Much-needed rain breaks up lengthy dry stretch

Lawrence Onweller

We finally got a rain last night. We got 3.5 tenths. That was the first rain we’ve had in around 35 days. I think it is a local record for dry spell or having the driest May on record. It was starting to hurt crops. It was a very much appreciated rain. We’ve got another chance on Tuesday to get some more rain, maybe a 70% chance. Hopefully we can get more rain this week.

The crops are still about a week behind. I like to see corn knee high by the 15th of June and it’s not. I think we’re only going to have one field around that tall. This rain will really help it, but we’re going to have a cool day today too.

The early planted corn, some of that got crusted in and it’s not quite as good of a stand. The later planted corn is all there and it’s a really good stand. If we have a late fall, or even just a regular fall, we’ll still have a chance to have really good crops I would guess. The beans are good too. It’s been so dry that they haven’t really had any disease problems. The Asiatic garden beetle showed up a little bit but during the time that it would hurt the corn when the temperatures were in the 90s. The temperatures kept them down or made them go deeper, so they didn’t affect the corn as much. You could take a drive around and see the smaller corn on the sand hills from them chewing on the roots, but they didn’t really kill anything.

We are finishing up anhydrous and then going through and spot spraying and giving the beans the last shot of spray. Spraying fungicides, that’s down the road aways yet. The rain will just keep us out of the field for a day or two.

Kyle Nietfeld

 Here at my place, we had 1.1 inches. I think north of us about 10 miles somebody said they only had three tenths so it was a little spotty, but right through here and south of us we got a really good rain. I think there was still a little moisture in the ground, but it was getting dry. We were very fortunate to get the rain we got yesterday.

There was a little bit of compaction showing up in some of the end rows of some of these corn fields. Some of the bean stands are a little bit thin, but there’s nothing terrible. Overall, I’d say we’re set up to have a really good year if we keep getting timely rains from here on out.

We’ve actually been putting on our 28% sidedress fertilizer — we’re about two-thirds done —and weeds are starting to die. We finally got them sprayed a week ago and hadn’t really seen any insect pressure or any disease pressure due to the dry weather. Things look pretty good.

The wheat is starting to change and lose its color. I’m guessing here right around the Fourth of July, maybe a tick earlier at the end of June, we’ll be running some wheat. Then we’ll keep an eye out on all the soybean fields and do our second pass of herbicide on there and hope that will be enough to get them to where they canopy and we’ll be done spraying those for the year.

The wheat stand looks great. I don’t know if the grain side will be a little bit smaller due to the drier weather, but it’s looking like it should be at least an average to above average wheat crop around here. We didn’t know if spraying fungicide on the wheat would be worth the money with the dry weather, but we decided to spray it about two weeks ago.

Doug Miller

Well, we look a lot better this morning than we did two mornings ago. We ended up with over an inch of rain through Sunday night. That’s the first significant rain we’ve had in three weeks.

We had some really hot afternoons where things looked pretty ugly. First thing in the morning when sun comes up, things don’t look so bad, but on those 90-plus degree days, you could really see the stress, mostly on the corn, in the afternoons. We got some damage, but we won’t know until probably fall when we put an ear on and on can do some yield checks. I like to see a short dry spell, maybe week or 10 days, but not extended three-week dry spell. Things were looking pretty bleak a week or so ago. But planting went well and we did not have to do any replanting. I was amazed at how well the crops emerged with how dry it was.

In probably another week or 10 days, the younger generation will be getting ready to harvest the wheat. I help harvest and double-crop the beans, but they bale a bunch of straw too. That’s coming on fast.

There is a chance for more rain today and a much better chance for more rain tomorrow and a chance to about every day this week. We have to have some more timely rains to have a decent crop come harvest. On Friday we pulled the combine in the shop and it’s pretty much ready to go for wheat. We’ve got a few odds and ends to do and we’re cleaning out the last of 2022 grain from the bins and getting them ready for harvest. We’re also getting ready to spray beans when it dries out again. 

Jeff Magyar

Up to midnight we had half an inch. I’m not sure what we got through the night but I’m thinking we may have got an inch or so total.

It was the driest I’ve ever seen it this early in our area. Corn on fall chisel ground was still hanging in there, but anything that was worked in May had quit growing. There were some corn stands going backwards. They were starting to thin out and things quit growing. A lot of hay has been made and nothing has greened up.

I know anhydrous has really come down in price, I think partly because so many people were waiting until we got a rain. I was starting to see a few tanks go down the highway. Now we have some corn that’s approaching knee high, so some of that corn is getting pretty tall. The first stuff we planted on some sandy ground needed to get done because if we had the normal rain delays, we would have had a problem.

Up until the stuff planted the last week in May, I would say the emergence was excellent. In the crops planted at the end of May, there are some stand issues, especially on beans. With corn, there’s some areas that, if they weren’t planted immediately following the tillage tools and getting sealed back up, there are emergence problems because of the dry weather. 

We planted some beans 3.5 inches deep. They emerged fine, but it took a while. Normally we’re worried about planting deeper around here because if you get a pounding rain, they’re not going to come up, but this year we planted deeper to get to the moisture.

In the early beans I heard there was some bean leaf beetle damage. Some guys were concerned about wheat and oats filling. The oats and this area were starting to head and there were concerns about if we had enough moisture. The oats are very short. This rain will help them. I know another concern is straw because wheat and oats are so short. I know a lot of guys are clamoring to try to find straw. I’m hearing there’s New York dairies calling and looking for straw, 1,000 acres or 3,000 acres. They may be looking for feed also because I think guys are trying to make sure they have enough forage too.

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