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: It has been typical Indiana weather the last two weeks. At my house we have had less than 0.2 inches of rain and it is extremely dry, especially on the hot days. On the other hand, another part of our county had 1.5 inches of rain in the last few days. Some corn is starting to turn brown, and I hear a few of the early-planted fields are being harvested at around 24 to 25% moisture.
Industry needs corn and is bidding up for it, and reducing drying charges for new corn. Also, many soybean fields are beginning to turn and even a few trees are showing signs of fall. They say no rain in sight and lots of 80 degree or higher days, so the crops will accelerate toward harvest. Hope everyone has a safe harvest.
Jim Facemire: We had about a half inch of rain or less last weekend, but it's not enough on our soils for soybeans. We have gravel under a lot of fields. The corn will still make a decent crop there, even non-irrigated, but the soybeans on gravelly soils are throwing in the towel. Without irrigation we could be looking at the 8 to 10 bushels per acre range.
Where we have irrigation and on other soils it will be different, although the dry August during reproduction will likely knock the top off bean yields- fourth year in a row here.
On a positive note our seed corn under irrigation looks decent, and will likely make an average or better crop. We expect them to start harvesting our seed corn soon.
Reporting From Ohio
Luke VanTilburg: There is still no significant rain for most of our area, which is hurting the beans a lot and the corn a little bit. Some soybeans in our area are just starting to turn. We have some 95-day corn planted May 5 that hand shells at 25.2%. We will probably harvest that late this week. Other early season corn is maturing nicely. Cover crops are being put on with high clearance spreaders in standing corn and just beginning in beans (because they are starting to turn). Most guys are in full swing with silage chopping.
Dan Corcoran: How things change fast in a few short rains!
Last time we spoke I was hoping to get rain about 2 inches. Now that we had two hard rains and wind we can now confirm our fears. Our popcorn and some field corn are going to be challenged to be standing when we go to harvest. The fact that popcorn is weak in the knees is not so surprising. We have seen this before. But our big concern is this good crop could decline with each fall storm. We will harvest some fields with higher moisture and dry them to avoid too much field loss. I urge all to get out in fields and be aware of the condition of stalks in their fields.
On the flip side, our later-planted bean crop is utilizing the water to help finish filling pods to increase yield. Our early planted crops both corn and beans should be ready for harvest around two weeks ( Farm Science Review Week) from today. As usual we will be really busy getting all the harvest equipment ready, combines, carts, semis, and grain facilities. This is always last minute touchups on many things, but this is our exciting time of the year. How fortunate we are to work in an industry where we can see our results in such a short time frame -- 6- 8 months of toil to reap our crops. I realize we are working year around to plan, make improvements, but still short results and opportunities compared to other occupations.
The calves on the feedlot are doing well and all are healthy with great appetites. The cooler temps have been favorable for them. We have been testing pastures and fertilizing or liming as needed and addressing some perennial weed problems to improve the cows' efficiency – still staying busy.
We are pretty excited to be heading into a good crop season and are preparing ourselves to work some long hours, but we always need to be safe and realize we have physical limits. So remember to be safe this fall, know when to call it quits to farm another day.
Reporting From Michigan
Janna Fritz: Corn still looks good and is mostly 100% dented. The really late planted fields are not quite there yet. Soybean height and pod set looks good. Unfortunately, they are definitely showing white mold in areas and some SDS issues. They are also showing stress in sandy/light areas of the field due to lack of rain. Dry beans are starting to turn and lose their leaves in the area. Our dry beans are about two weeks from harvest. Sugar beets are still looking decent as well but also show signs of stress in areas with low rainfall.
Richard P. Dobbins: We do not have a lot to report at this time. We have had ample rain and all the crops are looking great. This last burst of warm weather is helping the corn move along. I have noticed a small amount of white mold and possibly some sudden death in some soybean fields in the area. I think most of us are getting anxious for harvest.
Related Field Watch Articles
Friday Field Walk: Farmers Still Optimistic As Most Crops Are Looking Good - (Aug. 23)
Friday Field Walk: Midwest Farmers Find Little To Complain About - (Aug. 9)
Friday Field Walk: What A Change A Year Can Make - (July 28)
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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