Crop & Field Updates - UNL CropWatch, June 7, 2012

Crop & Field Updates - UNL CropWatch, June 7, 2012

Dry corn field in Richardson County Cracked, dry soil in Richardson County, June 2012
Continuing dry conditions in Richardson County fields are limiting crop growth. (Photos by Keith Glewen)

June 7, 2012

Spider mite damage

Extensive spider mite damage in a Richardson County soybean field necessitating replanting.

Droughty pasture in the Panhandle, June 2012

This rangeland in northern Cheyenne/southern Morrill counties is typical of rangeland condition in the Panhandle.  With below normal precipitation this spring, most cool-season grasses never greened up and warm-season grasses likely won't get enough growth. Many ranchers are looking for additional forage and thinning herds. (Photos by Gary Stone)

Field peas near a field of dryland wheat turning color, June 2012

Field peas next to a field of dryland wheat that's turning color in the Nebraska Panhandle.  Wheat is two to three weeks ahead of normal development.

Gary Lesoing, Extension Educator in Nemaha County:  In corn there have been reports of rootless corn syndrome and in soybeans, we've seen spider mites. Treatment was required in a Richardson County field where spider mites killed a couple acres of seedling soybean. We have extremely dry conditions with some areas not receiving any significant rainfall of more than 0.15 inches in over a month. Other areas have had a couple showers of 0.40-0.50 inches. In sampling some fields, the top 12-16 inches is dry, but there is moisture below that level, at least to 36 inches. Some producers had to irrigate to bring soybeans up and are irrigating corn now. Moisture sensors indicate that the top foot is dry, while the next couple of feet are not at levels that indicate irrigation is required. Most corn is in the 4- to 5-leaf stage, some farther along. Second cutting alfalfa is being taken, but it's very short, probably 1/4 - 1/2 of normal. Grass hay is also being harvested and yields are low. Pastures are drying up and unless we get some rain, cattle will need to be moved to fresh pasture or supplemented with hay later this summer. While wheat acreage is small, harvest has begun in southeast Nebraska and will probably be completed in the next few dates with temperatures in the 90s. Wheat crop appears to be average to good.

Gary Hergert, Extension Soils Specialist, Panhandle REC, Scottsbluff:  Wheat is turning quickly, and the flag leaf is no longer green in many fields. Most wheat following fallow looks good, but is rapidly running out of moisture. Continuous cropped wheat (following another crop) is much shorter, drought stressed, but with no major disease problems.  The Sidney area had a couple of rains in May that did not occur north of there. Many fields are at least two weeks ahead of normal.  On June 6 the High Plains Ag Lab received only  0.2 inches of rain, but western Banner and Scottsbluff counties received over an inch. A lot of rangeland in the Panhandle never greened up and any rains may revive plants but do little for growth. Many ranchers are thinning herds and looking for additional forage. With adequate rain, there will be some growth of warm-season species, but much of our rangeland is dominated by cool-season species. Millet planting is nearing completion (which is early) and some fields have emerged. Early planted sunflowers and corn are also emerged and look OK at this point.

Keith Glewen, Extension Educator in Saunders County: Corn and soybean conditions in east central Nebraska are very good. Most of the area has been blessed with rainfall that other parts of the state may have missed. This is not to say a rain event wouldn’t be welcomed, but in comparison to other growing regions I have visited from Green Bay, Wisconsin to Lexington, Nebraska parts of east central Nebraska look as good as anything I’ve seen. Recent soil probing in corn and soybeans shows significant depletion in the first foot, but adequate soil moisture in the second and third foot. This is not the case however in cool season and native grass pastures where the top three feet of the soil profile are significantly depleted. Our rainfed research plots in Richardson County are desperately in need of a rain and have received just 0.60 inch since April 27.  (June 8, 2012)