Trish Schumacher, Box Butte County
Irrigated crops are developing nicely in the panhandle, the dry land crops are another story. It has been very dry for the most part and the damage is starting to show. Pastures are also suffering from the drought. The grass is dried up and brown, so some operations are supplementing with feed. Wheat harvest is moving along. Yields are anywhere from 25-50 bu. with good test weights showing up. Many have reported downed wheat from sawfly damage. On July 24, a fast moving thunderstorm swept through central Box Butte County and dropped some large hail along with 2-5" of rain. Crop damage in this area is extensive.
Doris Eichenberger, Keya Paha County
The crops are average condition for this time of year. The rains have been spotty, and at our place we had just a little over 11 inches for the year. Currently, there are no serious bug issues that I know of. After last year, the pastures are all looking unbelievable thus the cattle are doing very well. We have not had to feed any supplement so far. The one minor concern is that weeds are taking over where the grass is thin.
Neal Neidig, Madison County
Lighter soils in the area
are showing signs of stress, some have burned up corn. We had 12.5
inches of rain from April 1 until mid June, and then it really slowed
down. We haven’t had much more than 0.5 inches since then, mostly
0.10-0.35 per rain. Pastures are getting short, but our pairs are
looking good so far. We have not had to supplement yet. Wheat harvest
finished early last week, but I haven’t heard any yields; however, there
was a lot of straw. A few wheat fields in the area were lost earlier
this spring due to poor stand. We have not had any insect concerns yet. A
few weed escapes in beans in the area, but mostly cosmetic.
Mike Thede, Howard County
Rains were pretty limited throughout the month of July, but we have had some rains lately and got 70 hundreths last night. The irrigated crops look good; dryland corn has some stress, but looks much better than last year. Dryland soybeans are looking good. Pastures are in average condition; they were getting dry, but have greened up with recent rains. There haven’t been any real concerns with insects or weeds, and many are applying aerial fungicide recently. I haven’t had many issues in our fields, except for a few grasshoppers but nothing of economic impact yet. Hopefully, the cool, damp weather will slow them down even more.
Wayne Thunker, Keith County
It has been very dry here as we have missed several rains. Without some moisture soon the dryland corn will be hard pressed to survive. The irrigated corn is looking good, and tasseling is getting close to complete. Pollination is also occurring. As of last week, there is still wheat harvest going on in the area. Some of the wheat fields were sprayed for weeds, and farmers are waiting for that to clear before harvest. Wheat yields are from 15 to 40 bushels per acre in the area. We are doing some spraying for western bean cutworm as well as some fungicide spraying. Pastures here are showing stress from lack of rain. We keep our fingers crossed for more rain.
Paul Althouse, Clay County
We received 40 hundreths of rain last Tuesday, which was the first rain we’ve had since early June. It’s been 6 weeks since we’ve had anything more than 10 or 15 hundredths. Dryland is in really tough shape – worse than last year. If we got an inch or more of rain next week, we could make 50 or 60 bushel on dryland but otherwise many fields will make nothing. I’m planning to start chopping dryland corn next week. Irrigation land looks good. Grass on pastures is there, but dry and brown, nothing lush. I’m putting out protein for cattle to maintain condition. We have some root worm beetle, but nothing to spray for at this time. Crop scouts are worried about spider mite coming in later, but advising if you don’t have strong pressure not to spray.
Ryan Ueberrhein, Douglas County
The crops are looking really good right now. Most of the corn is pollinating now and the cooler temperatures should help with that. Both corn and beans are showing stress on the sandier spots due to lack of recent rains. Lately, the rains have been very hit and miss. We received 1.5 inches with a little hail on one farm and just 20 one hundredths on another farm just a few miles down the road. There are some Japanese beetles on the soybeans, but not posing any threat at the time. We have had some issues controlling certain weeds in the beans, such as pigweed and water hemp, due to their increasing resistance to Roundup. Our pastures are looking a little stressed, but pretty good overall. We will definitely need more rain soon.