By Jeff Magyar
We’ve gotten maybe two inches of rain total in the last couple of weeks and we’re hanging in there. We tried to do some anhydrous on some late corn for a neighbor in Orwell, which is 10 miles from the farm, but it was so wet we couldn’t run. South of us in Trumbull County they have gotten an inch at best so they’re really hurting. The rain has been spotty, very erratic over the last two weeks.
Corn seems to be handling the conditions better. Beans just aren’t taking off in this area and you don’t see the darkening color. The nodules have been very slow getting started. I also always remember the old adage in which the dry years scare you to death and wet years starve you to death.
The early stuff that we planted the beginning of May may be tasseling in the next day or two, but the later corn that had trouble emerging and was waiting on water is a foot tall at best. The very last beans that were planted in this area are just four inches tall. They waited a couple weeks for water to germinate.
It’s about to become meeting season for the United Soybean Board and that that will keep us busy. Neighbors are running wheat. We don’t have any wheat but we have oats that are turning fast. They’ll probably be ready the second or third week of July. Oats will go early this year. I’m a little concerned about if there was adequate moisture to fill the heads. I wouldn’t shock me if we had light test weight oats.
The straw is short. There’s no three-foot tall wheat anywhere and the oats are maybe two-feet tall. Weeds in corn have been a problem. We we had to spray some spots for foxtail. We plant mostly non-GMO corn and we had a lot of issues. With the food grade soybeans, we’re going to have to spray them all.
So far everything’s looking good. We just got done with our second post- application on beans. There’s some waterhemp coming through and we had some foxtail, but we should have hopefully cleaned that up. Other than that, weed pressure hasn’t been terrible this year and we haven’t seen any insect issues or diseases yet.
We cut wheat yesterday and finished with that. It is one of the best wheat crops we’ve ever raised. The yields have been great and everything looked good. Everybody in this area is surprised with the wheat yields after the dry weather in late spring, early summer here. We were really pleasantly surprised when we started cutting it. We’re going to vertical till the ground today and try to get some double-crop beans out there before rain in the forecast. With any luck we’ll get them planted yet this evening before it rains.
The corn is looking really good right now. It is waist high to shoulder high. We don’t have any excess moisture for it, but we’ve been receiving just enough to keep it looking good. If we keep getting these timely rains, we’ll probably have a really good crop. I think we’re still two to three weeks from tassel, probably a week later than normal.
In beans, the rows are starting to close and they are probably a little bit later than usual. We’re on 15-inch rows and with that dry start, they didn’t have as much vegetation growth. It’ll be interesting to see how the weather turns out and how they do here in the next two months.
We are very good on the rain situation right now. We had nine tenths yesterday, which was welcome, but it was also unwelcome because we’re trying to get wheat harvest wrapped up. It’s been really difficult to make good progress with it with all the rain. Between the rains, we tried our wheat on June 30 and it was too wet. We went back July 4 and it was even wetter. We hit it again on July 5 and we got our wheat at home cut. It was a little wetter than what we like but we put it in the bin with air on it. We’ve been monitoring it and we were able to bring the moisture down. We’re hoping cut wheat again this afternoon because the field where we are only got three tenths. Wheat yields have been tremendous so far.
With the dry spell in the early part of June, we’ve been very fortunate with the rains we’ve gotten. Things are looking pretty good now for corn and beans. The corn is a little shorter than normal, but as long as we put a good ear on, I’m OK with that because we’re less susceptible to wind damage. Some of the neighbor’s corn is starting to show tassels. If you look really hard, you can see them spiking on our corn, but we’re probably still a couple of days until we’ll be seeing tassels on our corn.
We’ve been spot spraying beans since we’ve been catching rains. We’ve had some giant ragweed pop up here and there. I’m going to get some more chemicals this morning to do some more spot spraying in the beans. I haven’t seen much disease yet.
It’s a lot better now we’re starting to get rains. There has not been any excessive rain on our farms. It’s been really spotty. The last good rain we had was six tenths where I live and just six or seven miles to the south they got 2.5 inches — that’s a big difference in a small area.
With the rains, harvesting wheat is starting to get to be a struggle. I’ve been talking to farmers with wheat in the area and they are seeing about average yields and most of them are pretty happy with that for dry as it has been. Nothing showed up yet as far as disease.
We had the driest May on record and June couldn’t have been much better. We didn’t get hardly any rain until that last week of June. It’s been extremely dry. The beans seemed like they’d stopped growing. The corn is still at least a week to 10 days behind size wise and most of the fields are uneven. We should be close to tassel this week, but we’re not.
It seems like it’s been almost a month that we haven’t seen the nice blue skies because of the haze. I actually think that has been part of the reason it’s been cooler in this area. If you went 20 miles north you could actually smell the smoke and it’s been bad enough that you find yourself coughing once in a while.
I can remember years ago when we didn’t have it much sun. That year they blamed the lower yields on the limited sun, so I don’t know if the smoke will affect things or not.