From The Rows: Day Four WEST--Emily Carolan

Posted on 08/23/2019 3:44 AM

From the Rows- Day 4

We made it. Nearly 3,000 samples were measured between the two legs of the tour and all I can say is thank you. Thank you to the scouts who have participated for the first time this year and those who have participated up to 25 years. Thank you to those growers who support what we do out here throughout this week knowing full well that we are here only for you.

Today was an interesting day through Minnesota. We saw storm wreckage and an immature crop that will need all up to the normal frost date to finish. We normally see a less mature crop than the rest of the tour but even this year I don’t think it was as immature as South Dakota. Even on day 4, it still surprises me how immature the SD crop was. But, let’s talk about Minnesota and the success of the tour!

We pulled nearly 3,000 samples this week between the two legs of the tour. With over 120 scouts on the tour, who dealt with rainy days, muddy boots, and a couple of hot days, they absolutely did a phenomenal job. I’m so happy to work with all of the individuals who dedicate their time during this week.

Minnesota corn showed its ugly storm side and we were deep into the brittle snap areas where 80-90 mph winds came through around July 20th and then again a couple more times where winds topped out around 60 mph. It came right after a rapid growth stage where the plants were growing quick with the heat and humidity that finally showed up this summer causing very delicate growing points on the plant to develop. In return- a wind storm was the last thing this crop needed at completely the wrong time and plants did not take it the best. We had reports of 20%-70% green snap in fields scattered across Minnesota and it led our average total ear count down. The grain inches and kernels around were there and if ears would have been present, the potential would have been a lot bigger than what they are looking at now.

The perfect recipe going forward for Minnesota is to give it heat with little humidity to limit the disease yield grab plus stalk quality issues. The stalks were spindly and looked to be lacking nitrogen in some cases, all due to the unfortunate slow start to the growing season.

The bean crop is missing the potential in the top half of the canopy. The Minnesota bean crop is missing exactly the same thing the northern Nebraska crop is missing- and that’s more hours of sunlight in the day. With the days getting shorter, soon they will naturally start to shut down and fall into maturity. There is very little chance that the crop we saw today will get bigger. The weed pressure was starting to put a damper on the potential, as well. The growing season slowed the germination of specific weed species and it caused them to germinate later in the season. They are just now popping through the canopy and setting seeds as we speak. It will be crucial to find a management program during 2020 to clean up any issues this 2019 crop has given the growers in Minnesota.

We appreciate everyone out here doing what they do every day to bring this public data to farmers. There’s no other tour like this and I feel grateful to be given the opportunity to be a part of it for another year! Thank you for listening and reading throughout the week and until next year- have a safe harvest season!

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