By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Mid-Term Summer Crop Report Card
Placeholder Image

August will be here shortly and even though the drought persists, conditions are much better than a year ago at this time. The final grade on this year’s summer crops comes will be yield and quality. But as everyone in school knows, mid-term grades give you an idea of where you are at. With that in mind, what are the mid-term grades for this year’s summer crops?
* Corn – B+. If you compare this year’s corn to last year’s it’s an A+. While the crop is significantly behind schedule due to cool spring temperatures and late planting, overall things are looking good. Even with the occasional periods of high temperatures, the crop has benefitted from higher humidity and timely rains. While a few dryland fields, especially on the sands, are in poor condition, overall pollination took place under much better conditions than last year. This combined with the overall moderate temperatures and timely rains during much of the vegetative growth period and early grain set have left the area with at least an average corn crop. Last year, even under irrigation, the extended period of high temperatures with low humidity and almost no rainfall resulted in poor to fair irrigated yields and in many cases nonexistent dryland yields. The weather pattern appears more moderate with temperatures ideal for grain development combined with more frequent rainfall. The only downside is that harvest will likely be later than normal and may push producers going back to wheat a bit.
* Grain Sorghum – A. Last year, sorghum harvest was overall poor or nonexistent. Many fields were baled. This year most sorghum is thriving and some is even starting to head out, again under almost ideal conditions. Even though sorghum, like corn, is late, unless there is an early freeze, the crop should reach maturity with little problem provided it flowers in the next three weeks. Yield potential appears excellent and little pest pressure with the exception of weeds is evident. The only drawback is that producers wanting to go back to wheat may be pushed to go get the wheat planted in a timely manner.
* Soybeans – B to B+. This depends on dryland vs. irrigated fields. While planted late, soybeans have the widest planting window of the three major summer crops. The heat didn’t help and the periods of low rainfall combined with the heat set them back. Soybeans now are taking off and unless conditions deteriorate and rainfall stops, there is chance for fair to very good soybean yields. The beans in the worst situation are the double-crop beans due to the late planting and heat but they are starting to come on. Again the worst beans are on the sandier soils and areas that missed out on the rains. Like sorghum, planting wheat after the crop may be somewhat of a challenge.
In spite of the persisting drought, it appears the weather pattern of the last several summers is changing and more favorable for summer crop production. So as of today corn, grain sorghum and soybeans are not only receiving a passing grade but may even make the Dean’s List.