September 12, 2008
Douglas Anderson, Extension Educator in Keith, Arthur, and Perkins counties: Dryland corn is looking less like a good crop. Late rains probably did not help in final yield but may have helped with test weights. Pastures are looking beat up. We still have high grasshopper numbers which may be a factor in harvest dates —as weeds and pastures dry up and hoppers look for anything green. Crop are still two weeks behind normal and harvesting into November is possible. Wheat planting will begin in another 10 days to two weeks. Millet harvest is underway.
John Wilson, Extension Educator in Burt County: We are in a holding pattern until harvest. Rain on Thursday morning may benefit alfalfa, pastures and some later planted soybeans, but is too late for corn and many soybean fields. Crop maturity is lagging behind normal, but soybeans are turning rapidly. The lack of significant, general rain has taken the top off yields for corn and soybeans. Farmers are getting harvest equipment and grain bins ready for harvest.
Ronald Seymour, Extension Educator in Adams County: Most crops are beginning to mature and the leaves on corn and soybean plants are beginning to turn color. In soybeans, this early maturity is primarily in dryland fields or on the edges of irrigated fields where soil moisture is less. Many farmers are preparing fields for wheat planting in anticipation of beginning in a couple weeks. Pastures and dryland alfalfa fields have improved with recent rainfall.
Chuck Burr, Extension Educator in Phelps and Gosper counties: Most irrigators are done irrigating for the season. Some corn has reached black layer, while some later planted fields are still in dough to beginning dent. Dryland soybean fields are turning color and dropping leaves, while irrigated soybeans are just starting to turn. We're receiving some calls on Goss's Wilt in corn. It appears that the disease got started late in the season and hopefully will not have much effect on yield.
Aaron Nygren, Extension Educator in Colfax County: Some soybeans are starting to show yellow. Some corn on hillsides just ran out of water and turned brown. We've received enough rain recently to finish out the crop and growers likely won't need to irrigate again. Now we're waiting and hoping that the late-planted corn will beat the frost.
Tom Dorn, Extension Educator in Lancaster County: Early planted and early maturing soybeans are turning color, but are not losing their leaves yet. Some corn is at black layer and the milk layer is about two-thirds down on most kernels.
Duane Lienemann, Extension Educator, for Webster County: The entire county (and most of the southern tier of Nebraska counties) has been getting rain. Before the rain started several pivots were running on soybeans and some replanted or late planted corn in northern Webster and southern Adams counties. The down side of this is that we have had a lot of cloudy, cool days and the crops don't seem to be maturing much. I am particularly concerned about some of the replanted crops from the big June storms that took a large swath all the way through eastern Webster County and western Nuckolls County. The beans are really behind and the corn needs more time in those areas. At this point it doesn't look very promising for those fields, as well as late planted beans and corn or double cropped beans into wheat stubble, to mature completely before an early frost. Some milo fields need better growing weather to get a good grain fill, while others are starting to turn color with nice heads.
Dryland crops look as good as I have seen them. Barring a disaster we should have some very good yields in dryland as well as irrigated, especially in the early planted fields. With the exception of the replant and late planted corn it looks like most of the fields are in the late R5 to R6 stage and probably would finish out nicely with a couple of 90 degree or better days. Most of the early planted beans are in the R6 stage with some late planted or replanted beans ranging from late R4 through R5, needing some warm, sunny days to finish out. Pastures are really showing the effects of weedy invaders including mullein, snow on the mountain and particularly western ragweed. CRP land has an unusually high amount of marestail and sunflowers this year. Most hay producers have had a heck of a time putting up alfalfa this year with the rains and wet conditions. Tonnage was better than past several years, but the quality and RFV in many bales is not very good. Prairie hay harvest went pretty well with the highest tonnage since 1999 and with high quality hay. I have not heard of any wheat ground being prepared at this time, as it is too wet. There has been a lot of discussion on wheat varieties and seed treatments.
David E Stenberg, Extension Educator in Dawson County: Crop maturities are all over the board ranging from late planted corn just in the denting stage to a small amount of corn reaching black layer. On average the moisture line is at one-half to two-thirds. Some cattle feeders are planning to start high moisture corn harvest the week of September 22 in selected fields. Because of our wet condition this past spring with much flooding, it is common to see more variation of corn maturity and yield potential within a field than between fields. There was some spraying for common rust and a little southern rust earlier, but mostly as a preventative measure.
Soybeans have moved from mostly green to turning yellow this week. Beans also need time to reach maturity. Many producers sprayed for soybean aphids earlier. Although some early planted corn and soybeans may be ready for frost in a couple of weeks, most producers say they need another three to four week of warm weather to be safe. Because of the great variation in planting dates and field conditions, it is difficult to estimate yield before actual harvest. Most producers are not anticipating record yields and are expecting yields well below record, particularly when considering parts of fields that were too wet to plant.
Alfalfa harvesting has been challenging for much of the year. First cutting harvest was completed three weeks later than normal. Second cutting went well and producers were able to reduce the delay by a week. The third cutting has been delayed by wet conditions again. I would estimate the no more than half of the producers will harvest a fourth cutting of alfalfa this year. Pasture looks great, almost like June. Although grasshopper numbers were fairly high in some areas, the lush grass out grew the grasshoppers. We have had some hopper damage on the edges of crop fields.