Pests and diseases sometimes develop in patterns, and sometimes not. To get a sampling of what is happening in the Midwest, Michigan Farmer, Indiana Prairie Farmer and Ohio Farmer editors have teamed up and lured in, or more accurately roped in, a couple of observers in key parts of their states to report every two weeks on what's happening in their fields. Click on the map to see where each reporter is commenting from.
Reporting From Indiana
Bill Pickart: Before our fair we had nearly two inches of rain, and after our fair we had nearly another two inches. Some areas have had even more. Our Carroll County, Ind., fair week was very hot, humid and sunny. It has cooled off now.
Farmers snuck in wheat harvest, baling and more spraying while the sun shined. Most of the corn laid over in earlier windstorms has come back up, although some is goose-necked a little. I'm aware of only a small amount of green-snap of stalks during storms.
Fungicides have been popular due to the heat and humidity. Planes have been buzzing overhead. Silks are prolific and early reports point toward some very big corn yields.
We've seen some Japanese beetles but they're not bad yet. New irrigation systems installed after last year have sat idle so far. Look out for lower grain prices.
Jim Facemire: We finally had to start irrigating a few days ago. We raise seed corn and our ground is loam over gravel in many fields where we raise seed corn. They're irrigated. We raise the high dollar crop to help justify the cost of irrigation.
During the past few days, though, we have received spotty showers. It's actually spotty thunderstorms, and it's either feast or famine. I received three inches seemingly out of nowhere here at my house on July 23. Three miles away at another irrigated seed field, the rain gauge only recorded 0.4 inches. We shut down the irrigation rigs where it rained, of course, but since our soils are so droughty, we will need to keep a close eye on conditions in case we need to irrigate again.
Reporting From Ohio
Luke VanTilburg: Wheat is harvested in our area. Other than slightly lower than average test weight, wheat quality was good. No sprouting, no vomitoxin, etc.
Aerial applications of fungicides are being made by aerial applicators in our area. We have scouted extensively and are not seeing the need for fungicides. I would estimate maybe 5% of the acres in the area are being treated.
We had an 80mph straight line wind storm come through on July 10. Depending on field location and stage of development, damage was none to significant. Initially, all fields were bent over and lost about 3' in height. However, the stalks that were not snapped straightened back out in about 2 days with very little goose necking. It is very difficult to estimate the overall and average effects of the wind damage, but I would guess we lost somewhere between 5-15% of yield average across all our farms. I still believe we can have the best corn yields we have ever had.
Soybeans that had magnesium applied continue to look very good. Those that didn't continue to struggle with wet feet.
Dan Corcoran: If you look over the southern Ohio River bottom fields, you would think all is well and looking to a bumper crop. Don't let looks deceive you. Although our rainfall has been good the last three weeks and temps have not been too extreme during pollination, this crop is a long way from being in the bin. We have probably the worst disease pressure in corn that I have seen in many years -- mostly grey leaf spot. The plants are speckled on the lower leaves and the spots are climbing. The planes and helicopters are like bees zig zagging across the fields and skylines. We also need to keep an eye on soybeans and determine if they too need to spray with fungicide. I assume the manufacturers of these products are seeing sales skyrocket.
Soybean fields are starting to show those weeds poking through the canopy. We will see just how much is effected and make a plan to deal with this wet weather challenge. We don't see too much damage from too much rain in fields. I can take a good deal of water on these sandy soils, but I am only two weeks away from drought conditions.
Hay is a challenge I am willing to deal with. Trying to find drying days consecutive is a real treat. The rain is hit or miss and hits usually where we decide to cut hay. The second cutting is only 60% done but we will keep trying.
Calves on the feed lot have settled down and the cooler temps seem to be better for them. Overall we are challenged but optimistic about our potential crop. We also realize we have a long way to go.
Ain't Farming Grand!
Reporting From Michigan
Janna Fritz: Corn is in full tassel and we just got a nice half inch rain to help it along. For July, we have actually gotten a few decent rains. Soybeans look good, although we did have to spray for aphids a week or so ago.
Many in the area were over the 250 threshold and had to spray. Field scouting has not shown any issues so far. Wheat came off decent and was generally a good quality crop. Dry beans are starting to blossom and seem healthy.
Richard P. Dobbins: Over the past two weeks, we have received more than 3" of rain in our area.
Most the wheat harvest is complete. I've talked to some local farmers who produce wheat and they had a good crop, around 80 bushels.
Some other local farmers have taken a second cutting of hay.
As far as the row crop farmers in our area, corn has started tasseling and probably is 70% tasseled in our area.
Soybeans are starting to produce pods and are putting a lot of flowers out so hopefully we see more pods to come.
On the 16th we decided to spray some of our soybean acres with fungicides to try to help prevent white mold.
Our seed corn has been mowed and detasseled and at this time is still looking pretty good.
We are getting close to applying fungicides on our field corn, which should be applied at 50% brown silk.
Related Field Watch Articles
Friday Field Walk: Growers Happy With Crop Progress Thus Far - (July 112)
Friday Field Walk: Spraying Is In Full Swing - (June 28)
Friday Field Walk: Crops Are In; Let The Spraying Begin - (June 14)
Friday Field Walk: Conditions Are Spotty - (May 31)
Friday Field Walk: Corn Planting About Done; Beans Underway - (May 17)
Friday Field Walk: Preparing For Planting Dash - (May 3)
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