Before we flipped the calendar to July, farmers in Nebraska had already been dealt an abundance of weather challenges. Mark Grundmayer, an LG Seeds agronomist in eastern and south-central Nebraska, says the weather difficulties started well before the growing season even kicked off.
“We harvested a big crop and 2021 that left a lot of residue. We had the last measurable rain in late October and that continued all the way through late April. So, we had very little residue breakdown. We had high winds in December, January, February, March, April and May, so a lot of the residue was redistributed, caused issues with piling in low spots in the field along fence lines, and just generally caused planter problems as we started planting. We had a cool spring, very dry, so our soil conditions were pretty poor shape, the ground was very hard. Growers had to resort to an extra tillage pass to help planters work a little bit better and quite a few actually did a pre-irrigation prior to planting to help planters work at their optimum, and that was the first time for many growers.”
Grundmayer says the weather remained challenging this spring and drought conditions are worrisome.
“We had a freeze in middle part of May, we had quite a few soybeans that were emerging that froze off and required a lot of replants. Across the entire area that I cover, eastern and south-central Nebraska, we had hail following that in early part of June, and I think we hit a ten day stretch where it was hail every night, so many, many, acres were replanted during that time. We also did receive some timely rains, but we still remain in a drought ranging from abnormally dry all the way to extreme, exceptional. Pivots were damaged in those storms as well. So, there’s growers still waiting on pivot repairs, unable to irrigate until we get those fixed, so it’s been a challenge.”
Regarding yield potential, Grundmayer says farmers recognize there will likely be some disappointment.
“With later planting dates that we had and the cooler spring, slower emergence, I think we’re going to lose a little bit of the top end off some of our yield potential. We’re going to definitely need some timely rains to finish out the growing season and hopefully growers can continue their irrigating as the summer progresses. We also had some hot weather at some key development stages that hopefully will not limit ear development too much, but I guess we’re probably couple of weeks away from seeing exactly what kind of impact that had.”
Grundmayer encourages farmers to stay active scouting crops and offers additional tips to protect yield potential.
“The biggest key for those that irrigate is staying ahead of the irrigation curve. Once we get behind in hot dry weather, it’s hard to get caught back up. We’re going to need to make sure that we continue to scout for any pests and weeds. We want to make sure we’re controlling all of our troublesome weeds, especially the waterhemp complex, because we know that can cause issues in years to come. And for those of us that are in a dry land or limited irrigation environment, we want to make sure we focus on protecting every bushel that we’ve got, and knowing when we could treat and when the economic return on that does not pay. LG Seeds has a great agronomy staff, great DSM staff, that can help growers work through any of these challenges throughout the upcoming growing season.”
Find an LG Seeds rep near you at lgseeds.com.