Field Updates - UNL CropWatch, Sept. 21, 2012

Field Updates - UNL CropWatch, Sept. 21, 2012

Air-seeded wheat planting near Brule  
Wheat Planting near Brule

On Monday a farmer in the "buckskin hills" just south of Lake MaConaughy uses an air-seeder to no-till plant into 2011 corn stalks in his ecofallow wheat-corn fallow rotation. He's planting into dry soil (top 4 to 6 inches) and hoping for enough rain soon to moisten the soil to deeper moisture. Out of last week’s storm, he only received 0.25 inches. Some growers are concerned that several small rains will germinate the wheat, but not be sufficient to grow crop roots to deeper moisture. (Photo by Gary Hergert)

September 2012

Keith Glewen, Extension Educator in Saunders County:  A significant percentage of rainfed/dryland corn has been harvested in Saunders County. Yields range from 30-120 bu/ac., with the majority falling into the 70-100 bu/ac range. Yields improve as you go from west to east in the county. Growers and agronomist tell me the fields which have a record of good fertility management weathered drought conditions much better than fields which have been “mined” over the years. As harvest starts on irrigated corn and soybeans, yields reported to date have been average to above average. Moisture levels in dryland/rainfed corn are in the 12%-13% range in many fields and for soybeans, moisture levels of 5%-8% have been reported. Such low moisture levels in soybeans are causing significant shattering and subsequent harvest losses. (9/26/12)

Jeff Bradshaw, Extension Entomologist at the Panhandle REC:  We are planting wheat. Sugarbeet harvest has started. An overproduction of beets is expected, so 20% of the beets may need to be left in some fields and harvested later to store for next year's sugar quota. Dry beans are being harvested; however, some are still green. The PREC had a very successful UNL EXPO at the Farm And Ranch Museum last weekend with approximately 1,500 people attending. (9/17/12)

Wayne Ohnesorg, Extension Educator in Madison, Wayne, Pierce, and Stanton counties:  There are some dryland soybean fields being harvested, and I haven't heard anything about yields. Dryland corn is coming out with reports generally from 35 to 65 bu/ac and moisture at 16-18%. High moisture corn is being harvested. Last Wedneday's rainfall was welcomed, but not enough. My rain gauge in Norfolk registered 0.4 inches. (9/17/12)

Charles Shapiro, Extension Soils Specialist, Haskell Ag Lab, Concord: A lot of corn has been harvested. Dryland yield is all over the board, ranging from 30 to 90 bu/ac at the Haskell Ag Lab. We’re seeing fairly big yield differences, depending on tillage, but none are high. No-till yield is about 40 bu/ac and tilled yield is 5 bu/ac. With fall and winter rains, a good amount of nitrate could be released from the soil organic matter this year, helping provide a good nutrient base for the next crop. Some have planted cover crops. We got about ½ inch of rain a week ago. (9/18/12)

Jessica Johnson, Extension Agricultural Economist: We’re still a couple weeks away from harvesting dry beans. Sugarbeet harvest started last week and we’re expected a high yielding crop. (9/18/12)

Paul Jasa, Extension Engineer, Lincoln:  Most of the corn in the Lincoln area has been harvested. Dryland yields at the Rogers farm were 90-95 bu/ac for corn and 100-110 bu/ac for sorghum. Beans are green, yellow, and brown, all in the same field and same pass. Some cover crops have been planted where silage was chopped. Oats and turnips can be fall grazed and will winterkill in an average winter, although south facing slopes may not have died off in last year’s mild winter. (9/18/12)

Al Dutcher, Extension State Climatologist: While there have been some rains, generally the state hasn’t gotten widespread moisture for the last couple months. Southeast Nebraska, however, has seen a little more than the rest of the state. There is some potential for moisture next week, but it would take a lot of these events to recover from these extremely dry conditions. We don’t expect to see moisture enough to affect harvest in the next week, however, there is some potential for rain the first week of October. The fall looks exceptionally dry in the northern Great Plains, including western Nebraska, and estimates are that it may be 4-5 degrees warmer than average. Even if we don’t see a significant response to El Nino, we would expect to see some precipitation south of us, which would aid in the spring thunderstorm development. (9/18/12)