Crop and Field Updates from Extension - UNL CropWatch, August 2, 2012

Crop and Field Updates from Extension - UNL CropWatch, August 2, 2012

Irrigating dry beans




A Rainbow of Hope

Irrigation is making all the difference this year, as noted by dry beans in the foreground and background. This photo was taken in Kimball County in the Nebraska Panhandle July 24.  (Photo by Gary Stone)


August 2, 2012

Corn ear comparison from the same field

Three ears of corn from the same dryland corn field in northeast Pierce County, photographed on July 23. The largest ear was from a bottom while the other two were from the hilltop.

Note that the two ears from the hilltop represent the best and worst ears examined.  About one in five plants had no ear at all. For size comparison the white card is the size of a credit card.

(Source:  Wayne Ohnesorg, Madison County Extension Educator)

Michael Rethwisch, Extension Educator in Butler County: Irrigated crops are still doing well, however, there is concern due to irrigation pressures and well outputs decreasing. Many dryland soybean fields are turning yellow, often associated with pod fill and/or lack of moisture availability, with the lower third of the plant already defoliated in this situation. No-till fields of corn appear in much better condition as a whole than those which were tilled. Some alfalfa has been infested with spotted alfalfa aphids and has been treat. Very sticky plants were noted at harvest this past week from non-treated fields. Corn was being cut for silage in northern Lancaster County and Polk County.

Robert Tigner, Extension Educator for Chase, Dundy, Hayes, and Hitchcock Counties:  Pastures have gotten so dry that calves are acquiring dust induced pneumonia. There is one report of a beef farmer that lost more than 100 head from nitrate poisoning due to grazing standing corn. Dryland corn looks mostly lost. Sorghum began to head this week. A few soybean fields look beyond salvage even though they are being watered.

Doug Anderson, Extension Educator for Keith, Arthur, and Perkins Counties:  Some areas of southwest Nebraska received rain this week, some didn't. Our dryland corn is still mostly green, but most will be baled for feed.  A few will be harvested for grain. Corn is way ahead of scheule and harvest will likely start in September on some short-season, irrigated fields.  Beans are short but doing okay. It has been difficult to keep up with water needs this year.  Pastures are done. Alfalfa is going to be in short supply here for this yer and the next, about 50% of normal.  Dryland alfalfa may make one more cutting.

Paul Hay, Extension Educator in Gage County:  First corn was combined on August 1 in Gage County in southeast Nebraska. 18% moisture, 25 bu/ac, 50# test weight.

Karen DeBoer, Extension Educator in Kimball, Banner, and Cheyene Counties:  Conditions here are very dry. Dryland crops like corn, proso millet, and sunflowers are showing signs of stress from lack of rain and hot, dry, windy conditions. Farmers are working summer fallow in preparation for wheat seeding which will begin in the next 30-45 days. High soil temperatures and lack of moisture will be a concern if conditions do not change by that time.