With every day that passes, the need for rain increases. Just 4% of our state’s corn crop is rated as “excellent” in the crop report issued July 16 by U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dry conditions have greatly impacted the hay crop. Even the fields that had been looking good are starting to show the effects of high heat and low moisture. Now some fields are also facing pressure from corn rootworm beetles and soybean aphids. Walk your fields and see if the current conditions warrant any applications.
Crop conditions are quite uneven across South Dakota with the Highmore area is doing well but the Gettysburg and Onida areas struggling. From Watertown and north, moisture levels are just fine. Crops even 70 miles west of there are doing well. It’s a different story, however, from Highway 281 at Mellette, SD, north to Aberdeen. That area is so dry that the corn is curling up in most fields by 3:30 p.m. The amount of rain in this area has been next to nothing since late May. Many farmers in this area are baling their wheat crop because it’s not harvestable.
With the early planting season this year, crop progress remains well ahead of the 5-year average. Corn was 95% emerged with an average height of 7 inches, which is well ahead of the 5-year average by 4 inches. Soybeans are 93% planted with 65% emerged, which is ahead of the 5-year average with 30% emerged.