The week of July 15 saw crops growing at a steady rate and looking good, according to the weekly weather and crop report from the Illinois field office of the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).
“Crop ratings are holding steady at 70 percent good to excellent,” according to University of Illinois crop sciences professor and extension specialist Emerson Nafziger. “The canopy tells the story today. It’s a good green color and there are no concerns about the water supply through pollination.”
Topsoil moisture statewide was rated 16 percent short, 75 percent adequate and 9 percent surplus. Precipitation averaged 0.53 inch, just 0.27 inch below normal. Temperatures averaged 74.9 degrees, 1.5 degrees below normal. The report stated 5.9 days were suitable for fieldwork.
Corn conditions were rated as 1 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 25 percent fair, 50 percent good and 19 percent excellent. Up from 8 percent the previous week, 21 percent reportedly was silked and average height was 63 inches.
About 32 percent of the state’s soybean crop was reportedly blooming, with pod setting beginning. Soybeans were rated 2 percent very poor, 4 percent poor, 21 percent fair, 61 percent good and 12 percent excellent.
As of the July 15 report, 97 percent of the winter wheat crop was ripe and 88 percent had been harvested.
By Deborah Behrends
Some corn damaged in Miami County during strong storms a couple of weeks ago has started to recover, said Gary Horner, Purdue University extension director in the north-central Indiana county.
The July 10 storms damaged corn in some central and northern counties, according to the Indiana field office of NASS. The storms, which contained winds of up to 80 miles per hour, caused green snap in some areas.
An EF1 tornado that touched down in Peru, along with additional strong winds, caused some corn to flatten or bend, Horner said. “There was a small stretch where it swiped through,” he said. “There wasn’t widespread damage, but it cut a swath across several fields.
“Some of the corn was bent by the high winds and I’m not sure what it’s going to look like in two months, but some of it is coming back,” he added.
According to the July 15 Indiana Crop & Weather report from NASS, 22 percent of the state’s corn had tasseled, down from 76 percent at the same time last year. The five-year average is 39 percent.
For soybeans, 30 percent of the crop was blooming, down from 61 percent last year. The five-year average is 36 percent.
Sixty-eight percent of the state’s winter wheat crop was harvested, down from 100 percent last year and also down from the five-year average of 89 percent. The second cutting of alfalfa was nearing the halfway mark, as 45 percent was complete. Last year, 97 percent was done. The five year-average is 62 percent.
Nearly all – 96 percent – of the state’s corn and soybeans were rated in fair or better condition, while 94 percent of the winter wheat was also listed as fair or better.
By Michele F. Mihaljevich
Ed Beeler, a Reily Township farmer, harvested his wheat under poor conditions because it was wet. He also had some hail damage.
“I haven’t figured the yield – I’m figuring probably 45, 50 bushels to the acre,” Beeler said. “I lost probably 15 to 20 bushels to the acre because of hail damage.”
He was finishing the last of his first cutting of hay and had half of the second cutting baled last week. He was finding most of the hay, first and second cuttings, were not testing as good quality for feed because of the wet weather.
“About 50 percent of my corn is tasseling, most of it looks good to excellent,” he reported. “Some stalks are showing signs of being too wet early. In a lot of places the fields aren’t tasseling uniform because of that.
“We do need some rain in the next three to five days to help with the tasseling, pollination and yield. We’ve had so much rain the corn needs it to stay in operation.”
The wet weather hurt his soybeans, but they are fair. Weeds are a problem because there were two weeks of rain when he could not spray. He was still spraying. Some of the soybeans were starting to bloom.
“I have beans anywhere from waist-high to halfway between your ankle and knee,” Beeler said. “We have to have rain once a week, to keep up with all the rain Mother Nature has given us so far. Things aren’t rooted very deep because of all the moisture. If it doesn’t root, it can’t draw up the water.”
Beeler’s crop progress was fairly typical across the state, according to the NASS report for the week ending July 14. Rain had impeded progress for farmers in harvesting wheat and hay. Winter wheat was 28 percent harvested, compared to 82 percent for the five-year average.
First-cutting hay was 91 percent complete and the second cutting was 22 percent complete.
Corn was 19 percent silked, compared to 63 percent at this time last year and 30 percent for the five-year average. Soybeans were 27 percent in bloom, compared to 57 percent last year and 35 percent for the five-year average.
By Celeste Baumgartner