Crop Scouting Updates  03/14/18 4:54:31 PM

FVC Crop Scouting Updates...FVC provides a complete crop consulting service on a contract basis. Most of our professional agronomists have been certified by the American Society of Agronomy, after completing rigorous training and testing. They will work with you during the winter to develop field-specific crop protection products and crop nutrient plans, based on accurate soil samples. In crop season, they will monitor your fields on a weekly basis for disease, insects and weeds. For more information contact your nearest FVC agronomy office. (Click here to go to FVC Agronomy division)

Updates are Reported by Tom Gaschler, Master Agronomist

April 28, 2017...This morning the area soil temperatures were:

  • 41° at Douglas, WY
  • 40° at Cheyenne, WY
  • 42° at Kimball, NE
  • 46° at Imperial, NE
  • 58° at McCook, NE

Rainfall has increased in the last part of April.  The Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska shows small areas of long term abnormally dry areas in SW Nebraska, NW Kansas, NE Colorado and SE Wyoming.  The NeRAIN website reports the following rainfall totals from January 1, 2017 through this morning:

  • 5.58 inches -- Gering
    • Scottsbluff County Range 3.51 to 5.58
  • 3.63 inches -- Kimball 
    • Kimball County Range -- 3.51 to 3.67
  • 3.40 inches -- Imperial
    • Chase County Range -- 3.40 to 5.81
  • 3.39 inches -- McCook
    • Red Willow County Range -- 3.39 to 4.53

The total precipitation of 3.40 inches for Imperial is 0.65 inches below the long term norm of 4.05 inches January 1- April 30.  Most stream and river flows in the area are at or above the long term norm.  The South Fork of the Republican River is flowing as well and most of the Reservoirs in the Republican River basin are rising with the exception of Enders and Harry Strunk which were lowered to meet the Middle Republican NRD requirements to comply with the Republican River Compact.  Harlan County Reservoir is at 231,000 acre feet. 

Most wheat growth is at joint stage however there is one early planted field that is at flag leaf with the awns of the head starting to emerge.  Prior to April 20, 2017 there was little plant diseases, but the cooler temperatures and the recent rain can increase the chance of fungal disease in crops. 

Corn planting is underway through the eastern and western Corn Belt.  I have driven through Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Nebraska and the only field that I saw with corn emerging was 10 miles east of Hastings, Nebraska.  


March 24, 2017...  This morning the soil temperature were:

  • 44° at Douglas, WY
  • 42° at Cheyenne, WY
  • 45° at Kimball, NE
  • 49° at Imperial, NE
  • 54° at McCook, NE

Rainfall totals overnight were variable according to the NeRAIN website.  In Chase County around Imperial, rainfall ranged from 0.40 to 0.85 inches.  In Red Willow County around McCook totals overnight varied from 0.06 to 0.66 inches.  In Hitchcock County south of Palisade, the total was 0.18 inches.  Total precipitation from January 1 through this morning was 1.31 to 2.80 inches in Scotts Bluff County around Scotts Bluff, NE.  Kimball County around Kimball has had a total of 0.79 to 0.85 inches.  Chase County around Imperial has had 1.14 to 1.95 inches.  The average annual precipitation for Imperial, NE from January 1 through March 31 is 1.97 inches.  Red Willow County around McCook, NE, has had 1.09 to 1.72 inches.  According to the National Weather Service more precipitation is forecasted for March 24 and March 25.  

The National Drought Monitor based at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, NE, has placed most of the central plains in an abnormally dry to severe drought from the Platte River in Nebraska south to central Texas, and from the Rocky Mountains in Colorado and New Mexico east to the Mississippi River.
Wheat began breaking dormancy and greening up along the Republican River in southern Nebraska around February 9.  Growth has been slow and has started and stopped with the constant rising and lowering daytime temperatures.  Soil temperatures have been consistantly in the 40 degree range in Imperial for the last week. 

Weeds that have been growing the last two weeks are blue mustard, tansy mustard, penny cress, shepherds purse, dandelions, Platte and Bull thistle in the pastures, and just recently kochia.  There have been scattered fields with cutworms and we have also found tan spot and stripe rust in some fields.  


December 22, 2016...Frenchman Valley Coop wishes you a Merry Christmas and safe travels as you and your family and friends gather for the holidays.  We thank all who protect us from enemies foreign and domestic, as well as those who provide the world food, fiber for clothing, and fuel.  

