Big rains and flooded fields mark early June

Big rains and flooded fields mark early June

Big rains saturate our soils; fieldwork delayed until next week

Well, Monday we caught up with much of the Midwest. We received 3 inches of rain, 2 of which came in about 20 minutes. We are now totaling about 7 inches in 8 or 9 days. Until Monday, soils were only saturated, but now, water stands in many places.

Weekly Grain Movement: Farmers sell corn as soggy fields delay fieldwork

Rivers, ditches and streams are out of their banks. Water is receding slowly due to the already full waterways to the south of us. The full ditches upstream are keeping the pressure on the drainage system.

Tropical Storm Bill won't be appreciated when he arrives late this week.

Scenes like this are visible all across the Midwest as heavy rains move through most areas. (Farm Futures file)

As a result, there hasn't been much going on. Even clean-up has been hindered by the rain. At best, it will be the first to middle part of next week before we can get back out in the fields. We haven't made the in-crop herbicide application to corn fields yet. It appears I will be using drops if I do get to spray the corn.

I still have about a quarter of the soybeans to spray. We are better off on side-dressing, as we are about 80% complete. We will worry about how much nitrogen has been lost at a later date.

Rachael and I made a trip to St. Louis over the weekend. Crop conditions don't vary much in that 350-mile span. There were a few fields of corn approaching waist high, but that was the exception. Many fields had large yellow/water damaged areas. Some soybeans were still getting planted.

I also saw portions of wheat fields that had been blown flat. There were also areas in central Indiana that were two to three weeks behind everything else, as they have been wet all spring. I can't imagine the frustration there.

USDA crop progress report 6/15: Corn slips to 73% good/excellent

It won't be a difficult decision to make about replanting some of these fields. If it continues to rain through the weekend, replanting won't happen. Second crop isn't a sure thing this far north. Once we get into July, second crop is what we would be looking at. Many flooded spots in corn fields are inaccessible due to the size of the corn surrounding it.

The decision many are evaluating is how to get nitrogen on the fields. Aerial application can run $30-$40 for only 200 pounds of dry product. Mudding through it with a high clearance rig isn't even an option with these soil conditions.

Wait and see is the only prudent approach at this time.

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