This past week in Nebraska has been a tough one! Triple digit temperatures along with limited rainfall has depleted the soil moisture and caused crop conditions to decline. According to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Nebraska Field Office, soil moisture levels are at 21% adequate. The five-year average shows 85% of soils have adequate moisture at this time of the year.
Corn and soybeans aren’t the only things under stress in these conditions. A lot of livestock has been sold recently due to depleted pastures and low availability of hay. Alfalfa yields are slightly off their historic average, but this is to be expected as much of Nebraska hasn’t seen rainfall since June 20.
Latham Hi-Tech Seeds has an excellent forage program, and our 2013 lineup offers many types of alfalfa for a variety of situations. Latham’s new LH 9200 is leaf-hopper resistant, and our new LH 9700 has an extraordinary disease package and is highly resistant to Aphanomyces Root Rot Races 1 and 2. Latham® LH 9100 Prolific II is more persistent and productive in areas not considered optimal for hay production.
Wildfires have started up in North Central Nebraska since Thursday night. They’ve already burnt 150,000 acres and continue to spread northeast.
On a positive note, I ran across a field of LH 6255 VT3 in the hills under dryland conditions. It was 20 kernels around and looked very well under these conditions. To sum it up, we’re about a month ahead on heat units and about a month and a half behind in rainfall.