By Cheri Zagurski
DTN Managing Editor
OMAHA (DTN) -- Midsummer in the Midwest. Corn tassels, soybeans bloom, wheat matures and all is right with the world.
If you're lucky.
If your fields with wet feet dried out in time for the plants to bounce back. If the hail and wind missed your neck of the woods.
It's all about luck.
Here we're sharing some reports from readers in various states. Some are detailing what they see in their own and neighbor's fields. Others have taken windshield crop tours into other states and are reporting from the road. We hope you enjoy reading their reports and if you'd like to be included, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Moore, Manhattan
Weather's been beautiful in northeastern Illinois. We were able to get a small amount of hay up in between storms. Not enough, but I'll take what I can get at this point. Corn is looking great if it's not still under water. First-planted fields are showing some tassels. Early beans are blooming, but I would say that most beans in the area are still struggling from "wet feet." I would think they will be showing signs of growing out of that soon and then they'll take off like the corn. Wheat is getting close; few green spots still noticeable in the stems. Overall, things are looking pretty good.
Cory Ritter, Blue Mound
Just got back from a vacation, and can't believe how much things have changed. I would say 99% of the corn is tasseled. Soybeans are flowering nicely. I spent the morning walking corn, there are some small ears coming on; I used a knife and did 10 early, and I mean really early, yield checks, across our fields and some neighbors, I got an average of 249.8 bpa. We'll see if that can hold up! I hope so!!
Scott Wallis, Princeton
All crops are looking pretty good here in southwest Indiana, having had great weather for pollination; the area has received between 1 and 2 inches in the last 10 days. Close to 75% of the corn is tasseled.
Gerald Gauck, Ripley County
Got our hay up this weekend without any rain; crops still look very good.
Dana Pieper, Palco
We are finished cutting wheat while our neighbors are finishing up. It has been a long harvest but we are SO thankful for the rains that prolong it! Our milo, soybeans, corn and feed in the area look great! Now we just need it to continue to rain. Some of our neighbors had wheat that averaged 45 bushels per acre but they had a lot in their crop. I think the highest yield we had was around 35 bpa. One quarter that we had, missed out on many rains and was followed by soybeans that we had planted last year. I think it only averaged 20 bpa. I am optimistic for the summer/spring crops that are in the field right now. Our cows are especially happy because they have green grass in the pastures to eat and fresh water to drink without us having to haul it to them!
Phil Carter, New Era
Crops here are looking good, Etherl (chemical loosener) is going on tart (sour) cherries this week with harvest expected to start around the 15th. It looks like a fair crop and we're all hoping no storms or high winds come along and knock them on the ground. All the tart cherries are mechanically harvested (tree shakers) due to lack of labor. Mechanical harvesting also produces a higher-quality fruit.
Dave Tollefson, Starbuck
I've been on a trip from western Minnesota through Minneapolis to St. Louis, so observed corn and bean acres along the way through southern Minnesota, eastern Iowa and eastern Missouri. Crops all the way south toward Waterloo, Iowa, are spotty, with unevenness and drowned-out areas. South of there all the way to St. Louis the crops are more even, with tasseling corn south of Mount Pleasant, Iowa, into eastern Missouri. More of the fields looked spectacular for their uniformity, so I can see why we may have record corn yields in the country as a whole. Beans are not as uniform; many of them must have been planted late. Very few fields of beans are "canopied" yet. My earliest-planted beans in central Minnesota compare very nicely to any I saw along the way, but a dry spell of only a week or so will show the sandy areas if the rain shuts off. The only winter wheat harvest was toward St. Louis, only a very few fields harvested or being harvested.
Mark Nowak, Wells
Most everybody around here with drowned-out spots, planted those on Friday and Saturday. Most planted an early soybean variety. Myself and my neighbor planted buckwheat with the hope of a harvestable crop that could be sold for cash flow. If not, buckwheat is a good cover crop to keep weeds down and help soil tilth. As to the GDU (growing degree units) count we lost a little bit last week with 3 pretty cool days. As of July 7 we are now 68 GDUs behind, considering a May 17 planting date, compared to where we should be with a May 1 planting date. So that puts us about 3 1/2 days behind. But the water-stressed areas are much farther behind than that.
Drove to Marcus, Iowa, on Saturday for a family wedding. That is a 170-mile trip one way. Going down I-90 to Worthington there is more fair crop than good crop with plenty of drowned-out holes in most fields in Minnesota. Still only 3%-5% total drown out. Once we headed south on Hwy. 60, things started looking better at the Minnesota-Iowa border. By the time we were 20 miles into Iowa crops looked mostly good to excellent. Most fields of corn were tall, dark green, even stands and very little drowned out. Attending the wedding were brothers-in-law from Holstein and Des Moines and a nephew from Ames. They all said the gut of the Iowa crop looks pretty darn good.
On the way home, I traveled Hwy. 18 and Hwy. 9. Again crops started to look a little inferior about 15 miles south of the Iowa-Minnesota border, although still some very good looking fields. So I would say the assessment of Iowa crops 75% good to excellent is apparently valid. Soybeans also look good as well and are ready to start their growth and blossoming spurt.
Bud Tate, Greenwood
We are down to the last 150 acres of SRW, should finish tomorrow (Tuesday). This is the longest wheat harvest, for so few acres. Amazingly, the test weight held pretty good -- averaged 57 pounds after 10-12 inches of rain (9 inches in one shower). The corn and soybeans look great, but there have been a lot of long hours rolling poly pipe, so my grandson reports; says he will be punching holes in that pipe all of this week. The sweet corn is ready, so we have been putting some in the freezer, the rest has been going on the table with some brown crowder peas w/okra.
Dave Kjelstrup, Underwood
I just finished spraying, latest ever. Really good looking crop, some spots drowned out, got stuck a lot last trip spraying. The ruts will be fun in a combine, my dentist will be busy. Today, I bought hail insurance; have not had it for years. North Dakota has had a lot of hail in the last couple of days, quite a bit of crop damage, but we have not had any so far.
Cheri Zagurski can be reached at email@example.com
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