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Corn Reports Rosy
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 11:37AM CDT

By Cheri Zagurski
DTN Managing Editor

OMAHA (DTN) -- The majority of the updates we've received about local crop conditions report good-looking corn, but soybeans in several areas are suffering from wet feet.

Reader Barry Mumby from southwest Michigan wants to know if other readers are seeing soybeans with signs of too much moisture. He wrote: "Some hybrid seed corn inspectors from some of our customers report soybeans in general showing more wet weather stress than the corn across the Corn Belt. Anybody else in that camp?"

Mumby also had a question about a problem in corn. "Crops look good with corn in pollination. Corn is starting to exhibit signs of Northern Corn Leaf Blight in some fields. One of my associates on our morning conference call also reported the same in Iowa. Maybe we could hear from others as to other areas and severity of the problem."

Pete Bardole, of Jefferson, Iowa, seemed to echo Mumby's belief that corn is managing wet weather better than beans. He wrote: "Corn here looks great, there are some holes from standing water but for the most part it looks great. There is lots of fungicide going on. Most corn should be finished pollinating soon.

"The soybeans are looking better. There has been a lot of yellow beans; they just don't like being wet for so long."

Gerald Gauck in Ripley County, Indiana, is trying not to tempt fate by being too optimistic, but you can sense a bit of joy in his note. "I'm being truthful and humble, but our crops still really look good. I've been farming for 67 years and so far these really look good, but they are not in the bin yet. But at this point they look good."

In Manhattan, Ill., though, John Moore repeated the soggy beans report. "Here it is past the middle of July and we're still working on first cutting hay here in north-eastern Illinois. Guess I shouldn't feel too bad, I see quite a few fields still not cut. Down to the last 40 acres though, so there's light at the end of the tunnel. But then it's time for second cutting.

"Weather has been cooperating. Wheat is finally drying down enough to cut. That's tomorrow's job (Monday).

"Corn fields are probably half to two thirds in tassel stage. Many showing two if not three ears. Silks are long like angel hair and staying well ahead of any bug issues that are out there.

"Soybeans on the other hand are still not growing well. We're just getting over severe "wet feet" syndrome when another gully washer came last weekend. Two one-hour rains yielded anywhere from 2.5 to 5 inches everywhere in my area. Pond holes are all full again and replants, well let's just say they are awash. Life goes on one day at a time so enjoy it and be safe."

In neighboring Indiana, Scott Wallis of Princeton says beans could use some solar gain. "Corn is pollinated and starting to fill. Our weather has been unbelievable, high temps in the 70s and low 80s lows in the 50s. Normal would be 90s and 70s. Early beans are in full bloom with some starting to pod; double-crop beans are starting to outgrow the straw stubble. Beans could use a little more heat for vegetation growth."

Then there's wheat. Doug Zillinger of Logan, Kan., reports that harvest was less than stellar. "We have had about half a harvest for wheat in terms of bushels and test weights ran from 50 to 63 pounds per bushel. Yields were anywhere from zero to 80 bushels per acre with an average in the upper 20s. The 80-bushel stuff was on small acreages that were well protected in creek bottoms and behind shelter belts.

"The good news is that for the most part, our spring-planted crops have stayed green and have grown well. The corn tasseled last week and so it should be a good crop because it was cool all week. The milo suffered because of the cool weather, but it is getting the heat units it needs this week to shoot heads and start pollination.

"We seem to be getting just enough rain to keep the fall crops from stressing, but not enough rain to get things wet. I drilled postholes this morning and there is just enough moisture in the dirt to make it tamp back around the posts. Not wet by any means."

Damp beans aren't a problem near Avoca, Iowa. Karen Johnson reports: "In west-central Iowa, southern Shelby County corn is tasseling -- some fields are just beginning and some are done. It is quite dry here and we really need rain. The ground is hard as cement and really dry -- can't hardly pull a weed. This morning's forecast took all of our rain away until Friday or Saturday -- that was sure disappointing to see. We just moved cows and calves to a new pasture last evening as their current field was spent. We will definitely need rain to help the pasture recover."

It's getting dry in southern Pope County, Minn., too, reports David Tollefson of Starbuck. "Early corn in my area of southern Pope County is now tasseling, and early soybeans are blooming. We have not had significant rainfall since July 7 when we got 0.4 inch. So the lighter soil areas are showing significant stress at this time, even if the temps have been only in the high 70s. However, the weather has been ideal for putting up hay. Wheat is turning ripe, meaning harvest in early August."

I also snagged a couple of "windshield tour reports" from staffers here in the newsroom. DTN Markets Editor Katie Micik was on her way to North Dakota to participate in the Wheat Quality Countil's Hard Red Spring Wheat Tour when she sent in this email.

"A few observations from my drive yesterday: 1) Most of the corn was tasseled from Omaha to Brookings, S.D., and the soybean plants large. North of Brookings, the corn was getting close. Only a few fields in North Dakota were starting to tassel.

"2) There were about 20 miles in eastern South Dakota where there was too much water this summer. There were holes of yellowing corn and beans, but in the scope of my 400-mile drive it was a blink of an eye.

"3) The soybeans in southeast/south-central North Dakota seem like they were planted late. I'd say one out of every three or four fields hasn't closed the rows yet. (North Dakota planted 1.35 million more bean acres than last year.)"

DTN Cash Grains Analyst Mary Kennedy returned from a visit to family in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. She reported: "Came home on 35W South. Minnesota corn and beans did not look that great on this route. Not much tasseling; not as tall as what I saw in Iowa. Soybeans were late and mixed growth stages all the way through the state. Same for corn; mixed stages of development.

"I-80 from Des Moines to Omaha was near excellent. Mile marker 81 to about 72 was trash (near Adair) from hail. Otherwise nearly all the corn was tasseled and looked great. Soybeans looked good; some areas on that route looked later, but in good shape.

"Northwest Minnesota on the way to the lake: crops were fair to good. Some rough spots though. Most interesting thing I saw was a huge, covered corn pile in Sauk Rapids. At least half a million bushels next to the tracks. I saw three 75-plus-tank car trains total on the way up and back. Only grain cars I saw was the one buffer car bringing up the rear of each tank unit."


If you'd like to join our conversation and let readers know what's going on in your area, email me at cheri.zagurski@dtn.com

(SK)


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