Last night we finally got 2 tenths of an inch of rain at my home farm. The corn was really starting to need it. It is amazing how fast we got dry. The corn was starting to roll up a little bit, especially under the trees. We’ll welcome any shower we can get and we’re hoping for more into the next week. The corn is anywhere from mid-pollination to just wrapping up pollination. Everything looks really good, but we did notice some gray leaf spot bad enough to spray. We tried some fungicide and we’ll see if there is a return on investment with that. We sprayed just the hybrids we thought had the gray leaf spot in it bad enough to warrant the fungicide. We had the luxury of spraying with a ground rig — a high boy Hagie. I had strips left in the fields to have a test. With defensive hybrids we are wondering if it will pay or not. We’ll have concrete evidence this year to see if we can learn anything.
The beans look superb. They are about knee-high. We are looking at node lengths anywhere from 2 to 4 inches and we are just starting to set pods in the bottoms of the plants. We still have a long way to go and we’re keeping our fingers crossed for rain. I have seen some Japanese beetle but no frogeye.
We have definitely declined in soil moisture. In the last drought monitor we are at the lowest level of drought, which is a concern. We have not seen a lot of heat stress or drought stress yet, but I am definitely worried about next week with temperatures well into the 90s.
We have hit pretty good weather for most of pollination. We had some cooler temperatures and a good bit of rain a week or 10 days ago to get us through pollination pretty nice. I went out and checked the last of it yesterday and it looks like it is pollinated too. I saw some brown silks on it. I was concerned about the heat coming in this week. We missed a shower I would have like to have gotten, but I think overall pollination went really well. It cooled off enough at night. The nighttime temperature affects it the most and cooler nights really helped.
So far the in-furrow fungicide treatment is holding on really nice. We’ll see if it makes it full season here but so far we’re not seeing much of anything in it. We have a couple of varieties I know are susceptible to gray leaf spot. We did fly fungicide on a couple of varieties last week where we had some disease showing up in the lower canopy. I turned in a couple more fields they should be doing today or tomorrow and the rest we’ll just see what we end up with. There is a little bit of frogeye coming in the beans, but surprisingly we are not seeing much out there.
The corn has amazed me how it has evened up. We had a lot of wet weather early and the low spots looked pretty bad. But looking over the fields, it is amazing how much they recovered and evened out. I wish the beans had a little more size to them. I think the early weather hurt the beans more than the corn. Some of the beans are still stunted.
South of here they have been catching all the rain and they are hurting. There are some fields that look pretty bad with widespread areas of beans dying in the fields.
The weather has been really good. We have had between 5 and 6 inches of rain in the month of July. One stretch got a little heavy there at the middle of the month around the 20th. We had a good chunk of rain at one time over several days. We didn’t have flooding, but it was really close. The rain really greened up the corn and we got haylage squeezed in between the rains. It has been about a week and we are looking for some more rain this Thursday.
We watched the rains really closely. We started mowing hay on a Monday. It got rained on and we mowed more on Tuesday. We started chopping Tuesday afternoon and we finished Wednesday. We just got the bunk covered and it let loose with another thunderstorm. We’ll take some second cutting off new seedings this week and we should be able to get five cuttings off the haylage this year. The rain after third cutting should really help things.
The pollination is all over the board. Some corn is very well along and some is just starting to come out with tassels. We could really use some more rain for the silking with the hot days here this week.
We have not seen much disease at this point. We did spray some bottom ground last week with fungicide. We are going to do a little more this week with airplanes to do what we can to protect what looks like very good yield potential right now. We have seen some potato leafhopper on alfalfa. Some of the older stands are looking pretty tough.
We have been warm, but not really too sunny. We have had really good growing conditions. We are just shy of what I call an irrigated acre. Things have been really good. Some rainfall hurt us a little bit here and there but things are looking good and we are looking forward to a good fall.
We have fared pretty well with the mat from the cover crops. The ground will be a little wetter when we get extremely wet, but most years the mat conserves the moisture and helps us get through dry stretches. As far as disease, our corn is really clean. With soybeans we put foliar and fungicide on early and they are doing very well.
Corn silks are very long, which normally makes for great pollination. I have not seen any insects other than Japanese beetle chewing on the outsides of the fields. Our pollination is over for the corn. There is still some pollination going on around the neighborhood. These upper 80s are good growing temperatures. Once in a while we have had 90 and humid and that just makes things move along a little faster.
We have a nearby farmer with a 120-foot air seeder that drives through our beans and corn to seed cover crops. We usually shoot for the first week of September for that. We try to get the seed on before the beans lose their leaves. We want the leaves to fall on top of the rye seed so they help cover it up and get sprouted with dry weather if we get it. It is great if we can get a couple of showers around then to keep them going.
It looks like it could be a banner year if we can just keep getting the right weather for another 30 days.