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Row Crop Roundup


A steady rain saturated most of the state and, combined with the heat and humidity, corn is looking good and soybeans are looking better – but hay is tough to harvest.

Brian Troyer of Coldwater said, "Lots of rain came across the state and just in time, as the Thumb area was really getting dry. Now the corn in that area is up and soybeans are coming on, and are looking good. A few people are still trying to finish up first-cutting hay while others have started on second-cutting, hoping to get it up before the second round of showers hit."

James DeDecker of Michigan State University extension reported much of the winter wheat in the north-central region is flowering, and some has nearly completed pollination. In alfalfa, a number of forage producers in the northeast have begun to harvest their first cutting of hay, but the majority of acres remain standing due to weather delays.

According to DeDecker, corn in the region ranges in development from the two-leaf to six-leaf stages. Root growth, nutrient uptake and leaf color are generally improving thanks to recent rain and slightly improved soil temperatures. Those fields that are not greening up are beginning to show signs of possible nutrient deficiencies.

Soybean development remains highly variable across the region and within individual fields. The earliest beans have three fully emerged trifoliate leaves, while other plants just sprouted.

Fred Springborn of MSU extension said in the west-central region of the state corn growth advanced rapidly last week. There are still a number of fields that are behind, but overall the crop appears to be on track.

He said soybeans are advancing, with most fields having 2-3 trifoliates expanded. As with corn, weed control seems to be the primary challenge. Alfalfa growth is progressing and most second-cutting is 24-30 inches in height; however, there is a significant amount of first-cutting still around, in full bloom.

In south-central Michigan, corn is thriving with the heat and humidity and the wheat is turning, signaling that harvest will soon be here.

By Melissa Hart
Michigan Correspondent


Some fields in parts of Indiana were too wet for farmers to work after heavy rains the last couple of weeks, according to the latest Indiana Crop & Weather report from the Great Lakes region of the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

In Jasper County, there has been quite a bit of ponding and some erosion from heavy rains, said Bryan Overstreet, the county’s Purdue University extension director and educator for agriculture and natural resources. The county has seen almost double the amount of rain it would normally have for June, he noted.

"You couldn’t get across the fields now if you tried," Overstreet said. "Some fields were replanted once and they’re flooded out again. Farmers need to get spraying done, and they can’t get across their fields. We have been fortunate that we haven’t had too much hail or high winds."

Palmer amaranth has been seen in some fields in the county, but the wet weather has hindered farmers wanting to spray to get rid of it, Overstreet explained.

Statewide, 100 percent of the field corn crop had emerged, the same as last year at this time, according to NASS. The five-year average is 99 percent.

For soybeans, 91 percent had emerged, up slightly from 89 percent a year ago. The five-year average is 87 percent. Ninety-six percent of the crop was planted, the same as last year and above the five-year average of 94 percent.

Farmers had harvested 13 percent of the winter wheat crop, up from 6 percent last year and down from the five-year average of 22 percent. Crop conditions for winter wheat, field corn, soybeans and range and pasture were rated 94-95 percent fair to excellent.

By Michele F. Mihaljevich
Indiana Correspondent


Just as the USDA was getting ready to release its latest big report on crop and stock estimates this week, southern Illinois farmer Lowell Davidson walked through a few rows of his corn stand and smiled.

"Sure hope I’m not jinxing anything, but things sure look pretty good right now," said Davidson, who this year has about 200 acres of corn and another 120 acres of soybeans. "I got off to a little later start, but things have gone well since I’ve been in the ground. Right amount of moisture, nice growing temperatures; now we hopefully will get more of the same."

Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel believes Davidson’s hope for continued good weather conditions likely will come true. Long-range forecasts for most of the state calls for normal temperatures and average amounts of precipitation, with a chance of a slightly drier July.

"We usually have that dip during July and sometimes into August, but this season looks much more like one which will have average conditions overall," Angel said. Drought-like conditions are off the table, as are any indications of an extremely wet early summer, he said.

The latest NASS report for Illinois crops supports the USDA’s early prediction for record yields this season, particularly for soybeans. With beans emerged at 93 percent, ahead of the five-year average of 86 percent, nearly three-quarters of the crop statewide through the week ending June 22 was rated as good or excellent.

Corn was rated even higher, at 78 percent good or excellent, according to NASS. Wheat harvesting also kicked into high gear, with about 20 percent of the winter crop harvested by June 22.

The favorable weather conditions overall even has pasture conditions in great shape, with about 72 percent of all pasture ground rated as good or excellent.

By Steve Binder
Illinois Correspondent