The Weird Weather of Summer 2012

Drought impacts corn, beans, wheat and sugar beets across the state.

Published on: Aug 6, 2012
In one Freeborn County field, he said early RM corn was dented and later RM corn was showing an occasional dent. Soybeans last week were at R4 or R5. Spider mites were present in the southern Steele and Freeborn areas. "Corn could be mature in 20 days if warm weather continues," he added, asking "Could we combine some corn before beans?"

Growing degree days are a solid 3 to 4 weeks ahead of normal.

He also noted that variable reports indicated that sweet corn yield was 10% to 50% less than normal in southern Steele and Freeborn counties.

Retired Extension specialist Russ Severson, Crookston, covers the region from Mahnomen to the Roseau-Hallock area. He reports that by end of last week, the wheat harvest about 75% done.

Yield is better than earlier thought, with 55 to 65 bushels per acre as quite common. Some fields have yields as low as 20 bushels per acre on last year's beet ground.

Soybean spider mites are more of a problem than aphids.

Pre-pile beet harvest is in about a week or so.

Soil moisture still is very dry and some soybeans, beets and corn show drought stress in the heat of day.

"Crops seem to be hanging in there on minimal rain," he adds.

Severson currently works with soybean and wheat growers association out of the Red Lake Falls office.

Estimating corn yields during drought
U-M Extension educator Liz Stahl says that a recent article by Peter Thomison, Ohio State University, discusses estimating yield in drought-stressed corn.

Since the grain fill period may be reduced when corn is under drought stress, the normal "fudge factors" used in equations to estimate yield may be off, she says.