Extension Crop and Pest Reports (Aug. 3-7)
Crops look excellent in the southeast counties of Nebraska (Nemaha, Richardson, Pawnee and Johnson). While rains have been spotty, most of the area has received sufficient rain for the crops, many areas more than needed and the soil profile is full. This has helped reduce irrigation in the area as well. There has been a lot of fungicide application mostly for gray leaf spot in corn. There are reports of Southern Corn Leaf Rust in Pawnee County. There has been some spraying for Frogeye Leaf spot and/or Japanese Beetles as well in soybeans. Most weed control is good in soybean fields. Some farmers are putting up alfalfa and/or grass hay at this time.
Summer is moving along quickly. The wheat harvest is complete with average to slightly above average yields and protein. The sugar beet crop is doing quite well but conditions are favorable now for Cercospora Leaf Spot and growers are beginning fungicide applications to either control it or prevent it. Much of the corn is in the milk to blister stage. Dry edible beans are flowering and in the early pod development stage. Spotty hail has opened up the dry bean crop to some bacterial disease and treatments are going out to control those diseases. Third cutting is beginning on some of the irrigated alfalfa crop and some growers will get a 4th cutting. We have quite a few sunflower acres this year and the crop is looking good. Generally the sunflowers (Photo 3) are between R-4 and R 5.7 in their development.
Weeds have been an issue in some of our dry edible beans as noted in photo 1. Growers that applied an effective pre and post herbicide were able to do a good job on weed control also as noted in photo 2. Temperatures have been a little cooler with a little more moisture in the past week or so.
Crops are progressing in maturity in the area, with most corn fields in the area range from milk to early dough growth stage and soybeans are setting pods. In corn, we are seeing some southern rust in fields, as well as grey leaf spot and bacterial leaf streak. Applications of fungicide and insecticide were made to a significant number of fields. For soybeans, plant death from soybean gall midge is showing up in areas as well as some frogeye leaf spot.
Rainfall, or the lack thereof, has been the biggest challenge to crops in the Colfax/Cuming/Stanton/Burt County area. A drive through the area last week showed that while most dryland fields are hanging on, some fields in areas have suffered significant losses from the drought conditions as shown in the photos. Looking at individual fields, differences in tillage/crop rotation are playing a role, as the worst fields were corn on corn. In addition, the spotty nature of rainfall this year has led to areas seeing more or less damage, with some fields showing visible stress only a couple miles from damaged fields.