Rain, rain, go away

High moisture has farmers frustrated all across the Corn Belt and beyond, and a recent Crop Happenings report from Iowa State University Extension, prepared by John Holmes, Extension Field Agronomist, highlighted the ample rain’s effects on farmers and their fields.

Recent rains have saturated farm fields, and the ponds are full again. It’s common to see water standing between rows. Dealers and farmers are frustrated that they aren’t able to spray postemergence herbicides. In yesterday’s Crop Report, we reported farmers in eastern Nebraska haven’t been able to get into the field for 12-15 days. To the left is another photo taken in east central Iowa of a field turned pond. Farmers who still need to sidedress nitrogen are concerned they may need to dribble N between the rows or use a high clearance sidedress applicator now. We’ve also seen talk of aerial planting on New Ag Talk (link) from frustrated farmers who have multiple acres of soybeans left to plant. Both corn and soybeans are growing rapidly, and with the exception of the flooded areas and the ponded areas the crops generally look good.

Sidedressing nitrogen

At this stage, corn is getting close to being too big to use a traditional sidedress applicator, the article stated. Available options recommended included dribbling 28% to 32% UAN between the rows. Since UAN is banded on the soil surface, the potential for loss is considerably less than if broadcast. The other option is to use a high clearance sidedress applicator. Holmes said the only one he knows of right now is made by Hagie Manufacturing Co. The applicator uses a coulter and a high pressure stream to apply the N below the soil surface.

What to look for

Soybean disease: Watch for bacterial blight in soybeans right now, the article warned (see left-hand image courtesy of ISU). First symptoms will be water-soaked or light brown lesions surrounded by yellow halos. The youngest leaves are most susceptible. Also watch for Septoria brown spot on lower leaves (see below image courtesy of ISU). Small dark brown spots will appear on unifoliolate leaves and lower trifoliolate leaves. This disease is favored by warm, wet weather.

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How much rain has your area seen recently?