Last Friday I put on the dad hat and journeyed three hours south to pick up the oldest two from church camp. Generally, crops looked better than I expected. While I was gone it finally began to rain at home. Local totals ranged from 1.5” to 5” over the next three days. However, there are still locations that were on the short end of the stick.
If we weren’t expecting child number five at any time, we probably would have all been in the car and kept driving to a summer vacation destination when word of rain was received. We finally hit somewhat of a lull in summer work. Irrigation was idle until Thursday. Most of the spraying is caught up. Little league season is wrapping up. We are slowly sweeping the bottom of the bins. The first of the equipment for fall prep has been pulled in the shop. Not that there is a lack of things to keep us busy, but it has been nice to take a step back and breathe.
Rain and cooler weather may be mitigating some of the recent crop stress, but my early estimate is that dryland corn fields lost up to 30% of their potential. Soybeans, with their indeterminate growth style, will likely rebound better as long as rain continues to fall. Given good growing conditions, soybeans will continue to add new growth and blooms which equate to yield potential. Unlike soybeans, once a corn plant pollinates, the maximum ear size has been determined.
Since we reduced acres this year, we decided to scout our own fields rather than hiring it done as in the past. We continue to monitor fields weekly for nutrient levels, insects and disease on a weekly basis. Since the rains, some weeds are beginning to poke through soybean fields I’ve heard some frog eye leaf spot is out there, but the biggest pest we’ve seen this summer has been the Japanese beetle. They have been busy clipping at corn silks and munching on soybean leaves.
The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress.