Crop and Field Updates from Across the State - UNL CropWatch, May 26, 2011

Crop and Field Updates from Across the State - UNL CropWatch, May 26, 2011

May 26, 2011

Illustration showing water level at reservoirs

North Platte River Basin Reservoir System Capacities as of May 25, 2011. This chart from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is updated daily to show reservoir levels and capacity for storing additional water. To view updates, access the site for the Great Plains Region Teacup Models and specify North Platte Basin. In this week's Field Updates Nebraska State Climatologist Al Dutcher discusses the dire situation with the expect inflow of water into a reservoir system that's already near capacity.  Also see a recent IANR news story with Dutcher. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Reclamation)

Robert Klein, Extension Western Nebraska Crops Specialist at the West Central REC in North Platte: Corn planting is about two-thirds done. Soybean planting is a little behind normal. Growers are spraying for weeds, and having difficulty getting treatments made with this weather. Field operations also have been a challenge. With the recent rains, wheat perked up a lot, as did pastures and ranges. Things had been dry from late July 2010 to this spring, but now we’re at 130% of average precipitation.

There hasn’t been a lot of flooding yet, except some on land adjacent to rivers. Given the level of snowpack still in the Rockies, growers are nervous and hoping we don’t get a fast warm-up or more heavy rains.

Jennifer Rees, Extension Educator in Clay County: Wheat has been greening up and is anywhere from flag leaf to heading. We’re not seeing much disease in wheat but we are seeing some bean leaf beetles in soybean. Corn growth stages range from emergence to two leaves.

Jim Schneider, Extension Educator in Hamilton County: Growers here got in a few hours of planting yesterday (May 23). We got a little shower again last night so planting is probably done for the rest of the week. Corn is mostly complete and soybean planting is probably 90% complete. Planting has been a little bit of a challenge this year for seed corn companies. Most corn here is between V1 and V2. Beans are at the unifoliate stage. We’ve seen very few bean leaf beetles so far; it will be a good year to have residual in the burndown herbicide treatment.

Gary Lesoing, Extension Educator in Nemaha County: Corn planting is pretty well completed. We didn’t get the body of rain that other areas did. With the rain we did get, corn looks a lot better. A lot of farmers here have been concerned with uneven stands, but it’s improving. Wheat is starting to head out. Some alfalfa had been cut before the rains. Farmers reported some wireworms in corn. Overall, growers are concerned about the potential for flooding from the Missouri and other rivers. The Missouri is bankful at Brownville.

Keith Glewen, Extension Educator in Saunders County: We’ve had excessive precipitation here – in one storm alone we had 5 inches in 22 hours. Ninety percent of the corn has been planted. The remaining 10% includes replanting and seed corn; they’re having a hard time finding a window to plant. The last couple of storms have been very destructive, particularly in southern Saunders County. So far about 2-3% of the corn has had to be replanted.

Wayne Ohnesorg, Extension Educator in Pierce County: Most of the corn is in and we began to see emerging plants this week. Growers are planting beans but haven’t had many days suitable for planting.

Allen Dutcher, Extension State Climatologist: We are in a dire situation. We have approximately 800,000 acre feet of storage in the major reservoirs and it’s possible that allowed storage at McConaughen will be increased. Even with that, we have approximately 1,000,000 acre feet of storage and an expected 2,000,000 acre feet of water that’s expected to move through the Platte River watershed.

Some models are trending toward a drier pattern in June. We’ll see some more rain and possibly hail in the next week and then it looks like it could go substantially dry for three to four weeks.

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A field of corn.