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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Southern Corn Rust

As if we have not had enough challenges this year what with too wet, too dry, and herbicide issues in abundance, Southern corn rust has moved north much faster than any other year.   Of course if your crops are already burned up as the corn below near Tower Hill,  no treatment may be the best option.  If you have gotten the timely rains, scout and follow treatment options.  Purdue has a good writeup.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Comments on Weather and Crop Report

This week's weather and crop report is interesting.  It shows corn condition slightly better than soybeans.  63% of corn is good to excellent.  59% of corn is good to excellent.  My northern Illinois observer tells me that fields are still very wet.  Southwest and West Southwest regions are both showing lots of inadequate moisture reports.  Moisture is hard to get a real good handle on because showers are very scattered in the dry areas.   It is interesting to note that the dry areas are also the hot areas.  That is a bad combination.  I have seen a lot that is getting worse by the day.  Even some soybeans are beyond help. those areas.  Rain will help on better soils, but there is no rain in the forecast until Friday.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Dying Crops

Not everything looks as below, but crops look worse every time I go to St. Charles Co Mo.  Lots of land to the south if feeling dry weather effects.  Rain next week won't revive dead plants.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Subsoil Moisture

We had septic tank investigations in eastern Fayette County today.  As I drove over there, it was evident that rain had fallen the whole way.  First stop was at St. Elmo.  Judging from about 3 inches of moist topsoil my guess would be they had a half inch of rain or less.  The first 30 inches were fairly dry.  Soil below that was most.  Near Vandalia, soil was dry below the recent rainfall moisture to about 2 feet.  Moisture at those depths is considered available, but it takes more energy for the plants to pump it.  With corn pollinating and soybeans flowering, soil moisture is tenuous at best.  As temperatures rise, uptake can't keep up with evapo-transpiration.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Dry Areas

Last week was pretty good for most of Illinois from a rainfall standpoint, but there were gaps in the West South Central area especially.  Some areas got very little rainfall.  Crops are starting to show a good bit of stress.  The photo below was on some sandy soils in St. Charles County, Mo.  The areas of burned up corn will continue to get larger every day now.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Dicamba Damage Heats Up

Dicamba damage is the buzz in agriculture right now.  New formulations were haled as the answer to drift issues with dicamba.  Industry officials are blaming everything except that dicamba is a bad idea.  Prairie Farmer has published a Monsanto Response that seems to be weak in some ways.  Drift is only one problem.  The field below had damage across the whole field.  That is likely caused by inversion.  We have heard that even a heavy dew on recently sprayed fields can cause a problem.

Some commercial applicators have quit using dicamba because of the issues.  If you continue to use it, be sure to follow label and understand that conditions can change quickly.  You may start a field on label and finish off label.  Dicamba residues in the tank have been blamed in some cases.  I am not sure how often that happens.  This article on what is happening in Illinois seems to cover many of the issues very well.  Monsanto claims that used as directed there should be no problems.  I am not sure I would use it at all.
Cupping indicates dicamba damage. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Hannibal to Hillsboro

We made our return trip yesterday.  Crops on the Illinois leg looked better than Iowa for the most part.  I know that not too far from I 72 conditions are dryer.  The map below is the past 14 days rainfall.  Illinois is in the center.  The blue areas have had less than a half inch.  Some of the blue area are really dry.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Southeast Iowa Crops

We drove across Southeast Iowa this morning.  Irrigation rigs are running in the river bottoms.  Corn is dark green, but most is not yet tasseling.  Some fields had leaf rolling, but none of the corn looked to be beyond the help of a timely rain.  Soybeans are looking good too.  Judging from brown lawns, I would say rain would very welcome.