Dodge & Washington Counties Crop Tour – May 17, 2016

2016 Crop Tour Route for Dodge and Washington counties.

2016 Crop Tour Route for Dodge and Washington counties (shows roads, towns, and soil associations in white lines) with Nathan Mueller.

Six agronomic issues to check out this week in your fields or just learn about:

  1. Scout early planted corn fields for damping off and final stand.
  2. Learn how long it can take for corn to emerge after planting.
  3. Don’t let them cut your yield, scout certain fields for cutworms/armyworms.
  4. Why do corn plants turn purple sometimes?
  5. Do your homework on controlling marestail before you plant soybeans.
  6. Check bean leaf beetle pressure on emerging soybeans (not a lot fields, but a few)

Join me next time, June 6 and 7, during the tour on twitter and read the final crop tour report here again.

During this 175 mile crop tour, I cover the 9 major landscape/soil regions of Dodge and Washington counties. My goal is to assess current crop conditions and progress, highlight agronomic concerns, and help you the farmer do what you do, #grow16!

Region 1: Platte River Valley (Fremont, Ames, & North Bend)

Paster

Stop 25: An irrigated tilled corn-after-corn field with both well drained and somewhat poorly drained soils did haves some corn seedling damping off issues. You can read more about this in a recent CropWatch Article on seedling diseases developing in corn. The corn growth stage was V2 (explanation of corn growth stages) based on the collar method. I will always use the collar method for corn growth and development during these crops tours.

 

Stop 24: Early planted corn after soybeans, tilled pivot irrigated.

Stop 24: An irrigated tilled corn-after-soybean field on Gibbon silty clay loam soils looked good considering the wet weather, already at the V2 growth stage.  A representative location (1/1000 of an acre, or 17 ft 5 inches of row length in 30″ wide rows, two adjacent rows or 34 ft 10 inches) had 29,000 plants per acre (ppa).

Region 2: Fillmore Flats (central Dodge County)

Figure : Stop 23, Bean leaf beetles hiding in an alfalfa field.

Stop 23: Scout early emerging soybeans for bean leaf beetles as I found bean leaf beetles hiding in an alfalfa field that will be moving to soybeans soon. 

 

Strip-till irrigated corn-after-corn field just starting to emerge

Stop 22: Strip-till irrigated corn-after-corn field just starting to emerge.

 

Dryland no-till corn after soybeans emerging after 128 GDDs, planted May 6.

Stop 21: Dryland no-till corn-after-soybeans emerging after 128 GDDs, planted May 6.

Region 3: Nora Hills (Dodge & Snyder)

Paste

Stop 19: Dryland tilled corn-after-soybean field emerging. Corn was just starting to emerge like many in fields planted May 6, 7 or 8 in Dodge and Washington counties.

 

paste

Stop 18: Like many fields in Dodge and Washington counties, water is still running out from hillside seeps. Many of these seeps are new ones according to some area farmers. Corn was just starting to emerge in this irrigated no-till corn-after-soybean field. Some farmers in the area have adopted temporary grass/small grain waterways to help control gully erosion in no-till fields. This was a practice I first was exposed back in Indiana in 2007 when I worked for the Indiana State Department of Ag.

Region 4: Thurman Dunes (north of Scribner)

First evidence of cutworm damage in a corn field during the tour.

Stop 17: First evidence of cutworm damage in a corn field during the tour. This is a no-till corn-after-soybean field on with sandy soils. For more information on moth traps and cutworm activity visit Insect Pheronome Trap Reports 2016 on CropWatch.

Region 5: Moody Hills (southeast of Uehling)

pas

Stop 16: Dryland no-till corn-after-soybean field just starting to emerge.

 

Corn planted

Stop 15: Corn planted no-till into a cover crop was just starting to emerge.

 

May 17 2016 Crop Tour 061

Stop 14: No-till soybeans-after-corn just starting to emerge.

 

No-till

Stop 12: This no-till corn-after-soybean field on a well-drained south-facing hillside had an average plant population of 25,000 at the V2 growth stage. This field had an excellent stand as the seeding rate was close to 26,000. 

Region 6: Elkhorn River Valley (Scribner, Hooper, Winslow, Nickerson, Arlington)

Poor stand

Stop 20: I knew some of these acres would be out there.  About a quarter of this irrigated tilled corn-after-soybean field will need to be replanted.  This field was planted prior to the rains that started on April 18.  For more information on the decision to replant corn, read this recent CropWatch Q and A article on should I keep my initial corn stand or replant and watch the Market Journal segment below.

