Field Updates from Across the State

Field Updates from Across the State

June 26, 2009

Randall Saner, Extension Educator in Lincoln and McPherson counties: The wheat is turning yellow and I would expect harvest to start around July 8. This past week the Sutherland and Wallace areas were hit by high winds and hail. Several pivots were overturned and there was some crop damage from the hail.

Douglas Anderson, Extension Educator in Keith, Arthur and Perkins counties: Corn is up and growing and wheat is changing daily with the sunshine. Hail has moved through three times, the biggest strike extending from Sidney to Wallace with some fields a total loss. Some of the corn was pretty badly beaten up and we're waiting to see what happens with the stalk. Dry edible bean planting is way behind schedule, largely due to the rains, with only 50% in. Some producers in Perkins County are switching to millet while others are still going to try to get sunflowers planted.

Allen Dutcher, State Climatologist: Soil moisture conditions have improved across eastern Nebraska, but pockets of Webster and Nuckolls counties have missed the recent rainfall and their wheat may suffer substantial losses due to lack of moisture. Storms in the Panhandle storms caused flooding a week ago and improved flow situations, adding 26,000 ac-ft to McConaughy. It's 37 feet below normal, and planned to start releasing water to irrigators this week. With a normal winter, all reservoirs should fill and we'll see spillover into McConaughy. It could hit 70% of capacity next spring.

Forecast: We're on the periphery of a hot upper air mass leading to the current hot, humid conditions. With these conditions fast-moving thunderstorms with localized heavy precipitation are possible any day in the next week. We wouldn't expect a lot of high winds with these so it could be good corn-growing weather.

Duane Lienemann, Extension Educator in Webster County: In a recent tour through south central Nebraska, I noted an area from the Harlan County Dam to about 10 miles south of Hastings an then straight east from there where the crops and pastures were showing signs of drought. Further north, there was more soil moisture and the crop was in better condition. South of the area, I found cracks in the soil large enough that I could easily put my hand in them. In both Franklin and Webster Counties the northern area is faring somewhat better than the southern area. The south half of Frankliln, southern Adams, all of Webster, and perhaps the bulk of Nuckolls all seem to be in some stage of drought. A lot of pastures are brown from short mature weeds and particularly mature downy brome. Still other pastures looked short but were holding on. The cool season grasses matured shorter and earlier than normal and the warm season grasses just aren't growing like they should. Wheat fields in some of these areas will suffer yield losses. Soybeans and corn are exhibiting signs of stress and are quite a bit behind fields north of these counties. Some small but timely rains have teased the crops (and farmers) but we're still 6 inches behind normal. With this week's temperatures I'm afraid we may see some crop deterioration. Some leaves were already pineappling.

Wayne Ohnesorg, Extension Educator in Pierce County: We've had above normal rain in June, which has delayed some farm operations. A few growers got into their fields to spray Sunday and Monday, but most are waiting for drier soils. With the great sun we've had, corn is now knee high and beans are from V1 to V3-4. I haven't seen any soybean aphids yet. The first cutting of alfalfa is baled and some are cutting their grass hay.

Michael Rethwisch, Extension Educator in Butler County: We have fields that are drowning here, especially in low areas. We saw some corn and greensnap damage after Thursday's storm with 75 mph wind and a 1-1.5 mile strip of hail. The hail appears to have damaged corn and soybeans but not killed them. We'll have to wait to see the extent of any secondary damage. We aren't seeing any insect pressure beyond potato leafhoppers reaching a treatment threshold in alfalfa. We're also seeing a lot of erosion this spring.

Jim Schneider, Extension Educator in Hamilton County: Except for some crop damage from last week's storm and tornado, things are looking good. We've received adequate rain and it's good corn growing weather. There is concern here that following the slow rate of development with cool weather and the crop growing quickly with this week's sun and warmer temperature, corn is in a prime state for greensnap damage if we get a big wind in the next couple of weeks.

Paul Jasa, Extension Engineer, Lincoln: Wheat near Seward was about ready to combine and wheat in eastern Nebraska is just starting to turn. Some growers who delayed their herbicide applications during the windy weather are getting a chance to catch up now, although in some fields the weeds are certainly past the 2-4 inch stage for optimum treatment. We're seeing some rust in wheat at the UNL Rogers Memorial Farm east of Lincoln.

Robert Wright, Extension Entomologist, Lincoln: Potato leafhoppers are starting to reproduce and this week I saw the first nymphal stage potato leafhopper and the first corn rootworm pupa of the season was recorded at the South Central Agricultural Laboratory near Clay Center. We should be seeing some adults by July 4 in southern Nebraska. We also received a report from Cuming County of a pasture that apparently was heavily damaged by army worms. States to our south and east have reported greater potential for armyworms in Nebraska in pastures and wheat. Growers should watch for problems.