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Irrigation rig running in field

Moisture stress is impacting crops

Herbicide applications have been put on hold and spider mites may appear soon.

It’s been a long three weeks since the last rain. Shallow rooted crops are showing stress nearly all day long and corn is firing from the bottom up. Consensus at a meeting I attended Thursday was that the crop condition report was laughable. Even a salesman from out of state said that based on what he’s heard, he expected crops to look better than they do.

Herbicide applications have been put on hold due to moisture stress and heat. When possible, plant health applications are being made in the mornings or evenings when the plants are more receptive. We’ve seen a few planes flying in the neighborhood the last couple days. I even took a drive tonight to watch them work. Unless it rains soon, many farmers will forgo fungicide applications.

I would not be surprised if we start hearing the words ‘spider mite’ pretty soon. In fact, in the fields I did spray with insecticide, I switched to a product that also carries a miticide label. I really don’t want to be back in any of these fields anytime soon.

Though we didn’t have any wheat, harvest is done. I heard mixed results which lead me to think yields were lower this year than they were last year. Some farmers followed wheat with a second crop. In some cases, soybeans. In other instances, a forage or cover crop. To my surprise, green strips can now be seen between the golden wheat stubble. I didn’t think there would be enough moisture left. The heat index was very horrid when it was time to bale.

Last week, I mentioned that irrigation start-up was better this year than many. Well, I guess that caught up with us. Two end gun booster pumps, two fertigation motors, a couple of control box issues, and an end gun are items I recall problems with the last few days. We are all beginning to get worn out. Heat and humidity are not helping the situation.

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress.

TAGS: Weather
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