Damping off

Stop 13: Corn was in the V2-V3 growth stage with an average plant population 31,000/acre. Unfortunately, damping off (fungal disease) was affecting this tilled irrigated corn-after-corn field just as we saw in Stop 25 in the Platte River Valley.

 

Stop 1: sandy soil

Stop 1: Dryland no-till corn-after-soybean field with sandy soils along Elkhorn River had an average stand of 27,500 ppa with a seeding rate around 28k. Corn plants were purple, which can be a symptom of phosphorus deficiency.  Some hybrids are more prone to turning purple than others during cool weather too. Have you ever wondered why corn plants turn purple.  It is from the formation of a purple pigment called anthocyanin that results from from the buildup of sugars. Bob Nielsen, who was one of my speakers at the 2016 Fremont Corn Expo, has a nice article on this purple phenomenon

Region 7: Ponca Hills (Kennard, Washington)

Stop 11: A tilled seedbed for this stand establishment of this new seeding alfalfa . Generally we overseed alfalfa and the stand self-thins during the first year down to 9 to 12 plants per square foot.

Stop 11: This new seeding alfalfa is off and growing with some with weed pressure. Agronomy Fact: We generally plant to much alfalfa seed and new seeding alfalfa stands naturally self-thin during the first year, meaning 60% of the plants will die. 

 

Stop 5: soybeans

Stop 5: One of the few fields on the tour where I could clearly seed green rows of soybeans from the road. This field was planted with 20″ rows into a tilled seedbed after corn. Even though seed treatments do provide protection from early bean leaf beetles, high populations of beetles can still overwhelm plant growth and cause defoliation.  It never hurts to check! I did take picture of a bean leaf beetle at Stop 22 in Region 2: Fillmore Flats Region.

 

Stop 4:

Stop 4: Good, bad, or otherwise I saw a lot unplanted soybean fields with marestail already bolting.  This farmer had a disk parked on the field edge, but if you plan to go no-till and use herbicides to burndown these 6″ native weeds, make sure you do your homework.  Your options after the soybeans emerge are limited.  Get a copy of the Nebraska Extension 2016 Weed Guide at the Blair or Fremont Nebraska Extension office. FYI, killing bolted marestail was tough last year even with 2,4-D.

 

 

 

Stop 3:

Stop 3: So did the corn look bigger with or without the residue?  We use air temperature to calculate corn growing degree days, but germination, emergence, and growth of corn up to the V6 (6 collars) growth stage is affected by soil temperature too. You may have heard that it takes 100-120 GDDs from planting to emergence… but it can take longer.  If you want all the details, read a CropWatch article I wrote with Roger Elmore last year on growing degree units and corn emergence.

 

Stop 2.

Stop 2: Alfalfa is starting to bloom and some growers have started first cutting.

Region 8: Missouri River Valley  (Herman, Blair, Ft. Calhoun)

Stop 9:

Stop 9: Early planted corn fields on poorly drained soils in the valley had variable stands with this wet spring. This dryland tilled corn-after-soybean field had 15,000 ppa in some areas and 29,000 ppa in others. 

 

May 17 2016 Crop Tour 036

Stop 8: This irrigated field with well-drained soils looked great with an average of 34,000 ppa and corn already at the V3 (3 collar) growth stage.

 

Stop 7:

Stop 7: This dryland tilled corn-after-soybean field had 28,000 ppa in most areas with some poorer stands near the surface drains.

Region 9: Ida Bluffs (west of Blair & Herman)

Stop 10:

Stop 10: With relatively few days available for planting and spraying, planting came first for this field where the corn was just starting to emerge.  The field was sprayed within the past few days by the looks of it.

 

Stop 6:

Stop 6: These no-till soybeans in 30″ rows are on their way up. Research done at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has shown that the ideal planting depth for soybeans is 1.75″ deep. Read more in a CropWatch article on Soybean Planting Depth: Consider Planting Deeper.

You reached the end of the May 17, 2016 Crop Tour of Dodge & Washington Counties.

Remember… six agronomic issues to check out this week in your fields or just learn about:

  1. Scout early planted corn fields for damping off and final stand.
  2. Learn how long it can take for corn to emerge after planting.
  3. Don’t let them cut your yield, scout certain fields for cutworms/armyworms.
  4. Why do corn plants turn purple sometimes?
  5. Do your homework on controlling marestail before you plant soybeans.
  6. Check bean leaf beetle pressure on emerging soybeans (not a lot fields, but a few)

Join me next time, June 6 and 7, during the tour on twitter and read the final crop tour report here again.

Dodge & Washington Counties Crop Tour – May 17, 2016
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