Field Updates

Field Updates

May 2, 2008 

(April 29, 2008)

Drew Lyon, Extension Dryland Crops Specialist: It's dry out here and we've had some pretty cold temperatures. It was down to 22 for three or four hours for much of the Panhandle last weekend, causing leaf tip burn in a few fields. Most of the wheat wasn't jointed; however, and serious damage has been minimal, although if conditions warm up, the crop progresses, and then we get another major cold spell, that could cause some serious problems. Some Roundup Ready sugar beet fields near Alliance were reported to have frozen off. Dry soil conditions also are a major concern here. While surface mositure conditions are generally good, at about a depth of two feet, the ground is very dry and hard. It doesn't bode well for the summer crops. Some corn is being planted.

A lot of wheat in this area was planted later than usual last fall and, given the lack of moisture, some of the stands are poor, however, the reduced growth may have kept some stands from injury last weekend. Wheat growth was good with warmer temperatures mid-week until snows, rains and high winds swept through late in the week. The moisture was badly needed, but it will take several days to determine the extent of any damage.

Steve Melvin, Extension Educator in Frontier County: With the cool spring, crops aren't developing too quickly. A lot of wheat fields here have jointed. We got a nice rain - a couple inches last week - and aren't as dry as the Panhandle. Growers started planting corn here last week, but were delayed with the rains, and didn't get back into the field until mid-week. Alfalfa is taking off, but not too quickly.

Jennifer Rees, Extension Educator in Clay and Webster counties: Wheat looks pretty good and is below jointing. There's a little bit of tanspot and some soilborne mosaic in isolated fields in Webster County. A lot of corn was planted yesterday. Corn that was planted two weeks ago still hasn't sprouted. There's more talk this year of planting soybeans early -- some were planting this week if the rain held off.

Robert Klein, Extension Cropping Systems Specialist: There's some soilborne mosaic out here, especially at the bottom of terraces. It's pretty dry in the western part of the West Central Extension District. This week soil tests at the Keith County Water Laboratory indicated soil moisture in the top 2 feet of soil and in fallow, in the top 2.5 feet. We're hoping to plant corn, but just having water in the top 30 inches may not be enough. We just planted four hybrid plots and will be planting more. Field activity is moving pretty fast, but we'd like to see some more moisture soon, especially in the western part of the district. I didn't see damage from the (April 25-26) cold. Plants have a good canopy and microenvironment helped keep the temperature up.

Jim Schneider, Extension Educator in Hamilton County: We had just two days of field activity last week. They were just getting back to planting Monday and hoping that the rain held off so they can catch up.

Aaron Nygren, Extension Educator in Colfax County: A fair amount of corn has been planted in the sandy bottoms, but not so much in the clay soil hills. You still see some anhydrous waiting to be applied and some waiting to get their corn in. Some growers are getting a little concerned about the late planting date.

Keith Jarvi, Extension Integrated Pest Management, Northeast REC: It's cold here and only a few fields have been planted. Pastures are behind. There's plenty of soil moisture and growers will likely be out Tuesday (April 29) and Wednesday (April 30).

Paul Jasa, Extension Engineer: I've been getting a lot of calls from producers having trouble closing the seed V in the current wet conditions. They may be planting too shallow and will need to plant deeper to get a good root system.

Paul Hay, Extension Educator in Gage County: We have moisture, but temperatures have been cold. There was heavy field activity north and west of Beatrice on Tuesday (April 29) and likely south and east on Wednesday (April 30). They're hoping to get a day or two in before the next rains. A lot of wheat was planted late. It mostly looks good, but I've seen a couple fields with root crown rot and a few fields had to be destroyed due to poor stands. There's some soilborne mosaic. Typically, when wheat's planted late it's not a good thing for us and yield is affected.

Gary Lesoing, Extension Educator in Nemaha County: Conditions similar to those Hay reported. It was dry enough for a couple days last week for a little corn to be planted. There's been some spraying. Wheat mostly looks good. A couple tilled fields planted in November have a poor stand. Recommendation to grower to watch for take-all disease in one wheat field planted into CRP. If the grower notices a problem when the wheat heads, he or she should be prepared to harvest as hay and get a return.

Lowell Sandell, Extension Educator, Weed Science: Winter annuals are just going crazy right now -- not a lot of fields were sprayed last fall. Weather permitting, producers should get out and control weeds before they bolt and become even harder to control.

Tamra Jackson, Extension Plant Pathologist: I'm concerned about the cool temperatures and amount of time seedlings are in the ground before they emerge, putting them at higher risk for seedling disease. Cool, wet conditions leave plants at high risk for diseases like pythium. Be prepared to scout those fields, especially in the wet areas. Several co-ops have been offering special pricing for early reservations on foliar fungicides on corn and a lot of producers are buying now in anticipation of applying fungicides this summer. There are some estimates that double the corn acreage may be treated with a fungicide this year. Once purchased, many fungicides wouldn't have to be used this year and could be stored until next year. They are best stored in heated conditions.

David Stenberg, Extension Educator in Dawson County: We got about 30% of the corn planted last week before the rain and snow arrived. I would guess that producers will be back in the fields today. We got the UNL Corn Variety Test Plot planted last week. Alfalfa and pastures are greening up and should do well with the moisture we have had.

Michael Rethwisch, Extension Educator in Colfax County: A few snowflakes were flying by this past week. Anhydrous applications are on-going. A few growers started planting Monday, April 28 with more expected if rains and temperatures permit. A few growers who planted two weeks ago have yet to see any emergence. Alfalfa growth was been very good the past two weeks. Sampling of fields has not found any adult alfalfa weevils. Very few half-grown pea aphids and no bean leaf beetles have been collected. Most wheat looks good in fields planted at the correct time of year, but a few later planted fields have sparse stands due to multiple problems.