- Where farm decision-makers start their day

« Back to main

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Cornbelt Crops: Highly Variable in Size, Ponds, and Weediness


The 2013 crop may be closely compared to some circus performers.  There are some midgets and some performers on stilts.  Some corn plants are just emerging and some are beginning to show silks. Some of the crops resemble a finely tuned racing machine, while others are in dire need of repair. Moisture conditions are also all over the scale, with a few dry conditions and others that have had standing water since the snow melted.  However, many states indicate that crops are improving and looking like a large abundant crop should look at this time of the year.


USDA’s weekly crop progress and condition report for the 12 Cornbelt states indicates wide variations in the development of crops, much of which can be blamed on excessive moisture, which not only delayed planting, but also created an excess number of ponds and prevented regularly scheduled weed control measures.


ILLINOIS: Days suitable for fieldwork 3.2. Topsoil moisture 1% short, 72% adequate, 27% surplus. Subsoil moisture 1% short, 80% adequate, 19% surplus. Corn height 32 in., 62 in. 2012, 47 in. avg.  Corn conditions were rated as 2 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 24 percent fair, 52 percent good, and 17 percent excellent. Soybeans emerged progressed to 93 percent. Soybean conditions were rated as 1 percent very poor, 4 percent poor, 23 percent fair, 58 percent good, and 14 percent excellent. Another wet week was in store for farmers due to excess rainfalls. The humidity increased as a result of temperatures rising. Farmers were unable to continue working in the field due to the rain. Corn and soybean growth, however, has improved and appears to be looking much better. The big concern this past week was all of the weeds that have rapidly grown and been spotted in soybean fields. Precipitation averaged 1.88 inches throughout the State, 0.94 inches above normal.

INDIANA:  Days suitable for fieldwork 3.1. Topsoil moisture 1% short, 63% adequate, 36% surplus. Subsoil moisture 3% short, 75% adequate, 22% surplus.  Corn condition improved and is rated 79 percent good to excellent compared with 19 percent last year at this time.   Planting of soybeans is nearing completion in most areas with the exception of some southern counties and double cropped acreage. Ninety-six percent of the soybean acreage has emerged compared with 100 percent last year and 93 percent for the 5-year average. Soybean condition is rated 74 percent good to excellent compared with 20 percent last year at this time. Precipitation ranged from 0.50 to 5.23 inches. Thunderstorms moved across the State during the week causing some wind damage and flash flooding. Some southern counties received heavy rainfall leaving standing water in many crop fields. The major field crops showed good growth with the warm temperatures early in the week and ample moisture.

IOWA: Days suitable for fieldwork 4.1. Topsoil moisture 1% short, 66% adequate and 33% surplus. Subsoil moisture 2% short, 67% adequate and 31% surplus. Warmer and mostly dryer conditions during the week allowed Iowa farmers to near completion of corn and soybeans planting.  With 99 percent of the corn crop in the ground, Iowa farmers have virtually wrapped up planting. Ninety-six percent of the corn crop has emerged, about 3 weeks behind normal. The warmer weather helped the condition of corn and the good to excellent rating increased 3 percentage points from last week. Corn condition was rated 3 percent very poor, 11 percent poor, 29 percent fair, 44 percent good and 13 percent excellent. Ninety-six percent of the soybean crop has been planted, about two weeks later than it normally takes soybeans to reach that mark. Eighty-nine percent of the soybean crop has emerged; 8 percentage points behind the five-year average. Soybeans also benefitted from the warmer weather, with condition ratings improving slightly, to 3 percent very poor, 9 percent poor, 32 percent fair, 45 percent good and 11 percent excellent.

KANSAS: Days Suitable for field work 6.3. Topsoil moisture 17% very short, 31% short, 50% adequate, 2% surplus. Subsoil moisture 24% very short, 31% short, 44% adequate, and 1% surplus.  Corn silking was 3 percent, behind 42 last year and 20 average. Corn condition rated 2 percent very poor, 7 poor, 32 fair, 50 good, and 9 excellent.   Soybean planting advanced to 95 percent complete, behind 100 last year but equal to 95 average. The crop was 89 percent emerged, behind 97 last year but near 90 average. The crop was 1 percent blooming, behind 14 last year and 7 average. Condition rated 1 percent very poor, 2 poor, 30 fair, 63 good, and 4 excellent.

MICHIGAN: Days suitable for fieldwork 4. Topsoil 0% very short, 6% short, 59% adequate, 35% surplus. Subsoil 0% very short, 7% short, 69% adequate, 24% surplus. Nearly all areas of State received some rainfall last week. Upper Peninsula and northern lower peninsula rainfall totals over past 4 weeks remain below average, while southern lower peninsula remains above average. Ponding continued to be a problem and fields water logged. Heavy rains Thursday southern Michigan caused erosion and some crop damage. Given near constant moisture southern Michigan, disease pressure has probability to be great. Corn and soybean condition remained good as long as fields not swamped.  Corn is rated 21% excellent and 55% good.  Soybeans are rated 16% excellent and 48% good.  All of the soybeans have emerged.

MINNESOTA: Days suitable for fieldwork 4.1. Topsoil moisture 0% Very Short, 1% Short, 74% Adequate, and 25% Surplus. Subsoil moisture 0% Very Short, 5% Short, 74% Adequate, and 21% Surplus.   Ninety-seven percent of the corn crop has emerged. Corn grew an average of 7 inches statewide and was 17 inches tall, compared to 47 inches last year, and the average of 32 inches. Corn condition decreased slightly to 58 percent good or excellent compared to the previous week’s 59 percent. Soybean planting is nearly finished at 96 percent complete, while emergence advanced 12 percentage points to 93 percent emerged. The average soybean height was 5 inches tall, compared with last year’s 12 inches and the average of 9 inches. Soybean conditions also declined slightly to 2 percent very poor, 6 percent poor, 33 percent fair, 53 percent good, and 6 percent excellent.

