Kansas Farmer Logo

Farmers head to fields after rain delays

Missouri-Kansas Crop Progress week 2: Window opens for fertilizer applications and crop scouting for Midwest corn and soybean farmers.

Mindy Ward, Jennifer M. Latzkeand 1 more

June 7, 2024

3 Min Read
scouting corn on a dirt bike
SCOUTING PROGRESS: Kansas farmer Alex Noll will continue to scout corn and soybeans on his dirt bike until the crops are too tall to navigate without damage. It gives him a close view of crop conditions along with pests and weed problems. Alex Noll

Editor’s note: From May 31 through harvest Farm Progress is tracking crop conditions at Fordyce Farm in Missouri and Noll Farm in Kansas. Check back every Friday for the latest or follow along the #Grow24 journey on Facebook and Twitter.

Corn and soybean planting in the Midwest nears completion for #Grow24 as farmers turn their attention to in-season field work to boost yields.

“Crops are also looking very good thanks to timely rains and good GDU (growing degree unit) days,” says Kansas farmer Alex Noll. But they are not without a few problems.

Noll got off his dirt bike in Jefferson County, Kan., and found stinkbug damage in corn. While pest damage is not a pleasing sight, he will assess each field to determine if it meets the treatment threshold.

stink bug damage on corn

Plant health is also in focus this time of year. “We just got our second round of tissue samples back and the numbers all look good,” Noll says.

This week he wrapped post spraying and side dressing corn. He’ll start spraying soybeans next week.

When it comes to this year’s Kansas wheat crop, Noll says it is nearing harvest.

“The wheat is probably turning the fastest we’ve ever seen,” he says. “We’ll be cutting in the next couple of weeks it looks like.”

If the clear forecast holds, Noll will head to the hay field next week to start mowing this year’s crop.

Related:Severe weather plagues Midwest farmers

Meanwhile in Missouri

Tractors and sprayers were rolling at Fordyce Farms near Bethany, Mo.

Fields dried out enough to side dress corn this week, according to Renee Fordyce, Missouri Soybean Association president. The corn crop is improving, reaching V3 growth stage.

sidedressing corn

However, she notes that soybean fields need some heat units to get the crop to grow.

“A warm and windy end to this week with rain in the forecast over the weekend should help things to continue on the right path,” Fordyce adds.

National crop insights

Feedback from the Field by Farm Futures is an open-sourced, ongoing farmer survey of current crops and weather conditions across the Heartland.

If you would like to participate at any time throughout the growing season, click this link to take the survey and share updates about your farm’s spring progress. These are reviewed and uploaded daily to the FFTF Google MyMap, so you can see others’ responses from your own state or around the country.

Quick USDA-NASS planting stats (as of June 2)


Corn planted 92%, emerged at 79%.

Soybeans planted 67%, emerged at 46%, behind 5-year average.

Winter wheat headed was 97%, ahead of last year.

Sorghum planted 24%.



Soybeans planted at 68%, emerged reached 52%.

Corn planted reached 93%, emerged 81%.

Winter wheat harvested for grain reached 5%.

Want to know how these weather and crop reports may impact markets? Check out the Morning Market Review.

About the Author(s)

Mindy Ward

Editor, Missouri Ruralist

Mindy resides on a small farm just outside of Holstein, Mo, about 80 miles southwest of St. Louis.

After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism, she worked briefly at a public relations firm in Kansas City. Her husband’s career led the couple north to Minnesota.

There, she reported on large-scale production of corn, soybeans, sugar beets, and dairy, as well as, biofuels for The Land. After 10 years, the couple returned to Missouri and she began covering agriculture in the Show-Me State.

“In all my 15 years of writing about agriculture, I have found some of the most progressive thinkers are farmers,” she says. “They are constantly searching for ways to do more with less, improve their land and leave their legacy to the next generation.”

Mindy and her husband, Stacy, together with their daughters, Elisa and Cassidy, operate Showtime Farms in southern Warren County. The family spends a great deal of time caring for and showing Dorset, Oxford and crossbred sheep.

Jennifer M. Latzke

Editor, Kansas Farmer

Through all her travels, Jennifer M. Latzke knows that there is no place like Kansas.

Jennifer grew up on her family’s multigenerational registered Angus seedstock ranch and diversified farm just north of Woodbine, Kan., about 30 minutes south of Junction City on the edge of the Kansas Flint Hills. Rock Springs Ranch State 4-H Center was in her family’s backyard.

While at Kansas State University, Jennifer was a member of the Sigma Kappa Sorority and a national officer for the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow. She graduated in May 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications and a minor in animal science. In August 2000 Jennifer started her 20-year agricultural writing career in Dodge City, Kan., on the far southwest corner of the state.

She’s traveled across the U.S. writing on wheat, sorghum, corn, cotton, dairy and beef stories as well as breaking news and policy at the local, state and national levels. Latzke has traveled across Mexico and South America with the U.S. Wheat Associates and toured Vietnam as a member of KARL Class X. She’s traveled to Argentina as one of 10 IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders in Agricultural Journalism. And she was part of a delegation of AAEA: The Ag Communicators Network members invited to Cuba.

Jennifer’s an award-winning writer, columnist, and podcaster, recognized by the Kansas Professional Communicators, Kansas Press Association, the National Federation of Presswomen, Livestock Publications Council, and AAEA. In 2019, Jennifer reached the pinnacle of achievements, earning the title of “Writer of Merit” from AAEA.

Trips and accolades are lovely, but Jennifer says she is happiest on the road talking to farmers and ranchers and gathering stories and photos to share with readers.

“It’s an honor and a great responsibility to be able to tell someone’s story and bring them recognition for their work on the land,” Jennifer says. “But my role is also evolving to help our more urban neighbors understand the issues our Kansas farmers face in bringing the food and fiber to their store shelves.”

She spends her time gardening, crafting, watching K-State football, and cheering on her nephews and niece in their 4-H projects. She can be found on Twitter at @Latzke.

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like