Rains have helped, but more moisture is needed

Doug Miller

We’ve been very blessed. Since our long three-week dry period, we’ve had pretty good showers come through and more chances of rain in the forecast. Things look 100% better than they did before we started getting rain.

When it was dry, the crops kind of just sat there dormant and didn’t move much but they responded very well to the rain. I think we could respond even better if we had a little more heat coming right now, but the cool and the damp is better than heat and no rain and things are looking pretty good up to this point. Without more heat, we may have wetter corn come harvest. I’m sure that’ll turn around — it usually does.

It was good to get the moisture to get the weeds up and get the herbicides going, but now it’s time to get the spray on as weeds emerge. We’ve been spraying beans for weeds as they’re ready and we’re caught up on that for now. And we’re not seeing much disease pressure at this time. 

The beans are just getting through what I call their ugly phase and they’re starting to grow a lot faster. The first month, beans seem like they come up and they just look ugly for a while. Then they get rolling and now they’re they even with the corn stalks from last year.

I thought we may start running wheat, but with the rain and the cool weather it looks like it’s going to be the first part of July now. We are planning to double-crop beans after the wheat acres and the rain will be critical to successful double-cropping.

We got the corn planter cleaned up. We went through and replaced what we needed to replace to get it ready for next year. My son Charlie put up a straw storage barn and we have been working at putting in drainage tile around the outside of the barn. 

Lawrence Onweller

We finally got some rain. We got nine tenths in the last 24 hours, which was the best rain that we’ve had since May 5. Since then, we’ve only gotten six tenths in two different rain events, so this nine tenths will really help.

Especially Saturday when it was hot, there was a lot of corn that was curling and the beans that were planted on the heavier ground and also lighter sands pretty much stopped growing. They were just sitting there. I’m assuming the roots were going down but they weren’t putting any foliage on top. Despite the dry conditions, the corn has been growing but it is still about a week behind what we’d like to see it as far as its height. This morning driving around, the crops look a lot better than they did.

We were hearing a lot about the lack of activation of herbicides and then also the 28% that was just put on top never got any rain to wash it in. One of the people I talked to split up the nitrogen applications on their wheat and second shot of nitrogen didn’t ever get any rain on it. 

Nobody is excited at all about the wheat crop around here. The most optimistic guys say they hope to get a normal yield. Other guys say that with the dry weather, by the time the wheat dries down, the berries are going to be pretty small. They don’t think the straw is going to be very heavy either.

This weekend, Fulton County had a Breakfast on the Farm. We had about 3,500 people and I was in the kitchen area cooking eggs. Everything went really well had a lot of good comments about the event.

Jeff Magyar

We got a tenth yesterday and with that we’ve gotten an inch and three quarters total since the long stretch of dry weather. Four or five miles north they’ve gotten two, three or four inches of rain and south of us five miles they’ve gotten half the rain that we have. We’re not getting enough moisture, but we’re hanging in there. The crop greened up a little but we need more rain. It definitely is the driest spring I’ve ever seen. 

The very last corn and beans that were planted in this area are just now coming through the ground because they’ve finally got enough moisture. The stands are trying to fill in. It actually looks fair, but there’s foot-tall corn and two-leaf corn 10 feet from each other in the fields. The stands of all the last beans that were planted are maybe 80% at best.

 The neighbors have run some barley with a stripper head to plant no-till beans in right behind them. I haven’t seen any wheat run yet, but oats and wheat are both very short. I checked some wheat around and it seems to be OK. I didn’t notice any aborted kernels, but I would imagine test weight may struggle. Oats are just now filling, so I think they will have adequate moisture. 

Herbicide activation is a huge issue. I have been talking to the co-op and they’re anticipating more resprays than they’ve ever done. In corn we’ve had several fields with some foxtail coming. In the food grade beans, grass is a bigger problem than broadleaves this year. Usually it’s the other way around.

There is a chance of rain next two days with thunderstorms and then after that it looks like it’s quite a period of no chance for rain.

Kyle Nietfeld

We were dry there for three weeks and then we got some nice rains. Last night we received a half inch. So, we don’t have plenty of moisture, but we’re sitting good so far. After we got that full two inches of rain 12 or 13 days ago, the corn took off and the beans, even just within two days, they didn’t even look like the same crop anymore. They started growing and greened up. They look tremendous now.

Wheat harvest looks like it will be right around the Fourth of July, maybe a day or two before. There’s a little bit of green left down below, but it’s getting close. We tried fungicide on the wheat so hopefully that helped. It’s looking really good so far. We’re going to have a lot of straw this year. The wheat is really tall. We have a neighbor that buys it for a cattle farm. They’ll bale it up and we’ll probably plant some double-crop beans right after the straw is baled up and take a gamble on that. 

Some of the fields we were spraying were getting pretty hairy. We were waiting to see what the weather was going to do. We sprayed and we were fortunate within a week after we sprayed all of our corn it did rain. That cleared everything up and all the fields are looking pretty clean so far.

We do some custom litter cleaning for area poultry barns. That usually takes off here for the next three months or so. Right now, I’m cleaning out a turkey house and the custom cleaning will be keeping me busy until fall harvest.

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