From the Rows- Emily Carolan
We made our way through the rest of Nebraska today on the western leg of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour and there was one word that came to mind as we wrapped up the state- Average. As Nick Ehlers, farmer from Tipton, IA, puts it- it was boring going through Nebraska because we normally see hail, wind, disease, and other issues in the corn fields but that wasn’t the case.
The Nebraska corn crop was impressively average from both the irrigated and non-irrigated samples pulled today. We normally see a larger difference between the non-irrigated and irrigated fields that are sampled but with the rain Nebraska has received, many growers have barely run the irrigators. We asked the crowd in Nebraska City how many have irrigated 0-2 inches in total this year and most of the hands went in the air, where they normally would have irrigated nearly 8 inches by now. Closer to Grand Island when we started the day, the crop was green from top to bottom but as we moved east closer to Nebraska City you could see some of the issues this planting season has brought the Nebraska crop and lack of uptake of nutrients. Stands were surprisingly there given the planting season these folks went through.
The Nebraska corn crop has been through a lot and needs sunlight to push it along but also needs some maturing to do. It is still a little behind from normal and needs the heat but it is by far one of the farthest along crops we’ll see all tour.
The soybeans were impressively clean this year! Congrats Nebraska farmers! Someone came up with a recipe for success and these bean fields have cleaned up tremendously from what we’ve seen in the past. It may be due to the immature crop but honestly, they looked good with just a few weed escapes here and there. We even mentioned at one point on our route that the corn fields seemed to have more of a weed issue this year than the bean fields. We ran into more disease issues as we headed towards NE City but overall, the beans were clean. By far the most lack luster bean crop we’ve found, both good and bad.
The Nebraska bean crop will need some finishing just like the corn but overall is a very decent crop. The pod clusters towards the middle of the plant did increase as we made our way through Nebraska. At the beginning of our tour in NE yesterday, we noticed they just didn’t have that extra kick like they normally do but we did find that today with our route averaging over 1,000 pods in a 3x3 ft. square. It was a very narrow range on our route and I know other routes had the same thing happen. With consistency brings less lower yields and could potentially pull this NE bean crop up not because of the higher upper end yields but because of less lower yields. The same might go for the corn.
Tomorrow we head from NE City to Spencer, IA where we’ll release data from crop districts 1, 4, and 7 in western Iowa and also the final numbers for Illinois.