Recent cooler weather in Indiana has helped with crop development, but hasn’t caused any major problems with the state’s corn and soybeans, according to the Indiana field office of the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).
In some previous years, dampness had combined with cooler temperatures to cause mold on some of the corn crop but generally, that hasn’t been a problem this year, noted Andy Higgins, an agricultural statistician in the office.
“The weather has been pretty good and we haven’t had any big issues with disease or insects in corn or beans,” he said. “That’s been good for farmers.”
While most of Indiana had adequate rainfall for the period ending Aug. 11, 5 percent of the state had a surplus and 1 percent was considered very short of moisture, according to the latest Indiana Crop & Weather report.
“Crops in that 1 percent area could be starting to suffer already,” Higgins said. “But that’s still a very small amount of acreage. If the rain doesn’t come, it could start to become a problem.”
Indiana is expected to see below-normal temperatures through August, the National Weather Service (NWS) said. Only the state’s southwestern tip is expected to receive above-normal precipitation during this month.
According to NASS, 97 percent of the state’s corn had silked, down from last year’s 100 percent. The five-year average is 96 percent. Thirty-three percent of the crop was in the dough stage, down from last year’s 81 percent, and the five-year average of 49 percent.
For soybeans, 90 percent were blooming, down from last year’s 97 percent. The five-year average is 89 percent. Sixty-six percent were setting pods, down from last year’s 78 percent but up from the five-year average of 59 percent.
By Michele F. Mihaljevich
In the past couple of years stinkbugs have begun to show up in Ohio soybean fields, possibly because of warmer temperatures, said Ron Hammond, Ohio State University entomology expert.
“We’re seeing a lot of insects that are starting to show up a little farther north and in higher numbers,” he said. “Stinkbugs are one of the insects we are concerned with.”
Last year Hammond saw a few fields where stinkbugs caused enough damage to have an economic effect, unusual in Ohio. He is cautioning growers because stinkbugs cause great damage to the seed – it doesn’t take many of them to cause an economic loss.
“We are trying to get growers aware that stinkbugs could be in their future,” he said.
Ohio growers have not had to worry too much about late-season insects on soybeans, but that could be changing. Bean leaf beetles have caused damage before but growers need to be on the lookout late in the season.
“Everything being equal, in an average field, if you lose one to two seeds per plant that doesn’t ‘get made’ or isn’t a full-sized seed, that field has suffered an economic loss, and that is not a whole lot of beans,” Hammond said.
There is also concern both corn and soybeans are maturing slowly because of the cool weather and moisture, although both are still in very good condition, according to the NASS report for the week ending Aug. 11. The rains are increasing insect and disease pressure.
The percentage of soybeans setting pods is 72, according to the report. The five-year average is 68 percent. Soybeans blooming are at 93 percent; the five-year average is 95 percent.
Corn silked is at 98 percent, compared to 96 percent for the five-year average. Forty percent of corn is in the dough stage, with the five-year average at 48 percent.
All second-cutting hay is 78 percent complete. Third-cutting is 23 percent complete. Sweet corn is doing well, but other vegetable crops are suffering due to the continued rainfall, the report added.
By Celeste Baumgartner
With the issuance of the NASS August Crop Production report and Illinois Weather and Crops report dated Aug. 12, expectations for this year’s corn and soybean harvests were defined for farmers and economists. While corn production is forecast to jump 28 percent to 13.8 billion bushels nationally – the largest production on record – Illinois farmers’ expectations for yields are not quite as bountiful.
According to the NASS Illinois field office report, corn is expected to yield 165 bushels per acre in 2013, an increase of 60 bushels over last year’s average. If met, the figure would represent the fifth-largest corn harvest on record in Illinois, according to Mark Schleusener, director of the field office.
Production of corn for grain will measure 1.964 billion bushels, more than 50 percent higher than 2012, the report projected.
The 2013 Illinois soybean crop is expected to yield 47 bushels per acre, up by just 4 bushels over last year’s drought-plagued growing season. Statewide production is forecast at 439 million bushels, or 15 percent more than last year’s production, the report stated.
Soybean production across the United States is estimated at 3.26 billion bushels, an 8 percent increase over 2012 and, if realized, the third-largest soybean harvest in U.S. history.
NASS estimated Illinois’ winter wheat yield at 67 bushels per acre, 4 bushels above 2012’s yield and 2 bushels more than the July 1 forecast.
The state report noted the below-average temperatures received across much of Illinois the previous week, contributing to crops remaining mostly underdeveloped compared with historical averages. Corn conditions were rated at 2 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 25 percent fair, 48 percent good and 20 percent excellent.
Soybean conditions were rated at 2 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 23 percent fair, 54 percent good and 16 percent excellent. Pasture conditions were rated mostly good.
Topsoil moisture continued to be a problem for some of the state’s farmers, especially in the western region, with 35 percent reporting shortages along with 59 percent rated as adequate. Western Illinois farmers are facing a topsoil moisture shortage of 68 percent, according to the report.
By Tim Alexander