Summer Crops Update 23 Jul 13

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service July 19th report, precipitation totals since April 1st for Hutchinson were 3.8 inches above the norm and 1.3 inches above the norm the last month. Precipitation totals for St. Cloud were 3.4 above the norm since April 1st and 1.2 above the norm the last month. Statewide corn height was determined to be 44 inches tall compared with the five year average of 59 inches. Many area corn fields are now starting in the tasseling stage. Soybeans height was determined to be 12 inches tall compared with the five year average of 16 inches. Spring wheat percent that was headed was 87 percent headed compared with the five year average of 85 percent.

McLeod/Meeker County Extension Educator Nathan Winter says locally, crop conditions are doing very well other than drown out spots from heavy rainfall in June. Moisture stress is starting to set in on some corn fields where less rainfall was received and in fields with lighter soil textures. Weed control has been a major concern in recent weeks due to the rainy weather. There are reports of soybean aphids in Minnesota, but levels have remained low thus far.

Winter says a practice that can be considered after harvesting small grains, sweet corn, and corn silage is planting a cover crop. A cover crop is any crop grown between two cash crops. Cover crops can even be worked into the corn-soybean rotation, especially when overseeded at the leaf yellowing stage and you should check with the Farm Service Agency and your crop insurance provider any time you intend to harvest or pasture a cover crop.