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Row Crop Roundup - Aug. 21, 2013 (Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee)
 
Michigan
While cooler temperatures have slowed crop progress in Michigan, most field crops continue to look good.

According to last week’s report from the Michigan field office of NASS, producers took advantage of dry conditions to complete wheat harvest and make significant progress on oat harvest. Hay harvest continued, with most second-cutting complete and third-cutting well under way.

Recent rainfall in the Thumb region helped the sugar beet crop add some weight and the crop is being sprayed for the final time. Harvest is on schedule to begin in mid-September.
The majority of the state’s dry beans are blooming and nearly 50 percent have set pods, down from 91 percent at this time last year.
In his weekly crop report, Paul Gross, Michigan State University extension educator in Isabella County, expressed concern about the impacts cooler than normal temperatures may have on corn.
“The corn crop varies widely, with early-planted fields approaching the milk stage while later fields have not tasseled. Yield prospects will vary with planting date. The crop is in need of warm weather,” he reported.

“Insect and disease problems are at very low levels. There are some nutrient deficiencies in problem areas of fields.”
However, soybeans seem to be handling the cooler temperatures better than corn. “The rains over the past two weeks have been just enough for good pod fill. Plants are shorter than normal, but pod set is good,” Gross reported.

Vegetables are progressing, but recent weather conditions are conducive to the spread of powdery and downy mildew on vine crops. Virus symptoms continue to appear in many vine crops throughout the southwest, especially on pumpkins and cucumbers. Tomato late blight has been found in the southern region of the state.

By Shelly Strautz-Springborn
Michigan Correspondent

Kentucky

It has been referred to as the summer that never was; while there have been periods of summer-like weather, for the most part temperatures have been below normal while precipitation has been well above normal, making for some interesting crop reports.
The latest information from the NASS Kentucky field office reported most crops in good shape. In fact, the latest monthly report estimates record or near-record production levels for corn and soybeans.

Kentucky corn was rated, as of the Aug. 13 report, 1 percent very poor, 2 percent poor, 9 percent fair, 43 percent good and 45 percent excellent. The news for soybeans was about the same. The crop condition was rated 2 percent poor, 11 percent fair, 56 percent good and 31 percent excellent.

For tobacco producers, the news wasn’t quite as good. Weather that has been suitable for good grain production has left many tobacco farmers struggling to get a good crop in. The latest season long production numbers indicate a drop in burley production this year by 2 percent; this, in a year when the numbers were expected to go up.

Yield was projected at 1,900 pounds per acre, down 150 pounds from the 2012 crop, according to NASS. Throughout the Burley Belt, the news is similar. Production this year is expected to be down by 5 percent from last year’s crop due to decreased yields.

Dark fire-cured tobacco production is projected to increase substantially, however; NASS projections show a 17 percent increase over 2012 numbers. Overall, the condition of set tobacco was rated as 5 percent very poor, 10 percent poor, 25 percent fair, 47 percent good and 13 percent excellent.

The NASS report noted pasture conditions were reported as 3 percent poor, 15 percent fair, 56 percent good and 26 percent excellent.
By Tim Thornberry
Kentucky Correspondent

Tennessee

Although Tennessee had above-average rainfall during the week ending Aug. 11, many crops did well. Farmers could see an exceptional crop harvest this fall, according to the weekly crop report from NASS.

Corn and soybeans were rated in good to excellent condition, with corn being forecast to reach 146 bushels per acre, which is only 2 bushels under the record of 148 set in 2009. Additionally, the average cotton yield is expected to reach a record 979 pounds of lint per acre, the report stated.

Farmers’ efforts to control pests and weeds during the week were hampered by the rain, and only three days were suitable for fieldwork. Even so, temperatures throughout most of the state were normal.

Topsoil moisture levels were rated 1 percent short, 65 percent adequate and 34 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels were rated 2 percent short, 74 percent adequate and 24 percent surplus, according to NASS, NWS and the University of Tennessee extension.
“All crops are progressing well. The corn crop is looking good, beans are progressing well and cotton is doing okay, but could use some warm, sunny days. Who would ever expect to see water standing in some row middles in early August? Just proves every year is different and hard to predict,” reported extension agent Tim Campbell of Dyer County.

“Of course, this is ideal weather for soybeans and corn, but for cotton it’s not so good. We are just not getting the upper temperatures needed for optimal cotton growth and the excess moisture, combined with nitrogen, can cause excessive vegetative growth. Cattle are in great condition, and this weather is ideal for pastures,” stated Lauderdale County’s JC Dupree.

“The crops are shaping up to produce a bountiful harvest. Plant bugs are continuing to be a problem in cotton. Producers are constantly spraying for pigweeds as the showers continue to produce flushes of the weed,” reported Walter Battle, Haywood County.

“It has been a very unusual week in August. Rainfall has occurred every day this week, with high temperatures hitting the mid-90s only once,” Jeff Lannom of Weakley County said. “Corn is maturing slowly, and July-planted soybeans are struggling to grow due to wet soil conditions and cloudy days.”

By Tesa Nauman
Tennessee Correspondent
8/22/2013