Hot, dry weather is taking the top off of the corn and soybean yields in northwest Minnesota. On day two of the 2018 Red River Farm Network Crop Tour, RRFN’s Don Wick and Randy Koenen left Grand Forks, North Dakota and headed south toward Georgetown, Minnesota, ending the day in Roseau, Minnesota. A second leg of Tuesday’s tour started near Hillsboro, North Dakota.
At Georgetown, Minnesota, Pioneer sales representative Chad Schenk is seeing a lot of two-to-three bean pods in the local soybeans. “They didn’t handle the (dry weather) stress well. The early maturity corn hybrids are close to black layer.” The corn will be better than average and soybeans will be just average. Harvest isn’t far away. Watch RRFN’s Georgetown coverage.
West of Hillsboro, North Dakota, Cody Kritzberger said the biggest challenge of the year was a dry spell from mid-July through late August. “I think our corn ears kind of nosed back a little bit and I know we lost the potential on the soybeans, but they still actually look fairly decent. We went from record good crop to maybe an average crop or maybe even hopefully slightly above average. Time will tell.”
Recent rains are beneficial for the crop in the Ada, Minnesota area. Wild Rice Seed sales representative Nick Prothero said the soybeans are filling pods well. “The bean’s response to the rain really surprised me. A good pod set and good clusters.” Rotation can make a difference. “The big variable will be crops on beet ground. The soybeans on beet ground will take a hit. Too dry. They were in early, but if you go 35 days without rain, we’re in trouble.” Corn is in full dent. “We had a good growing season until the end of July. Growing was right on par with 2012. The potential was huge. We got into a dry spell in August and had a pull back. The rain stopped that. It will now be an average crop.” Hear more from Prothero.
At Select Ag near Mahnomen, Minnesota, farmer Aaron Vipond said the crop looks good from the road, but there is variability in the field. “There are dry pockets. There are some soybeans that didn’t fill to their full potential. It was dry from July 4 until the second week of August.” The corn is above-average, but a few corn fields have corn borer and earworm. There aren’t many soybean aphids, but there are some spider mites in soybeans. Pioneer sales representative Mitch Hoekstra indicated the Mahnomen area is 230 Growing Degree Units ahead of normal.
It’s been a year of extremes for corn and soybeans near Red Lake Falls, Minnesota.Pioneer Crop Advisor Gary Purath said there was a record cold April and on July 10, everything just quit. “We went from expecting one of the best crops to average.” The longer season maturities are showing more of the weather stress. Luke Forness, who is acquiring Purath’s dealership, offered a hint of optimism for the soybeans. “We’re starting to pick up rains, which is good for the soybeans.”
Tuesday’s tour ended in Roseau, Minnesota. Amy Brateng operates South 89 Seed and said it’s been dry. “We had a good stand establishment, but a hot, dry time for the crops.” There has been recent moisture, but Brateng thinks it’s probably a little bit late for the early maturing soybeans. “Yields will be variable. There is some phytophthora disease issues in the soybeans. We haven’t seen any white mold.” With the dry conditions, stalk integrity can be an issue and farmers are advised to harvest on a timely basis to protect yield. Take a look at the Roseau crop.