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Row Crop Roundup - July 24, 2013 (Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee)
Warm, dry weather has been helping growers after a wet spring. “As of late, we finally started to dry out and get a little bit of heat as well, so that’s great,” said Jim Collum, an agricultural statistician with the NASS Great Lakes office. “For a little while guys were kind of concerned about all the wet weather, but now everything’s going pretty well.”

That’s what NASS’ latest crop progress and condition report was saying, as well. Six days were suitable for fieldwork during the week ending July 14, according to the report. There were a few quick showers that week, but things quickly dried out because of the high temperatures.

Growers in the southern part of the state, especially, took advantage of the nice weather to get work done.

At this point corn is running a little behind average, silked at 9 percent, versus a five-year running average at this time of 20 percent. On the other hand, soybeans were blooming at 44 percent, versus a five-year running average of 34 percent.

Winter wheat harvested was at 9 percent, versus a five-year running average of 38 percent at this time. Collum said wheat growers in the northern part of the state were behind the southern part, which is normal, but they have been especially concerned this year about the wet weather.

All hay, first cutting, was 94 percent complete, only 2 percentage points below the five-year running average for this time of year.
Apples were 1.75-2.75 inches in the southwest and 1.25-1.6 inches in the northwest. Also, apple maggots were caught for the first time this year. Blueberry hand-harvesting continued and mechanical harvesting was getting under way for that week.

“Fruit size and quality have been excellent,” the report stated.
By Kevin Walker
Michigan Correspondent


The weather has finally dried out somewhat, as heat and humidity moving into the state is a reminder it really is summer. The latest report from the NASS Kentucky field office reflected good news, for the most part. But burley tobacco growers will begin to realize just how badly their crop was damaged by heavy rains earlier this month.

Currently the crop is rated overall as being 4 percent very poor, 9 percent poor, 25 percent fair, 46 percent good and 16 percent excellent. But the conditions vary from region to region and ultimately, producers won’t see the full effect of the damage until market time.

As far as progress in the field, 19 percent of burley tobacco was blooming compared to 26 percent last year and 17 percent for the five-year average, noted the NASS report. Five percent of the crop had been topped as of the July 15 report.

Thirty-two percent of the dark tobacco crop was in bloom, well behind last year’s 56 percent. Like its burley cousin, 5 percent of dark tobacco was topped, slightly behind the 2012 crop and the five-year average.

While state corn tasseling – which stood at 56 percent as of July 14 – was well behind last year’s crop, there was no comparison in the condition of this year’s crop and 2012. The corn crop currently stands at 50 percent good and 35 percent excellent, while last year at the same time the crop was rated 38 percent very poor and 39 percent poor.

Kentucky soybeans are enjoying a good growing season so far, as well. The crop was rated as 2 percent poor, 14 percent fair, 59 percent good and 25 percent excellent and 93 percent of the crop had emerged, right on track with the five-year average.
Nearly the entire winter wheat crop has been harvested in the state. The July 15 NASS release noted “seeded acreage in Kentucky was estimated at 700,000 acres, up 20,000 from the March planted estimate and 120,000 acres above the previous year. Acreage harvested for grain was estimated at 580,000 acres, 110,000 acres above 2012.”
By Tim Thornberry
Kentucky Correspondent

The harvest of Tennessee’s winter wheat is finally through. It was completed during the week ending July 14, the state’s latest in 16 years, according to a report from NASS.

The report stated in addition to the wheat harvest, farmers wrapped up planting soybeans that week, which is two weeks behind the five-year average. Farmers had 4.5 days during the week suitable for fieldwork, which included applying post-emergence herbicide and fungicide. Tobacco in some areas of the state has spotting disease and some low-lying fields have been drowned out in this year’s heavy rainfall.

Statewide, corn, cotton, soybeans and tobacco were rated in good condition, the report stated. The progress of corn and cotton are lagging behind the five-year average. Silking corn was at 75 percent, compared to its five-year average of 86 percent. Squaring cotton was at 52 percent for the week, compared to the five-year average of 84 percent.

Fallout from the effects of too much and too little rainfall are plaguing several counties throughout the Volunteer State.
“Lots of plant bugs and stink bugs are in the cotton. Pigweed is a big topic this week, looks like we might have to pull the hooded sprayers out to try and control the resistant problems,” said Madison County extension agent Jake Mallard.

“Cotton and soybeans have really grown this past week with the DD60s we have received. Corn is still looking pretty good across the county, falling into the R2 stage.

Cattle are still on the good-to-great scale, and the same with the pastures. A little rain is needed to help everyone out,” he added.
“Excessive rainfall (5-6 inches) over the weekend was really beneficial to corn, soybeans, pastures and hay. However, about 10 to 20 percent of the dark tobacco crop suffered serious effects from drowning on mostly upland soils,” reported Ronnie Barron, Cheatham County agent.

“Corn and soybean fields throughout the county have spots that have drowned out and spots that had flood waters in them. Many of the small vegetable fruit producers reporting losses of tomatoes, beans, cucurbits, peaches and blackberries, due to disease and insect pressure and general rot. We now have gotten the total rainfall for the year. We are over 47 inches so far,” Neal Denton, Knox County agent, said.

According to data from University of Tennessee extension and the National Weather Service, topsoil moisture levels were rated 10 percent short, 60 percent adequate and 30 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels were rated 9 percent short, 67 percent adequate and 24 percent surplus.

Nashville experienced precipitation slightly above normal, while the rest of the state’s rainfall was below average. Middle and West Tennessee saw temperatures 1-2 degrees below normal, while East Tennessee had normal highs and the far eastern part of the state had 2 degrees above normal.
By Tesa Nauman
Tennessee Correspondent