May 1, 2009 Keith Jarvi, Extension Educator in Dakota, Dixon, and Thurston counties: About 20% of the corn has been planted but things have slowed sown since last Saturday due to rainfall. We are seeing some winterkill of alfalfa with a lot of variability. Some fields look fine but others have large areas of winterkill.
Karen DeBoer, Extension Educator in Kimball and Banner counties: Warmer temperatures and much needed rainfall are helping the winter wheat crop further develop in Kimball County. Leaf tip burn from drying winds and cold temperatures is less apparent with the onset of warmer temperatures and much needed rainfall. More than 2 inches of rainfall was recorded in many parts of the southern Panhandle about 10 days ago (April 16, 17 & 18). Weed control will be critical, since conditions are favorable for weed growth.
Bill Booker, Extension Educator in Box Butte County: Rainfall April 16-18 produced 2.5 to 3 inches of ideal rainfall across the Panhandle that soaked in rather than running off. This will give the wheat some reserve to continue the green-up. With temperatures of 80°F, the wheat really improved and green replaced the brown from winterkill and frost burn. Weeds have emerged and should be a concern. Another would be checking herbicide labels as wheat plants are about to produce their first join. Sugar beet planting and general planting preparations got a good start this week. Tillage slowed down over the weekend with snow flurries and temperatures down into the upper 20s.
Al Dutcher, State Climatologist: Last weekend's rain was a little disappointing, amounting to just 0.3 to 0.6 inch, with only the southeast corner of Nebraska getting higher amounts. Much of the state saw intermittent storms throughout the week, slowing planting. There will be some redevelopment of storms in western Nebraska Sunday afternoon with possible precipitation of - to - inch. This pattern will repeat in western Nebraska Monday night and Tuesday morning with scattered thunderstorms. Eastern Nebraska may see scattered thunderstorms Tuesday night, early Wednesday and Thursday, but amounts are not expected to be high, except possibly in extreme southeast Nebraska on Thursday. Tuesday morning temperatures dropped to 28°F at Ainsworth, Ord, Thedford, and York Tuesday morning (April 28), Holdrege, 31, and much of the area south of I-80 was in the 30-37°F range. Temperatures will be in the 60s to low 70s, warming up after Wednesday.
Drew Lyon, Extension Dryland Crops Specialist, Panhandle REC: It didn't get too cold here Monday night/Tuesday morning, but the area flirted with freezing a couple nights last week. Sugarbeet planting is going full steam and some corn planting has started. We tried to plant some no-till sugarbeets Friday. Colorado is finding high numbers of Russian wheat aphids and we've received reports of cutworms. It's just becoming apparent here as things warm up that some alfalfa winterkilled.
Bob Klein, Extension Western Nebraska Crops Specialist, West Central REC: Corn planting is underway, but soybean planting hasn't started yet. We've got about 20% of our corn in and would like to get some moisture to plant into. We only got .30 of rain in that last storm and could use more. I was talking with Keith Glewen this morning and he said they had 40% of their corn planted. Most of our wheat looks pretty good. There was some winter injury and some fields will have to be abandoned. This was more of a problem west and south of North Platte. Some of the ground was pretty hard at planting and planters may have needed more weight to get the planting depth needed.
Jim Schneider, Extension Educator in Hamilton County: Planting has been proceeding pretty smoothly and there's a lot of activity. A couple shower scares slowed planting on Sunday, but growers were back in the field Monday. Some seed corn producers are still waiting for seed and have started planting soybeans to keep going.
Wayne Ohnesorg, Extension Educator in Pierce County: Growers have been working in the field like mad, except for last weekend, when it rained. Some corn has been planted, but I doubt if anyone has moved to soybeans. We've received a few insect samples, but nothing of any great concern.
Paul Hay, Extension Educator in Gage County: We've had six days of corn planting and are about 60% done. It's amazing how fast we can put the crop in. As the weather clears, some soybeans will go in the ground. We're seeing a lot of soilborne mosaic, but don't expect a lot of yield loss. We're seeing it follow some strange patterns in the field following the row. It's been a good spring for cattle, with a fair amount of hay carryover. Pastures are coming around and will look even better when we get some sunny days. We got 1.5-5 inches of rainfall last weekend.
Robert Wright, Extension Entomologist: We're receiving reports of white grubs causing damage in pasture and getting questions on how to control them. Unfortunately, nothing is labeled on pastures that's effective against white grubs. Some educators and producers are interested in documenting the situation and applying for a special local needs label from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture. Producers often don't see the damage until they've got mature white grubs, and then they're hard to kill. White grubs are becoming a perennial problem in Nebraska due to the milder winters. Growers in southern Nebraska should be scouting for alfalfa weevils.