Monthly Archives: June 2021
Crop Update: Overall, corn is looking really good with many fields around the 12 leaf stage. Soybeans were able to start growing again after some irrigation and rain. Also a note, the ET gage website is running again, so you can add ET info and view it again at: https://nawmn.unl.edu/. Grateful last Tuesday night’s storm didn’t do more widespread damage in the area than what it did! It looked pretty bad on radar, and in spite of the hail and wind, overall, many crops will recover and look a lot better in the next week. As the stripped leaves turn brown, there may be a brief point where the corn looks a little worse before more new growth shows up out of the whorl. Eventually it’ll look greener with more canopy again. Leaned plants are also righting themselves again.
It’s really hard to give a general summary as rain, hail, and wind has been so variable for the several county area. For this part of the State, crops north of Stromsburg and in the Hordville area got hit the hardest from what I’ve seen thus far. The key things to watch for in corn are stem bruising from the hail, stalk rot setting in, and rotted growing points. Some corn in the Hordville area that I looked at had deep stem bruising to the point the plants were broken off/breaking off near the ground in fields. Soybeans at the R1 stage in both areas were reduced to sticks in some fields. For fields that still have some leaves and some green to them, there are several criteria to look at when assessing hail damage to soybeans. These include determining plant stand, percent leaf defoliation, percent nodes cut off or broken over, and amount of stem damage. Determining percent leaf defoliation and subsequent yield reduction based on growth stage in indeterminate soybeans can be seen in the chart below. Hail damage charts show for R1 beans at 100% leaf loss, a 23% yield loss estimation (not including bruised stems, etc). I realize that’s really hard to accept with the way some fields look. The remaining charts can be found here. What has helped with all the hail and wind damage is the fact that we’ve had warmer temperatures to allow regrowth to immediately begin. There were new buds on soybean plants on Wednesday already and they were starting to flower again this weekend. However, that kind of loss to the canopy is difficult to recover from at R1 as weed control is also of concern. For alfalfa, watch for regrowth and so far, I’ve been seeing new growth. And, for wheat, it’s always tough to get hail so close to harvest as the grain shells out and heads break off.
|% Leaf Defoliation|
|% Yield Reduction|
|R1 – R2||0||5||7||12||23|
It will be important to work with your crop insurance adjusters as each field situation may vary. They will take stand counts and rate damage based on growth stage and percent of green leaf tissue (thus why they need to wait at least 7-10 days to determine new regrowth). Some have asked about the potential for replant options and/or forage crop options if the crop is totaled. First, you need to consider what herbicides were used. Second, for a corn situation, you need to consider if you want to go back in with corn, sorghum, or a forage crop (depending on what herbicides were used). We have such minimal data on short-season hybrids in the case of corn replant and yield. The UNL data that exists is from 1992 and it essentially says there’s yield potential for 100 bu/ac, depending on frost timing. Even though that’s old data, that’s consistent with information a Clay County farmer kindly shared with me regarding replanting corn in mid-July using 78 and 75 day relative maturity corn hybrids in 2018 and 2020. If you end up in a replant corn situation, I can share more specifics of his observations with you if you’d like to contact me.
If you find yourself in a soybean replant situation, make sure to add a seed treatment to replant soybeans as they have a high risk of seedling disease. Also, don’t plant a longer-season bean this late. I don’t know why that’s often recommended, but we would recommend going with a 2.0-2.5 maturity bean at this point in the season for our area of the State. If you drill the replant, be sure to increase seeding rate 10% (can go up to 20% for older drills) to account for the variability of seed spacing with the drill units. We often recommend increasing seeding rate by 10% for planted beans as well this late to aid in faster canopy closure. We share these tips in more detail with the research at: https://cropwatch.unl.edu/2019/strategies-delayed-soybean-planting.
Trees and Landscape Plants: Trees impacted by hail will often shoot new leaves for the leaves that were lost. It’s best to properly prune broken limbs back to the branch collar if at all possible to avoid disease setting into those limbs. You may also observe new buds occurring on shrubs, landscape plants, and garden plants, depending on how severely they were impacted.
Plants in this V10-11 field were shredded back to the growing point. In this case, the hail damage to stems was mostly on the outside surface of the plants.
Same area of soybean field Wednesday afternoon (after previous night’s storm) and Sunday afternoon. Soybean reduced to sticks with new growth occurring Wednesday afternoon (first two pictures). New flowers occurring on soybean sticks and more growth observed Sunday afternoon (last two pictures).
Crop Update: Last week was just a tough week for most I talked with between the heat, irrigation starting, and the various problems observed in fields. Incredible the temperature swings in 4 months with the record lows in February and record highs in June! Installed moisture sensors most of the week and didn’t find a lot of moisture in the top 18” in most area fields. We don’t like irrigating soybean this early due to potential disease issues and lodging. I was recommending it too for herbicide activation and to get soybeans growing again after various issues with herbicide carryover, off-target movement, flaming, etc. observed this past week. But soybean won’t need to continue being irrigated depending on soil moisture and rooting depth. Hopefully they will grow and we can get to canopy soon.
