddles and flooded fields. It allowed some guys to get in and plant cover crops. (7/23)
Melissa Bartels, Extension Educator in Butler County: We're seeing a high infestation of thistle caterpillars. Soybeans are flowering, some even before they have actually closed canopy. Corn is from knee high to tasseling. (7/23)
John Thomas, Extension Educator in the northern Nebraska Panhandle: Wheat is probably a good two weeks behind and harvest hasn't started yet. Corn ranges from above knee-high to shoulder high. In the 30 fields I checked yesterday, only three were at tasseling. Sugar beets are two weeks behind as well. We have had some pretty high numbers of wheat stem sawflies, but I haven’t seen any significant lodging yet. (7/23)
Robert Tigner, Agricultural Systems Extension Educator: We have started wheat harvest and are seeing some lodging, mostly related to wind and rain. Harvest prospects for dryland wheat in this area, based on talking with a consultant, are 75-107 bu/ac yield, protein: 11+, and a test weight of 61-63 lbs. Wheat is performing quite well in the southwest. Corn is from barely knee high to tasseling; some silks are starting to darken. Dryland corn looks excellent and yields in the mid 100s won’t be uncommon. Soybeans are looking pretty tough. They need a little heat and some regular moisture in August. (7/23)
Steve Melvin, Extension Educator (Irrigated Cropping Systems) in Hamilton County: There is a lot of non-uniformity in plants here and groundwater problems are still the big story from a wet year. Sunday we got 2-2.5 inches and the USGS monitoring well jumped up about 6 inches. A lot of fields were prevent planted in the valley and won’t get cover crops because they’re still too wet. We have a few wheat fields and in one, the combine was buried up to its axle trying to get in to harvest. It’s hard to say when they’ll be able to harvest. We’ve had high groundwater levels before but usually they drop; this time they’ve stayed high since March. We have roads that really haven’t firmed up enough for growers to get their corn to market. (7/23)
Julie Peterson, Extension Entomologist, West Central Research and Extension Center: In soybean we have been seeing pretty high pressures of thistle caterpillars (the larval stage of the painted lady butterfly). The first generation completed over the last couple weeks and now we’re seeing patchy pressure with the second generation. With the varied growth stages we have this year, some fields may be preferable to others and populations may vary considerably from one field to the next. We’re really encouraging scouting for that second generation in soybeans and looking at a defoliation threshold of 20% for pod fill or 30% if beans are still in vegetative stages. Western bean cutworm flight has been delayed by about a week (but by midweek was picking up at the WCREC). It’s been much earlier in the eastern and central parts of the state. In those areas they are already at a point where people need to treat (95% tassel as treatment timing) in south central Nebraska. Flight numbers have matched quite well our predictions from the degree-day model. Note that there can be a lot of moths flying, but depending on the growth stage of that particular field, you may not get a lot of eggs, while a neighboring field at a different growth stage may get more eggs. That’s why you can’t rely only on pheromone traps or light traps as a decision tool. It's important to scout for eggs in individual fields. (7/23)