According to the USDA, NASS, Minnesota Field Office, average temperatures across the state were 3 degrees above normal again last week. Precipitation amounts varied, ranging from nearly a quarter of an inch in the southwest to more than 3 inches around Glencoe. Topsoil moisture supplies improved: 18% rated very short, 32% short, 47% adequate, and 3% surplus, as compared to 21% very short, 35% short, 40% adequate, and 4% surplus the previous week.
Corn was 56% at the milk stage or beyond, compared to 18%for the five-year average. Soybeans were 94 percent blooming, compared to 77% for the five-year average. The corn crop was rated 77% in fair to good condition.
The soybean crop as of Monday was rated 81%in fair to good condition. Now is the time to scout soybean fields for aphids. I’m hearing reports of threshold counts of 250 aphids/ plant in the Willmar and Windom areas with spraying is underway in Kandiyohi County.
Much of southeast North Dakota received enough rain over the past week to keep crops growing. Rainfall amounts south of I-94 varied between 2 and 5 inches. Hopefully, this rain will help pods fill and minimize earlier damage from heat stress. Due to hot and dry weather, there is a significant number of 2-bean pods. Fewer pods per plant and fewer beans per pod will have a major effect on yield. To help protect what yield there is, keep scouting for soybean aphids. Aphid populations can increase rapidly under ideal conditions.
The hot, dry weather is also taking a toll on the corn crop. Where soils got extremely dry, the corn never produced ears. Where they did set ears, the kernels are filling and it doesn’t appear there are many missing due to high temperatures during pollination. The North Dakota Ag Weather Network (NDAWN site) in Lisbon shows we’re about 220 growing degree units (GDU’s) above normal and are accumulating more at the rate of 22-25 per day.
Hot weather continues but there are some areas that have been picking up some much needed rainfall. These rains are by no means a drought ender, but the raindrops have helped life spirits. Sometimes even a tenth or two tenths there makes you smile.
Scouting is ongoing for soybean aphids and spider mites. Aphid populations are still low and there has been very little activity on spraying for them. Lower pods are forming and there are still blossoms on the plants, but we are monitoring soybean growth to see what affect the dry weather is having on pod abortion or if the plant can hold on to them through maturity.
Even with the hot weather it looks like there is a pretty good kernel set on the corn ears. There is always a concern that under hot weather the pollen can dry out before it hits the silks or the drought can delay silk emergence till the pollen shed is nearly over but the fields I have walked through I have only noticed a few missing kernels.
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