Early Season Interseeded Cover Crop Driving Tour June 29 will provide an opportunity for interested individuals to view interseeded fields at a location closest to them or to view as many locations as they would like. No charge. RSVP is only required for those desiring a boxed lunch; please RSVP for lunch at (402) 362-5508. The boxed lunch is sponsored by The Nature Conservancy and it will be located at the Upper Big Blue NRD (UBBNRD) in York. There will be no restrooms at the field locations; restrooms can be used at convenience stores along the tour route or at the UBBNRD. Viewing of the fields will occur only at the times listed to allow for the cooperators to tour the other locations. Grateful to these cooperators for conducting these interseeding studies! Questions: Jenny Rees (402) 440-4739 or Nelson Winkel (308) 833-0487.
- 8:45-10:00 a.m. Clay Co. (Chad Dane, Harvard, 30” corn and soybean, Begin at Corn: ½ mile north intersection HWY 6 and Road K, east side of road, Soybean: ½ mile south intersection Rd 319 and Rd O, west side of road)
- 10:40-11:15 a.m. Hamilton Co. (Brandon and Zach Hunnicutt, Giltner, 30” corn, ¼ mile north intersection of 6 Rd and G Rd, west side of road)
- 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. York Co. (Jay Goertzen, 36” corn, 1008 Rd D Henderson, on home place and view his interseeder)
- 12:50-1:30 p.m. (Upper Big Blue NRD, 319 E. 25th St, York) Restrooms & Boxed lunch (Lunch RSVP required at (402) 362-5508), View interseeder
- 2:00-2:30 p.m. Seward Co. (Mark Schlechte, 30” corn, 1 mile north intersection HWY 34 and Road 406, meet at bin site)
- 3:00-3:30 p.m. Seward Co. (Lyle Hamling, Beaver Crossing, 15” soybean, ½ mile south intersection of Denton Rd and 364 Rd, drive onto place on west side)
Ornamental Evergreens: Looked at and received a number of calls regarding ornamental evergreens such as the ‘Fat Albert’ varieties turning brown/purple/pink on the south sides. Winter injury is showing up on them. All the trees I looked at had had heavy spidermite pressure at one time as well. The spidermites may have been a secondary problem with the additional tree stress. Fortunately, most trees I looked at had new buds appearing on twig tips. The discolored and dead needles won’t be replaced. For these small trees/bushes, you can use heavy streams of water to remove spidermites that are still active on trees. Watering (but not overwatering) can also help with their recovery.
Vegetable Gardens: Also received a number of garden questions. Seeing a lot of scorch due to heat, overhead watering in the heat (try to water at base of plants), and leaf curling due to uneven watering.
The linden trees are in full bloom and their fragrance is incredible!!! Last week I was out of the office with family, so didn’t get to check fields but heard from some of you who provided me updates on what you’re seeing. Corn is rapidly growing and closing the canopy. A few have reported early planted soybeans are already flowering. The corn planted into cereal rye looks more yellow right now, which is to be expected with the nitrogen being tied up by the rye. It should start releasing the nitrogen shortly. I realize it doesn’t always look as good right now; my experience has been that it will turn around come July and hopefully that continues to be the case.
With the post- herbicide applications being made, have heard/seen comments about waterhemp/palmer in fields with corn or soybean planted into rye. There is no silver bullet for weed control and cover crops aren’t one either, but they do greatly help in weed suppression and are another tool in our toolbox for a system’s approach. In previous weeks of walking fields, waterhemp and palmer tended to appear in areas where rye was thin and in endrows, otherwise the fields were fairly clean. In many green-planted soybeans, the rye formed a really nice mat to suppress weeds. Also, each field situation can be different. Some growers did a second pass with their residual after killing the rye. It stinks to do this but some have had more success in waiting to apply residual to better allow it to get down to the soil. Some added their residual to the burndown on tall rye (greater than 12-18”) and, depending on the product and its water solubility, the product may not have gotten to the soil yet. With this second scenario, there’s also differences when some used more water-soluble products, or applied prior to a good rain/applied irrigation, as these seemed to have better results with their residual products.
It has been hot, but it’s also been very humid, so crops aren’t using as much water as one thinks. That’s where having an ET gage or viewing ET information can be helpful. The CropWatch website is one resource for this information at: https://cropwatch.unl.edu/et_resources.
