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Field Notes

NCGA kicks off the tenth season of Field Notes in a new blog format. Check back for quick looks into what real farmers see in terms of crop progress and gain insight into how the crop of 2020 is doing from firsthand sources.

Jun 29, 2020

Kansas and Missouri Field Notes

Key Issues:Production

  “The corn is doing very well. It was starting to get pretty dry around here. Then, last weekend, we caught an inch of rain. Last night, we got another ½ inch to an inch depending on the field. The rain gave the corn a shot in the arm, and it looks like it’s doing very well right now.”* - Lowell Neitzel, Kansas farmer (June 25, 2020)   *The evening after Neitzel spoke with us, a heavy rain totaling 4 1/2 inches fell on his farm. The photo shows the impact on a replanted cornfield.     “Our corn crop looks great. It has grown a foot or so since last week. It is that beautiful deep, dark green with the leaves as large as my hand. You can’t even see the rows because it is so full.”   - Addie Yoder, Missouri farmer (June 25, 2020)    

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Jun 22, 2020

Minnesota and Iowa Field Notes

Key Issues:Production

  “I am happy with the way our crop is looking now. It’s between knee- and waist-high and coming along nicely. 75 to 80 percent of corn is in excellent condition. The rains have been spotty. We had 3/10 of an inch of rain yesterday. One mile south, they had a full inch and another mile south 2 ½ inches. So, we’re sitting well on moisture.” – Bryan Biegler, Minnesota farmer   “The crop had been incredible until the last two days. Corn loves the hot and warm temperatures, so it took off over the last week. Neighbors got hail damage. I’m waiting for the rain to stop to survey for damage on my crop. The flooding will drain, so it should recover given how far along the crop is in terms of maturity.” – April Hemmes, Iowa farmer

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Jun 15, 2020

North Dakota and Illinois Field Notes

Key Issues:Production

  “We finished harvesting 2019 corn on June 1. We finished planting 2020 corn, at least what we could, just a hair before that. Now, we’re planting our edible beans. We grow navy and pinto beans. We had two inches of rain about two weeks ago. Today, we’re planting one more field of edible beans, and we’ll hang it up after that. We’ve planted less corn, in terms of the percentages of acres we intended, in 2019. In North Dakota, planting went worse than even last year.” – Randy Melvin, North Dakota farmer     “Our corn looks good. It is anywhere from knee to shoulder high. It is ready to grow, and we’ve finished side dressing.” – Jim Raben, Illinois farmer

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Jun 8, 2020

Ohio and Nebraska Field Notes

  “We’re hoping to finish planting by the end of the week if we get lucky. While there’s a little rain in the forecast for later today, it doesn’t sound like enough to impact us significantly. We will finish planting later than we would like, but it’s better here than it was last year.” - Patty Mann – Ohio farmer (June 3, 2020)     “This week, we’ve been side-dressing corn with fertilizer and herbicides. We’ve only had to irrigate a small bit as we’ve had timely rains. The crop looks really good. We are about average for crop stage, growth and maturity. We had a warm week, so the crop is growing fast.” - Andy Jobman – Nebraska farmer (June 5, 2020)

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Jun 1, 2020

Kansas and Missouri Field Notes

Key Issues:Production

  “Our corn crop is finally getting some heat and starting to get some color again. It’s really healthy and growth is taking off now that it has recovered from the cold snap. Soybean planting is a long way from done, but we are making progress every day.” - Lowell Neitzel, Kansas farmer     “Finally, we got the corn sprayed so that it looks like a field and not a pasture. We will have to replant in the bottom-ground but, overall, it looks pretty good. In some places, there are a few yellow streaks, so it needs some heat.  From what I can tell, USDA would fit it in the good to excellent.” - Addie Yoder, Missouri farmer

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May 26, 2020

Minnesota and Iowa Field Notes

Key Issues:Production

“Our corn crop is going well so far. We do need sun and heat. It’s been overcast past two weeks with plenty of rain. The crop has emerged, but we are waiting on the sun and temperatures in the 70s so that it can really take off. Right now, the forecasters are talking sun tomorrow with the heat coming next week.” - Bryan Biegler, Minnesota farmer   “Today, we’re clearing out the bins and delivering last year’s corn. The new crop is going better than I thought that it would. I was concerned when it was hit with frost, but the warmer, humid weather brought it back quickly.” - April Hemmes, Iowa farmer

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May 18, 2020

North Dakota and Illinois Field Notes

Key Issues:Production

“As of May 14, we haven’t turned a wheel to plant 2020 crop. We did harvest somewhat but had to quit because of the road conditions. We had more showers last night, but we are hoping to get one field planted early this week. That is only 15 percent of what we planned to plant in corn. After that, I have no idea where I am going to go.”   - Randy Melvin, North Dakota farmer   “In terms of corn planting, it is so far, so good for us. We hope to be done by Memorial Day. This year, we are decreasing the corn acres planted from last year because, given current conditions, it’s harder to make work from an economic standpoint.”   -Jim Raben, Illinois farmer

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May 11, 2020

Missouri and Kansas Field Notes

Key Issues:Production

“We finished planting corn and only have 800 or so acres of soybeans left to plant. Joshlin, my husband, has been working long hours trying to beat the rain on Wednesday. That said, the weather has been okay. We’re in the Goldilocks zone. The corn looks like it is doing well. When we started in early April, we just kept going because it wasn’t too wet. So, even though it was cold, we got ahead of things.”   -Addie Yoder, Missouri farmer   “We are still planting corn, but we are almost done. 300 more acres, and we will move onto soy. We’re supposed to get two or three inches of rain this week, and the morning temperatures have been in the mid30s. What we planted in early April is doing well despite the cold. I almost wish we had kept going, but we had snow flurries and cold rain then. We made the best decision we could at the time. It’s all you can do.” -Lowell Neitzel, Kansas farmer

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May 4, 2020

Nebraska and Iowa Field Notes

Key Issues:Production

“We’ve had really good weather for planting actually. We haven’t had any rain delays. It is far nicer than last year with bomb cyclones. we are starting to get dry in areas. As guys are wrapping up planting in a week to ten days, we’ll be hoping for rain. There are a few center pivots are already running.” -Andy Jobman, Nebraska farmer     “I finished planting on Saturday like almost everyone in northern Iowa. It is the earliest I can remember finishing for a long time. I am worried about how the crop will handle the stress as the next few weeks are supposed to be cooler than normal. While conditions are dry, we are getting by this far on subsoil moisture from last year.” -April Hemmes, Iowa farmer    

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Apr 27, 2020

Field Notes Minnesota and Ohio

Key Issues:Production

  “Things are busy. We are getting everything ready to go, and I hope to get the planter rolling today. We have seen a lot of people planting in the area and are excited to get in the field.” - Bryan Biegler, Minnesota           “There’s nothing planted here yet, but we are heading in that direction. We are hoping to get started next week. So far, it’s been cold and wet enough to keep us out of the fields. It looks like we’ll have nice warm weather in May though that will let us get planting.” – Patty Mann, Ohio    

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