Local Ag Expert Says Any Additional Rain Now Will Likely Be Too Late For Most Of The Corn; Says Producers Should Be Prepared For Reduced Yields

Thu 8-19-2021

(Lakefield, Mn.)-- The ongoing drought is likely going to mean less corn in the bin this fall, and possibly fewer soybeans as well. While rain in the forecast Friday and Friday night, Jim Nesseth of Extended Ag Services in Lakefield says it's likely too late to help most of the corn. He says the plants are shutting down and some of the ears are drooping.  Nesseth Drought cut 1 

"I think a lot of the corn is, you know, in that dough to dent stage and a lot of it's denting, but a lot of that corn is starting to shut down. And so I don't know how much beneficial a rain will be for the corn crop. Maybe for the heavier soils where we've got some later maturing corn on, you know, we could maybe get a little boost in some yield and test weight on those particular fields, but a lot of the corn is starting to shut down and we're seeing some of that in the soybeans. Most of the soybeans are in that R5 stage and that's where we start to see some beginning seed development in one of the top four nodes of the plant, and so, you know, it's starting to get to that point but we're seeing some spots there where it's, in the lighter soils, it's shrinking and it's starting to turn lighter color in some of those fields, so we're getting toward the end of the growing season and a shot of rain would sure be welcome but in some cases it may be a little bit too late."

Nesseth says the rainfall deficits in some cases are severe. He points to the Southwest Minnesota Research Center in Lamberton, in Redwood county, as an example.  Nesseth Drought cut 2 

"At Lamberton the historic averages for rainfall from May 1st is almost 13 inches and what they have accumulated since May 1st is only four and-a-half inches. So we're about eight and-a-half inches behind in rainfall. So it just kind of indicates, you know, where we're at. And, you know, it's not like that in all places. We've got a pocket over in Nobles county west of Worthington that's pretty good. They've been getting some really good rains and they're about normal as far as rainfall. They've got a great looking crop looking at them. But other places in our area, you know, in Jackson county, in Cottonwood county, especially when you get north of Cottonwood county, things are really dry and there's going to be significant yield loss due to the lack of moisture."

On a positive note, Nesseth says the hot dry summer has resulted in very few soybean aphids.