Field Updates Oct. 23, 2009

Field Updates Oct. 23, 2009

October 23, 2009

Robert Klein, Extension Dryland Crops Specialist, West Central REC, North Platte: Quite a few of the soybean fields here have come out, but not much corn. The corn that has come out has mostly been at 20% or higher moisture; any corn with moisture higher than the low 20s should be artificially dried. With shorter days, cooler temperatures and the decreased angle of the sun, crops just aren't going to dry down in the field as quickly as growers would like.

Some wheat is still being planted here and growers should be increasing the seeding rate, doing less tillage, and placing fertilizer with the seed to help the crop counter the later planting date. Wheat will likely do pretty well, even planted as late as mid October here or late October in southeast Nebraska.

The recent rains in western Nebraska do mean we're going into the winter with excellent soil moisture, which is a nice situation, especially for dryland producers.

Gary Hergert, Extension Nutrient Management and Soil Quality Specialist, Panhandle REC, Scottsbluff: With the recent storm, there was little wind and so far, not a lot of corn has gone down. We missed the rain that hit much of the rest of the state late this week and field work has been able to continue in many areas. Sugar beet harvest is progressing well and dry beans were windrowed and it looks like growers will be able to get them out of the field.  We're still expecting good yields and test weights when they get the corn out.

Douglas Anderson, Extension Educator in Keith, Arthur, and Perkins counties: Harvest is in full swing. Grain moisture is still too high moisture but producers are getting too nervous to wait anymore. The snow doesn’t appear to have damaged soybeans much. They will be the first harvested, followed by corn. Recent moisture will make it a very difficult sugarbeet harvest. Some wheat hasn’t been planted yet and growers may not risk planting this late. Corn will likely go into those fields.

Paul Hay, Extension Educator in Gage County: We were back in the field full time on Monday and Tuesday until showers returned. Yields are very good. We’re seeing some problems with down fields in northern Gage and parts of surrounding counties. Farmers report better than expected time getting crop up and quality isn't bad. Extra fuel, extra time and may be worse later. Moisture continues to stay higher than farmers would like. So far they’ve put off running the dryers, which haven't run for years. Natural air in full aeration floor bins is being used. The wheat that was planted looks good, but not all is planted at this time.

Randy Pryor, Extension Educator in Saline County: Many producers in Saline County were finally able to wrap up soybean harvest with sun and breezy conditions October 18-19. Corn field moisture is all over the ballpark, from 15% to 24%. Crop yields are extremely variable as we ran out of moisture in late July and August, but cool conditions ended up being a blessing.

One corn producer reported a spot that went from 27 bu/ac on an eroded hill side to 220 bu/ac in a draw where the neighbor’s irrigation water came through — all within 50 yards. The same producer fixed a few ephemeral gullies in a field with a field cultivator this spring and at harvest the monitor dropped 40 bushels from 120 bu/ac to 80 bu/ac. Spring tillage cost us again. Hail damage early in the southern part of the county and severe wind damage in August in the center and northern part of the county will take the top end off this year's crop. Whole field dryland corn averages are in the 105 to 120 bu/ac area. Irrigated corn yields will be quite variable. Non-storm damaged fields have the potential of 200-230 bu/ac on average but with high field moisture at this time.