Things are starting to heat up. A lot of machinery is being shuffled around and some corn is almost completely turned, making everyone a little anxious. Aerial photos are being thrown around showing the strengths and weaknesses of the year. Gray leaf spot moved in on the corn late and SDS is present in most bean fields, leaving everyone wondering how much damage it may have caused. With the 90-degree temperatures coming this week, I do not think we will have long to wait to find out.
The wet week that wasn't. After forecasts of 3-plus inches of rain last week, we remained mostly dry. With stalk issues and the timing on soybeans, that may not be all bad. Early soybeans are getting a typical yellow glow with some SDS showing up. Corn is maturing, with some silage being cut and sample moistures in the low to mid-30's. Gray leaf spot got recharged with the high humidity, making some fields look a lot farther along than they are. Time to give everything a once over. Harvest is coming on fast.
A solid rain is keeping things green. Stressed areas of fields (compaction, drainage issues) are showing some problems, but for the most part, plants are looking healthy for this time of year. Even with the abundance of color, this crop is maturing rapidly. Looks like when harvest starts, the healthier hybrids could have green in the stalks and dry grain at the ear. Stalk strength may be a bigger problem this year as ears of some hybrids are falling away from the plant and pointing down, showing a lack of stalk integrity. Soybeans look to be podded well (although shorter than normal), and with the later rains, the fuller season soybean yields may make a run at the earlier variety yields this year. The way things are looking, I do not think we will have to wait long to find out.
The area got its first widespread rain in almost two months. Amounts varied, but more than an inch was common. Rain spurred new weed growth in soybeans, with some fields starting to show some significant weed pressure that will need to be handled by next year’s weed program. Rain will keep the corn going, which could help it dry more naturally rather than just burning up. Rain also reinvigorated gray leaf spot in many fields. It is too late to do much yield damage, but it may affect stalk and plant health.