MISSOURI: Days suitable for fieldwork 5.6. Topsoil moisture 8% short, 82% adequate, 10% surplus. Subsoil moisture supply 5% short, 87% adequate, 8% surplus. Crop conditions improved with continued warm weather and scattered showers. Corn silked was 7 percent complete, 18 days behind last year and 10 day behind normal (5-year average). Corn condition was 2 percent very poor, 7 percent poor, 32 percent fair, 49 percent good, and 10 percent excellent. Soybean planting was 93 percent complete, 20 days behind last year but 2 days ahead of normal. The southwest district increased 26 points to 60 percent complete. Soybeans were 80 percent emerged, 16 days behind last year and 2 days behind normal. Soybean blooming was 1 percent complete. Soybean condition was 2 very poor, 6 percent poor, 33 percent fair, 53 percent good, and 6 percent excellent.

NEBRASKA: Days suitable for fieldwork 5.9 days. Topsoil moisture 9% very short, 32% short, 58% adequate, 1% surplus. Subsoil moisture 23% very short, 35% short, 42% adequate, 0% surplus. Corn conditions rated 0 percent very poor, 3 poor, 19 fair, 62 good, 16 excellent.  Soybean conditions rated 0 percent very poor, 2 poor, 20 fair, 66 good, and 12 excellent. Soybeans emerged were 97 percent, compared to last year’s 100 and 99 average.  Two percent of the crop was blooming, behind 23 last year and 9 average For the week ending June 30, 2013, above normal temperatures combined with limited rainfall across the western two-thirds of Nebraska to stress spring planted crops and limit pasture growth. Rainfall amounts of up to an inch were common across much of the eastern third of the State.

NORTH DAKOTA: Days suitable for fieldwork were 6.0. Topsoil moisture 0% very short, 6% short, 69% adequate, 25% surplus. Subsoil moisture 0% very short, 4% short, 76% adequate, 20% surplus. Corn emerged was 97 percent, slightly behind 100 last year and 100 average. Condition rated 1 percent very poor, 3 poor, 22 fair, 59 good, and 15 excellent.  Soybean planting was 95 percent complete, behind last year at 100 and 100 average.  Emerged was at 88 percent, behind 2012 at 100 and 99 average. Condition rated 1 percent very poor, 3 poor, 24 fair, 60 good, and 12 excellent.   Warmer, drier conditions across much of the State helped advance crop development. Producers were busy wrapping up planting for the season.

OHIO:  suitable for fieldwork 3. Topsoil 0% very short, 5% short, 62% adequate, 33% surplus. Subsoil 0% very short, 5% short, 75% adequate, 20% surplus. All hay 1% very poor, 5% poor, 25% fair, 55% good, 14% excellent. It rained for much of the week throughout the State, providing needed moisture to areas that were too dry, but also causing spot flooding in low lying areas. There were some reports of crop damage to wheat and corn in the northeastern part of State due to high winds and hail. Corn and soybeans are growing rapidly due to warm, wet weather.  Corn is rated 30% excellent and 55% in good condition.  1% of the corn is silked, compared to 3% for the five year average.  100% of the soybeans have emerged, ahead of the five year average of 97%.

SOUTH DAKOTA: Days suitable for fieldwork 5.7. Topsoil moisture 2% very short, 11% short, 75% adequate, 12% surplus. Subsoil moisture 1% very short, 22% short, 68% adequate, 9% surplus. Barley jointed 97%, 100% 2012, 87% average.  Corn condition rated 1 percent very poor, 2 poor, 27 fair, 57 good, and 13 excellent. Soybean emerged was at 96 percent, behind last year at 100 but near 97 average. Condition rated 1 percent very poor, 3 poor, 29 fair, 54 good, and 13 excellent.  Dry conditions and above normal temperatures across most areas of the State helped crop development this week.

WISCONSIN: Days suitable for fieldwork 2.8. Topsoil moisture 0% very short, 1% short, 56% adequate, and 43% surplus. Subsoil moisture 0% very short, 1% short, 68% adequate, and 31% surplus. Average corn height (in.) 20in., 38in. 2012, 30in. avg.  Corn planting has ended for most due to the lateness of the season. Reporters commented that acres intended for corn and not yet planted will be switched to soybeans or other forage crops wherever possible. Some low-lying areas reportedly will be left fallow for the year.  Corn was 96 percent planted, 92 percent emerged, and 20 inches tall on average. Most reporters noted that corn will be knee high for the fourth of July in their area. However, some commented that corn in low-lying areas was yellowing or getting drowned out. Soybeans were 93 percent planted and 85 percent emerged. As with corn, soybeans were showing moisture stress in low-lying areas. Though northern Wisconsin had a few clear days for fieldwork, southern Wisconsin received rain nearly every day this week. The ground was so saturated in some areas that even a small amount of precipitation left water standing in fields. Localized heavy rains exacerbated the situation; some reporters noted up to 11 inches of rain received over the week in their area. Flooding and water damage to crops were reported across the State, and particularly in southwest and south-central Wisconsin. The Madison weather station recorded 10.86 inches of rain in June, only 0.07 inches behind the record high of 10.93 inches in June, 2008. Nearly half of those recorded inches fell in the past week. Weed control was hampered by wet conditions, with high weed pressure reported in many areas

Posted by Stu Ellis on 07/03 at 09:53 PM | Permalink

Post a comment





SPAM? Leave this blank unless you are a spam-bot.


Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?