At this stage in the year we would like to summarize what we have seen across our farm this growing season. It is a vital part of the engagement we are striving to create in our tenant-landlord relationships for landlords to know what we are seeing across the area and what has been effecting crops this year.
This year we were faced with challenging planting conditions due to several factors but the leading ones were large amounts of residual crop residue in the seed bed and cold soils around planting time. Both led to some emergence issues showing things like poor stands, uneven emergence, and poor crop color. Some of these symptoms led to re-plant to get the stands and emergence we expect while some has been able to make a strong recovery. We were also faced with late frosts that stunned corn and soybean emergence, but were lucky that we did not have to re-plant and it was all able to recover. A lot of the residue issue is being attributed to the lack of winter time precipitation which caused most of the plant material from last year to remain in-tact.
As we worked into the summer we continued to get sufficient rainfall through may and the crop progressed nicely. When we got in to late May, June, and early July we had some conditions for the record books. The month of June went down in the record books as the wettest June in Siouxland history. We saw rainfall amounts from 15 to 30 inches on our farm during that period. As a result we saw a large amount of low land flooding and soil saturation leading to loss of nitrogen through both soil leaching and denitrification (loss of nitrogen as a gas). Between the tougher planting conditions and large amounts of rainfall we started to see some yellow streaking in the corn in places. Over time as we worked our way out of the wet pattern and corn had a chance to root down we started to see the corn regain its color. We are anxious to see how this will effect yield this harvest.
During the month of July we remained dry after the 4th of July holiday which was a nice break from the excessive rainfall. To accompany that we saw temperatures stay lower than usual for highs which helped avoid stress and helped with the pollination process. On irrigated acres we had to make a circle or two towards the end of July as some stress started to set in before it started to rain again. So far August has been a great month for growing a crop. conditions have been great for soybeans as August usually proves to be the crucial soybean yield determining month. Late July/early August were the months for fungicide application also. With the beans we put in insecticide as well to prevent the potential for a soybean aphid infestation which we have been susceptible to in years past.
As we look forward we are looking for a couple things. One we need some heat to help finish this year’s corn crop off. We have been fortunate to receive adequate growing degree days in our area this year to drive corn growth and maturation. It is important for that trend to continue in to harvest to prevent issues with dry down and corn moisture. On the beans it would be nice to catch another shot of rain in august to help us through the last of the reproductive phases and get us through pod-fill. We have started to see minor aphid pressure in the area and hope that our treatment will hold them off. Some of the beans are a little farther behind then normal because of either replant or unfavorable emergence conditions and so we hope to not see an early frost this year as it could have a major bearing on bean yields.
In closing we are excited about the upcoming harvest season and what we can learn from it. On the farm we are doing a lot of prep work on trucks, tractors, combines, bins, hiring, and everything else that is involved with the harvest process. If you are a landlord or farm manager and have not yet accessed your login page please be sure to contact us so we can walk you through that process. So far landlords have access to boundary maps, fertilizer application maps, and planting maps. Very soon you will be able to see maps showing what we sprayed on your farms and after harvest we will post the yield maps so you can see the final results!