May 16, 2008
Al Dutcher, UNL State Climatologist, Lincoln: Look for precipitation toward the end of next week with possible severe weather sometime next Wednesday to Friday. Temperatures have been 2.5 - 4 degrees below normal and we've seen about half of what we'd normally see for GDD accumulations so far. The last 20 years we've seen increased variability in moisture/precipitation, but less variability in temperature. This year will only add to the range of variability. There's still a lot of cold and snow in Canada, which is why the southeast is seeing such extreme weather. At some point though that will move north and we're likely to get some severe weather.
William Booker, Extension Educator in Box Butte County: We got frost the last two weeks with temperatures down to 17°F and 22°F. After the first couple freezes, growers could replace their Roundup Ready Beets, but seed is difficult to find now. Wheat looks yellow and occasionally brown, but looks to be all there and some is starting to joint. We're still watching for a typical June frost. Probably about 90% of the corn is planted and they haven't had a mudding-in problem. We're still in a severe drought, according to the National Drought Monitor. Planting of great northern beans will be late May to early June this year.
Drew Lyon, Extension Dryland Cropping Systems Specialist, Scottsbluff: There is some freeze damage to wheat, but most appears to be leaf damage. In irrigated fields wheat heads are a good 4-5 inches above the ground, but the crop had good canopy cover. We've been having a pattern of a few warm days followed by some real cold, which isn't a good combination. We're trying to no-till corn into wheat residue, but the ground's still cold. We could use some warm days to warm up the soil, but then again we don't have great soil moisture and wouldn't want it too warm too soon.
David Stenberg, Extension Educator in Dawson County: We've received a lot of moisture — 2.5-3.75 inches, leading to slow planting. About 90% of the corn is in, but much less of the soybean. Corn should probably come up this week - some has been in the ground three to four weeks. I haven't received any reports of replanting. Alfalfa is looking a little tough in places, but overall crops look pretty promising.
Jim Schneider, Extension Educator in Hamilton County: We received about 1.2 inches of rain. About 80% of corn is planted and 20% of beans. Some corn has been in the ground for a month and a lot went in the last week of April. This will be a good year to test different company standards for hybrids.
Michael Rethwisch, Extension Educator in: There's water standing in the fields and we're still trying to get some seed corn in the ground. About 50% of corn is in and about 10% of beans. Wheat looks fairly good, but some has septoria leaf spot. Pastures and alfalfa look good, but we did see some clover leaf weevil last week. It's hard to find any corn that's up, even though some of it's been in the ground 3.5 weeks.
Aaron Nygren, Extension Educator in Colfax County: About 50-60% of the corn is planted and corn in the sandy bottoms started coming up three to four days ago. It's yellow and needs sunshine. We got 1-1.5 inches of rain in some areas. A few fields of alfalfa will get torn up from the winterkill in low spots, possibly due to standing water and ice.
Paul Hay, Extension Educator in Gage County: About 70% of the corn is in. Wheat growth stage is mixed, depending on fall planting date. Early planted wheat is near boot stage while other wheat is just starting to joint. It's been slow going in the field and farmers have been really patient. They've showed a lot of restraint and are waiting to be able to plant into good soil conditions. There's been a little cutworm activity, but generally corn is up and going and things are looking good. About 75% of the corn here is in no-till so they can go across the field and plant in wet condition with little damage. Some producers pushed it too hard last year and got compaction around the seed and had other problems. I think they're mindful of what happened then.
Tom Dorn, Extension Educator in Lancaster County: Farmers here have been pretty patient regarding planting delays — not more than two-thirds of the corn has been planted. We suspect wheat streak mosaic is in at least one field of wheat planted into wheat stubble.
Drew Lyon, Extension Dryland Cropping Specialist, Panhandle REC, Scottsbluff: I think it's interesting to see how the seed industry is following the lead of other industries and just holding enough seed that they think they can sell. With the replanting necessary, producers can't get the Roundup Ready sugarbeet seed they need. With a market strategy of limited seed production, all this variability in the weather can affect farmer options. What are the implications for growers. Sometimes growers don't have choices and need to take what's available, treated or untreated.
Robert Wright, Extension Entomololgist, Lincoln: We're not seeing many insect problems yet. The growing degree day accumulation is way behind last year. The southern part of the state should be seeing some action. We haven't seen bean leaf beetles yet. Growers should be check for cutworms and other early season pests, in both the Bt and conventional corn.
Michael Rethwisch and Robert Wright answer the question: Are lower insect numbers at this point in the season an advantage? Lots of spring freezes can knock out alfalfa weevil adults and reset the degree day models. This may well be in the crops favor and the first cutting may have little insect damage. Even with insect development delayed due to colder temperatures, it will still be important to scout for insects and potential damage. We may have to wait and see what the total effect will be on insect populations.
Gary Zoubek, Extension Educator in York County: Producers have worked to get things planted. Several report that they've finished corn and are working on soybeans. I've seen a few fields of corn that have emerged. I saw a couple producers in the field yesterday afternoon, but most are waiting to go today (Tuesday)! I'm guessing 75-80% done with corn and 15-25% done with soybeans. We received about 1.30" of rain the past week.
Keith Glewen, Extensino Educator in Saunders County: I'm involved with the Field Scout Training session today at the ARDC. We have a good-sized group of approximately 40 registered. I have had the opportunity in recent weeks to drive from Bruning to Wakefield back to the ARDC to slip in the first planting date for Soybean Management Field Days program. In a nutshell, we have done a good job of mudding in the crop. Some have resorted to tillage to help dry out the surface, looking back and thinking "all is well". Others closed their eyes and went forward planting into a no-till environment. I suspect we have the potential to see many problems with the growing crop associated with planting in wet conditions. Compound this with the fact we aren't generating any heat units and some of this crop has been placed in an adverse growing environment for a significant period of time. With the limited supply of seed beans we are not in a good position to turn corn acres into bean acres. The price of nitrogen also makes that decision more difficult. This could be a growing season one won't forget for a long time.
Gary Lesoing, Extension Educator in Nemaha County: It was very wet here last week. Farmers were only able to work in the field about one day. Corn planting is about one-third to one-half done. Some corn is emerging and some is still being planted. Wheat is slow, but progressing and looking better. Alfalfa generally looks good. Pastures are also slow, but finally growing more.