USA - Heat and dryness take toll on Nebraska crops

05.08.2022 259 views

Crop conditions in Nebraska dropped three-percent for both corn and soybeans last week and are likely to drop even more after this week’s extreme heat and dryness.  Farmers say with continued hot and dry conditions yield potential will be severely hurt. 

Ryan Ueberrhein farms in east central Nebraska near Valley and says corn came through pollination in good shape, but now both corn and soybeans are under severe stress.  “We haven’t had rain now for quite some time, if we have its been very spotty where we’ve gotten it.  The heat keeps rising around here I mean this week we’re close to 100 pretty much every day.”    The dryland acres are really taking a beating.”  

And irrigated corn is taking nearly a third of an inch of water daily.  So the weather is trimming yields, especially off the record levels in 2021.   Ueberrihein says, “We still have a little ways to go but I know the top end yield that we were shooting for, We probably won’t reach now.  So if we can just maintain you know an average, if slightly below average I’d be real happy. “You know a full week of no rain and temperatures 100 or 100-plus that’s gonna take it 20% at least.” 

Last year he had 83 bushel beans, but this year will be well below that unless the weather turns more favorable.  Ueberrihein says, “On the bean side of things I’d say if we don’t get any rain at all in August there’s gonna be an at least 50 to 60% hit if not a total, almost a total loss on some of it.”   

Syngenta Technical Agronomy Manager, Bruce Battles, says with the late planting the crop is behind.  So, it’s a critical week for the physiological stage of row crops.  “It seems like in general the crop’s not caught up with where we normally would be in a lot of those cases and I think some of that’s even pushing like key grain fill and even some late pollination type of things into the heat events we’re having now right.”   

And 90% of Nebraska is in some level of drought, which is a challenge even with the large amount of irrigation.   Battles says, “The bigger factor right now is we’re going into a period where we could have tip back and kernel depth is gonna be, could be fairly shallow and to your point knock off some bushels.”  

Add to that several storm systems that caused replanting and that has made for a challenging season for many farmers. 

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