Extension Crop and Pest Reports (July 15-19)

Washington County Winter Wheat Variety Trial
The Washington County Winter Wheat Variety Trial will be harvested on July 19. (Photos by Nathan Mueller)

Extension Crop and Pest Reports (July 15-19)

Cody Creech, Extension Dryland Cropping Systems Specialist at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center, Scottsbluff: Wheat harvest in southwest Nebraska is mostly wrapped up and harvesters are hitting it hard today in Grant and Perkins counties. A few fields are being test cut in the southern Panhandle and some early-planted wheat may be ready to harvest. Harvest is expected to start hard Monday in the southern Panhandle, moving to the northern Panhandle by week’s end. For the most part, wheat is still standing well in the Nebraska Wheat Belt, an area extending from Grant and Perkins counties west to the border. In a few low-lying areas with significant water, we are seeing some lodging. We have had really good harvest weather, but there is a lot of sawfly pressure in the Panhandle this year and it’s a race to harvest before storms or heavy winds flatten wheat fields where sawflies have weakened plant stems. While many growers have combines, the custom harvest crews make it possible to harvest large areas in a shorter time, critical at this point in the season. So far, the wheat looks fantastic and yields look very strong. (7/19/19)

Nathan Mueller, Extension Educator in Dodge and Washington Counties:  Historic March flooding, an extended wet planting season, and now a flash drought. 2019 has been one of the most challenges years for producers. Prevented plant acres are actively being seeded to cover/forage crops. Northern Dodge and northern Washington counties are abnormally dry and corn is showing moisture stress in portions of fields regardless of the growth stage (V8 – R1). Irrigation and fertigation of corn acres are now in full swing in some areas. The southern half of both counties (south of a line along Hwy 91 in Washington and the Maple Creek in Dodge) have seen more rain over the past 30 days than the northern half, including an early morning rain on Tuesday, July 16. Producers have reported light to heavy insect pressure or damage from soybean gall midge, second-generation thistle caterpillar, and small grasshoppers. New seeding alfalfa fields have struggled more than normal this season (poor stands, late planting, insect and weed pressure, and recent dry conditions). Winter wheat harvest started 10 days later than normal, but preliminary reports include good yields, excellent test weight, average protein, and good straw production. Follow Mueller's crop updates at his Crop Tech Cafe blog. (Photos below by Nathan Mueller.) (7/18/19)

Severely flood-damaged farmland near the Elkhorn River
Extremely damaged farmland along the Elkhorn River from the March flooding.
Corn under moisture stress
Drought or moisture stressed corn in northwest Washington County.
Storm clouds in Cheyenne County, NE, July 16, 2019

Karen DeBoer, Extension Educator in Cheyenne County: This storm passed through our area on the evening of July 16, bringing a little hail. Wheat harvest is just starting in Cheyenne County. (7/18/19) (Photo by Karen DeBoer)

Ron Seymour, Extension Educator in Adams County: Soybeans from early-planted fields are flowering. The maturity of later-planted fields varies, but most fields look good. While many of the fields had evidence of thistle caterpillar feeding, most of the larvae have pupated. Field corn maturity varies from V8 to beginning tassel. Plants in a few fields have bacterial leaf streak. In others, gray leaf spot and common rust were observed. Corn leaf miner was found in many fields. Two widely separated fields south of Hastings had European corn borer damage on about 25% of the plants. The larvae were in the 3rd instar. One field had western bean cutworm egg masses on several plants. Plants with moderate hail damage were growing out of the damage. Wheat fields will soon be ready to harvest. Alfalfa fields had 5-10% bloom with quite a few lygus bugs and a few potato leafhoppers. (7/16/19)