There’s also been concern about weather conditions and potential for temperature inversions. Al Dutcher shared the following, “If skies are clear and there is no wind at sunrise, it is a guarantee that an inversion is in place. Dew formation is another tell-tale sign (although during droughts dew may not form). When the high pressure is directly overhead, the inversion can last up to 4 hours depending on time of the year. During the summer it is lessened due to intense solar radiation early in the morning as compared to April and early May. Operators should be taking a temperature measurement at canopy height and at least 8 feet in the air to see if the inversion is still in place at the surface. A smoke bomb serves as a secondary control as the inversion may have lifted at the surface, but still exists above 8 feet (happens a lot in river valleys). The smoke bomb will rise up and if an inversion layer still exists higher up, the smoke will flatten out and drift sideways. If no inversion exists, the smoke will rise up and dissipate with height.” A great resource on temperature inversions from North Dakota State can be downloaded as a PDF here: https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/crops/air-temperature-inversions-causes-characteristics-and-potential-effects-on-pesticide-spray-drift.
Light Trap Data for four Nebraska locations can be viewed at: https://entomology.unl.edu/fldcrops/lightrap.
Interseeded Cover Crop Driving Tour: If you’re interested in what we’ve been doing with interseeding cover crops into corn and soybeans, please save June 29th for a driving tour of some on-farm research fields! We’ll begin in Clay County and move to Hamilton, York, then Seward counties. I will share details next week. Essentially, I will provide the start time we’ll be at each field and you’re welcome to meet us there for one location or as many as you’d like. We’ll only plan on being at each location for 30-45 min. before moving to the next one. Will provide time for people to grab some lunch wherever you prefer in York before hitting the Seward county fields.
End of news column.
For fun: for those who have followed me a long time and/or know me/my family better, I arrived at the farm last Sunday afternoon to a 16 person water fight; also had another precious niece arrive this past week 🙂 May we enjoy our families and take time for these moments in our lives as time goes so quickly!
Grateful for the nice weather last week for post-emergence spraying! As crops continue to rapidly grow, a reminder for proper growth staging using the leaf collar method. A collar develops at the leaf base near the stalk after each leaf fully expands. Think about collars like the collar on a button-down shirt. The collar flares slightly at one’s neck, just as a true exposed leaf collar flares at the base of the leaf at the stem. Start counting leaves at the base of the plant with the smallest rounded-tip leaf with a collar as #1. From there count every leaf with a true collar. Leaves that are still wrapped in the whorl around the main stem without exposed leaf collars are not counted. You can also paint a certain leaf of the plant, such as V5 or V6, inside the field (not endrows), so you can continue to count leaf collars as the lower leaves start to slough off.
It may also be helpful to get irrigation scheduling equipment installed soon. For those with watermark sensors, we’d recommend to soak the sensors in water for 24 hours and then read them to make sure they’re under 10 kilopascals. Then allow them to dry out to 199. Before installing, soak again (but only needs to be like 5 min.), and they should still read less than 10 kpa before installing. Last year I made a video regarding installation if it can help (https://youtu.be/4r5gn2pvvB4). For those looking for telemetry options, there are options available for watermark sensors too. One option from Servi-Tech is called the Profiler through their STEPS program. Another option is from Irrometer who makes watermark sensors. For those who use ET gages, remember to use distilled water when filling the main column, prime the small tube with the stopper and ensure there’s no air bubbles, and remember to fill the ceramic top with water before adding the stopper. With Dr. Suat Irmak’s departure from UNL to Penn State, the ET gage site has been decommissioned. ET information can also be found at UNL’s CropWatch website at: https://cropwatch.unl.edu/et_resources.
Weed Management Field Day: Growers, crop consultants and educators are encouraged to attend Nebraska Extension’s Weed Management Field Day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 23, 2021 at the South Central Agricultural Laboratory near Clay Center. The field day will include on-site demonstrations of new technology and new herbicides for corn, soybean, sorghum, and sweet corn. An early morning tour will focus on weed management in soybean and sorghum followed by a tour of weed management in field corn and sweet corn. Field experiments will provide information for weed control options with various herbicide programs. Three Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) Continuing Education Units are available in the integrated pest management category. There is no cost to attend the field day, but participants are asked to preregister at http://agronomy.unl.edu/fieldday. The South Central Agricultural Laboratory is five miles west of the intersection of Highways 14 and 6, or 13 miles east of Hastings on Highway 6. GPS coordinates for the field day site are 40.57539, -98.13776.
Bagworms: Have received a few questions regarding if bagworms have emerged yet. The very cold winter hopefully may have impacted bagworm survival since they weren’t as insulated on trees. I haven’t checked trees yet, but here’s a trick to help know. If you have last year’s bags on your trees that are sealed (don’t have an open hole at the top), you can pick off some bags, place them in a ziplock bag, and place it outdoors on the south side of your house. When/if you see larvae emerge, it’s a good indication to start checking your trees in the next weeks. The larvae are really small and hard to see. Stand still and watch the tree. If bagworm larvae are present, you will see very tiny movements as they begin the process of building new bags. I have pictures and a video at: https://jenreesources.com/2015/06/27/bagworms-in-evergreens/. For more info., please see: https://go.unl.edu/rgju.