Extension Crop and Pest Reports (Sept. 14-18)
Bean harvest is well underway and will be 50% done by the end of this week. Yields are down 10 to 15% due to hot and windy August during flowering and pod set. Weed pressure has been heavy particularly in the beans and sugar beets. There is more Palmer Amaranth every year. Early sugarbeet harvest is underway and it looks like an above average crop this year averaging 32+ tons per acre with good sugar content. We had half to three quarters inch of rain with some snow which helped some. We could have certainly used more to get the very dry wheat ground some moisture. About 40% of the winter wheat in our area has been planted. We did have a killing frost over much of the northern Panhandle which finished the corn. Corn was not completely mature but fairly close. Some of the dryland corn areas are almost ready to harvest but yields will be very low due to the drought conditions.
Significant rainfall during the week of September 7 was welcomed by the agriculture community. Late planted or soybeans representing a mid-group 3 or early 4 maturity group from a yield perspective will still benefit from the rainfall. Farm operators with pasture and/or alfalfa will also benefit from the precipitation. Soybean harvest is in its early stages with some dryland yields being reported in the 20-40 bushel range. High moisture corn is being harvested for feedlots with one dryland moisture converted yield reported at 150 bu/ac and irrigated at 230 bu/ac. Corn moisture is being reported in the 27-32% range. With limited forage supplies, some growers are taking the fourth cutting of alfalfa even though it falls within the six week rest period.