UNL CropWatch July 20, 2010: Field Reports from Across the State

UNL CropWatch July 20, 2010: Field Reports from Across the State

July 20, 2010

Jeff Bradshaw, Entomologist at the Panhandle REC, Scottsbluff: Harvest is progressing normally where wheat is standing, but in some areas, particularly the Kimball area, we’ve have had a lot of hail. We’re seeing lots of grasshopper issues with a pretty dramatic shift from calls from ranchers to calls from homeowners and crop producers. There has been a lot of concern about grasshoppers moving into pivots, particularly where they have corners that are mixes of grasses and broadleaf weeds. We also heard a lot of comments that people thought the grasshopper populations should drop with rain. If there’s rain and cold, as we got with the first hatch, populations will decrease. We didn’t see a rainy cold spell with the second hatch, typically the larger of the two hatches, so numbers haven’t really been affected. If survival of the first hatch had been greater, things could be a lot worse.

We’re seeing some oddities in insect populations this year. The high number of dragonflies was making the paper north of here and here we’re seeing an increase in tiger beetles. Wheat harvesters have reported wheat stem sawflies, particularly in the Panhandle, and we’ve received reports of heavy populations of tomato/potato psyllids in northeast Colorado.

Karen DeBoer, Extension Educator in Kimball, Banner and Cheyenne Counties: We’ve received reports of some pretty good yields in some areas and harvest is progressing well with the recent good weather. Some plants are still green, but the grain’s mature and ready to harvest. We saw a bit of an increase in dryland corn this year but less proso, due to markets, and quite a few sunflowers. A lot of wheat fields in the southern Panhandle had hail damage. We had earlier reports of the wheat stem sawfly, but aren’t seeing anything else except grasshoppers now.

Jim Schneider, Extension Educator in Hamilton County: Growers in the area are starting to irrigate. Some fungicide is being applied to corn, but I’m not aware of any severe outbreaks of rust or gray leaf spot. I just visited with someone who does a lot of hail adjusting, and the area near Gothenburg really got hit hard this week, including some seed crop fields.

Wayne Ohnesorg, Extension Educator in Pierce County: Fields have been consistently wet – growers cut hay, it rains, and the hay has to wait in the field. Pivots are applying nitrogen and there’s still standing water on bottom ground.

Tom Dorn, Extension Educator in Lancaster County: Low spots in fields have lost their nitrogen and corn is firing at the bottom. Soybeans on the flat areas were not looking good, but they’re starting to catch up.

John Wilson, Extension Educator in Burt County:  In the last 7-10 days we’ve gotten 5 inches of rain, coming after a record amount in June. Corn is showing some nitrogen leaching and some beans are looking sad. Crops in the hills where drainage is better are looking good. We’re seeing a lot of grasshoppers in some areas too.

Al Dutcher, Extension State Climatologist: By the end of the month, July average temperatures for Nebraska will likely show above normal temperatures except in the extreme north. GDD accumulations are well ahead of this point last year, especially in extreme southern Nebraska. Last year we saw an extended cool spell in July-August where the average temperature range was 50-80 F. This year we’re running on average 10 degrees warmer each day and there’s nothing in the forecast to indicate an extended cool period this year. Given this trend holds true, early corn in southeast and south central Nebraska could mature from very late August to early September. Northern Nebraska is accumulating approximately 180 GDD a week and southern Nebraska is collecting 210 GDD a week so there’s not much of a significant freeze risk to this crop if we don’t get a big cool spell.

Lake McConaughy has made an amazing comeback and is over 90% full. Last year we saw it make an impressive gain after eight years of drought, but the build-up this year is just unprecedented. Other reservoirs in western Nebraska and Wyoming draining into this system are also full. Above Seminoe Reservoir, they’re seeing normal to slightly above normal inflows, which means they’re going to need to move a lot of water this fall and winter -- you can only store so much water; Glendo Reservoir has already filled its flood pool.


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