Last week over a 3-day period we got 1.8 inches of rain. That only puts us up over 2.5 inches for July, so you can see how much on the short end we were. Everything has turned around. The corn grew and greened up and most of it is pollinating. We are really thankful that rain came when it did. It sounds like we have a good chance of more rain this afternoon and then some cooler nighttime temperatures, which will definitely help as well.
I don’t think we have anything quite to brown silk yet, but the early stuff is well along through pollination. Some of the later stuff planted in late May is just starting to poke a few tassels out. That corn has gotten more rain and just looks phenomenal.
We haven’t seen disease issues yet. The beans are approaching or are at R3 and we have been spraying some fungicide on the beans. We typically see a good yield response in beans. We have some corn fields we are thinking about spraying, but right now we are focusing on soybeans.
As far as pricing goes, we are through the critical time for corn and we are not seeing a lot of hope for the corn market. The bean markets have stayed strong and the rains in August make the beans, so we will wait and see what happens. We have taken advantage of prices where they are.
This far north everything is still brown. The rains are going just north of us or just south of us. It is definitely showing up in our sandier ground. The last significant rain we got was July 19 when most of our acres got between a half-inch to an inch. That has been a nice little Band-Aid that has kept things from going too far backwards.
I always think it is bad luck to check the radar too many times. It seems like it never rains if I check it too much. This morning they were predicting a half-inch for this evening.
We had a dry stretch earlier in July that set some of that sand ground back quite a bit. The corn was rolling every day and it is still trying to play catch up. Most of the acres look pretty decent given how dry it is. The soybeans particularly look good. They are the best I have seen in a couple of years. They are extremely consistent.
The corn looks OK still except for the highest sand. There are a lot of tassels. A lot of the earlier hybrids are at brown silk. We have had just enough rain to hopefully not affect pollination. This is a testament to some of the new hybrids that can tolerate stress a lot better, but another rain would definitely be nice.
The company that we worked with for straw did a variety of small bales and large rounds. They were really happy with the quality of the straw and there was a lot of tonnage.
We are doing fungicide applications on corn on a per hybrid basis. We are only spraying the hybrids that have shown a positive response to fungicides. We keep scouting fields and we are just not seeing much tissue disease present. The soybeans seem like they have more yield potential so we are spraying everything.
We are a little dry, but not in a panic mode. Last week we had between 4 tenths and 6 tenths of an inch of rain on all of our farms. Crops are starting to look pretty good. All of the early corn is completely tasseled now. The corn planted the first of June is about ready to start tasseling.
Yesterday we baled some second-cutting alfalfa orchardgrass square bales. We made about 50 bales per acre, which is about normal. We have some other grass hay that looks like it will be thinner than normal.
We run all of our wheat with a stripper head. We have been busy baling hay and we haven’t mowed the straw yet. Where we did plant double-crop beans, we clipped the straw off at 6 or 8 inches high and you can’t see the wheat straw now so the beans are growing. We have caught some rains but the double-crops could use some more.
The pastures are a little thinner than normal. We have six 10- to 12-acre lots. We are able to move the cattle around to keep the cattle off some of the pasture. We have a 7-acre field we use for the cows in the winter. We worked it up and sowed it in forage oats, sorghum-Sudan grass and turnips. Our plan is to graze the cows there in September and let the pastures recover.
We also have a fenced 35-acre field of corn right next to our pasture and last week we had a co-op come in with a dry box and a RoGater to sow 100 pounds of rye over the top of standing corn. We are hoping we get the rye down in there and growing and then graze cows there this fall and winter. The day after we did it we had 7 tenths and we are hoping that gets it going.
We ran our spelt. It was about 2 weeks behind the wheat. We had some trouble getting it planted. We had 5 acres and it ran 120 bushels per acre, so we were pretty happy about that.
Some got rain. Some didn’t. In the last 2 weeks I got 4 tenths of an inch. It is dry.
We mowed some hay in the only rain we’ve gotten. The next day we tedded it and the dust was flying. It didn’t take long for that 4 tenths to disappear.
The crops are showing the dry conditions, but not quite as much in no-till as on the worked ground. In the places that have rained we have good-looking corn that will make 200 bushels. We also have corn that looks more like a pineapple grove and it is curled up by mid-morning.
The problem with corn is you have one shot of putting an ear on and with soybeans you have a lot of shots at putting pods on. Pollination is just starting for the corn here. There are places south and east of town that are really good and north and east of town it is very dry. It stretches across the whole county to the Ohio River.
There is some third-cutting hay made. I have a customer with several hundred acres of Roundup Ready alfalfa. The first cutting was good, the second cutting was phenomenal and the third cutting was a third of what the second cutting was. It has been foliar fed, it has insecticide and dry fertilizer. It has had everything thrown at it. Otherwise, most people are just getting into second cutting. It may be 50% or 60% done.
The wheat is pretty well done as far as the grain, but they are still working on the straw. Oats are getting about ready to run.