Weather Continues to Challenge Crops

During the week ending June 29th, 2014, as warm, wet weather continued to make fields difficult to work and hay a challenge to dry according to the USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Region. Average temperatures ranged from 71 to 80 degrees, or one to eight degrees above normal. The lowest recorded temperature for the week was 59 degrees; the highest, 94 degrees. The statewide average temperature for the week was 75.9 degrees, 3.0 degrees above normal. Recorded precipitation ranged from 0.25 to 3.55 inches, with a statewide average of 1.47 inches.

By region, winter wheat mature was 90% in South, 58% in Central, and 23% in North. Winter wheat harvested was 64% in South, only 9% in Central, and still 0% for North region. Soybeans blooming was 22% in Central, followed by 12% in North and just 3% in South.

Despite heavy downpours on Monday, a fair amount of spraying, sidedressing and hay cutting was conducted this week, especially over the weekend. Conditions were excellent for the growth of all crops and pasture, although rains in counties hit hardest by storms have knocked down a small part of the wheat crop. Weeds were growing vigorously as well in many places, with weeks of rain having delayed herbicide spraying past usual. Head blight in wheat has been reported in the South, leading some farmers to prep for fungicide application. Other activities included certifying acres with the FSA and mowing roadsides.

Similar conditions have been reported in other areas of the corn belt. The majority of Iowa and Nebraska received two to four inches of rain last week. The 10-day forecast estimates higher than average rainfall for the upper Midwest, with the 30 and 90-day forecasts suggesting above average rainfall in the west and average rainfall through the rest of the Corn Belt.

Seventy-five percent of Indiana corn was rated in good to excellent condition, while 70% of Indiana soybeans were rated in the same way. Winter wheat was rated as 59% mature with 28% harvested and 65% rated as good to excellent.

Nationally the USDA estimated corn conditions at 75% of the crop rated “Good” or “Excellent”, a 1% increase from the previous week and a 8% increase from last year. 20% was considered “Fair” down 1% from last week, while only 5% was considered “Poor” or “Very Poor.” Corn silking was reported for the first time this year with 5% reported in the silking stage. This is a 2% increase from last year, but 4% behind the five-year average.

Soybean emergence was reported at 94%, a 4% increase from last week and even with the five-year average. Soybean conditions were reported with 72% of the crop in “Good” or “Excellent” condition, unchanged from last week, but up 5% from last year. 23% was reported in “Fair” condition, while only 5% was reported as “Poor” or “Very Poor.” Soybeans blooming was reported for the first time this week, 10% of the crop was reported bloomed, up 7% from last year, and even with the five-year average.

The winter wheat crop was reported 43% harvested, up 10% from last week, but 5% behind the five-year average. There were no changes in the conditions report for wheat, 30% rated “Good” or “Excellent”, 26% rated “Fair”, and 44% rated “Poor” or “Very Poor.”

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