Soil temperatures this past week have been in the thirty degree range for most areas, slowing the growth of wheat this fall.   This morning the soil temperature were:

  • 22° at Douglas, WY
  • 24° at Cheyenne, WY
  • 26° at Kimball, NE
  • 26° at Imperial, NE
  • 28° at McCook, NE

Soil temperatures are 15° warmer this morning in Imperial than they were Sunday morning when the temperature was 11°.  

According to the NeRAIN website year to date rainfall totals are:

  • 20.12 inches -- Gering
  • 16.01 inches -- Kimball 
  • 21.83 inches -- Imperial
  • 27.35 inches -- McCook

The Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska has most of the High Plains of Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming in a short term drought with an abnormally dry to moderate drought rating.  A warm dry fall allowed vegetation to use moisture into mid November with little precipitation since August.  


November 23, 2016...The Board of Directors, management and staff at Frenchman Valley Coop would like to wish all of you a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving.  The agricultural economy is down, but thanks to our producers, we are well fed and our soil and water is protected by our farmers and ranchers who practice good stewardship of the land!

Soil temperatures this past week have been in the thirty degree range for most areas, slowing the growth of wheat this fall.   This morning the soil temperature were:

  • 34° at Douglas, WY
  • 36° at Cheyenne, WY
  • 37° at Kimball, NE
  • 38° at Imperial, NE
  • 40° at McCook, NE

According to the NeRAIN website year to date rainfall totals are:

  • 19.86 inches -- Gering
  • 15.32 inches -- Kimball 
  • 21.79 inches -- Imperial
  • 26.67 inches -- McCook

Rainfall amounts vary highly within each of the counties in the area. 

Corn harvest is 99% done in all of our trade territory with average yields down 20- 40 bushels per acre.  Variations in precipitation did create some exceptions.  One dryland field southwest of Wauneta, NE had an average yield of 160 bushels per acre.  This field was in an area that had 3.5 inches more rain in July and August. 

Dryland wheat emergence and stands are good in the area.  Low precipitation this fall has left the surface 2- 3 inches powdery, with some moisture in the top 2 feet; below that there is 5-6 feet of moisture.  Our scouting teams have found low levels of stripe rust from Kimball to McCook. If you have questions regarding your crop health, call an FVC Agronomist today.   


FVC Crop Scouting Updates...FVC provides a complete crop consulting service on a contract basis. Most of our professional agronomists have been certified by the American Society of Agronomy, after completing rigorous training and testing. They will work with you during the winter to develop field-specific crop protection products and crop nutrient plans, based on accurate soil samples. In crop season, they will monitor your fields on a weekly basis for disease, insects and weeds. For more information contact your nearest FVC agronomy office. (Click here to go to FVC Agronomy division)

Updates are Reported by Tom Gaschler, Master Agronomist
 

November 23, 2016...The Board of Directors, management and staff at Frenchman Valley Coop would like to wish all of you a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving.  The agricultural economy is down, but thanks to our producers, we are well fed and our soil and water is protected by our farmers and ranchers who practice good stewardship of the land!

Soil temperatures this past week have been in the thirty degree range for most areas, slowing the growth of wheat this fall.   This morning the soil temperature were:

  • 34° at Douglas, WY
  • 36° at Cheyenne, WY
  • 37° at Kimball, NE
  • 38° at Imperial, NE
  • 40° at McCook, NE

According to the NeRAIN website year to date rainfall totals are:

  • 19.86 inches -- Gering
  • 15.32 inches -- Kimball 
  • 21.79 inches -- Imperial
  • 26.67 inches -- McCook

Rainfall amounts vary highly within each of the counties in the area. 

Corn harvest is 99% done in all of our trade territory with average yields down 20- 40 bushels per acre.  Variations in precipitation did create some exceptions.  One dryland field southwest of Wauneta, NE had an average yield of 160 bushels per acre.  This field was in an area that had 3.5 inches more rain in July and August. 

Dryland wheat emergence and stands are good in the area.  Low precipitation this fall has left the surface 2- 3 inches powdery, with some moisture in the top 2 feet; below that there is 5-6 feet of moisture.  Our scouting teams have found low levels of stripe rust from Kimball to McCook. If you have questions regarding your crop health, call an FVC Agronomist today.   

September 9, 2016...Soil temperatures this morning were:

  • 56° at Douglas, WY
  • 57° at Cheyenne, WY
  • 61° at Kimball, NE
  • 69° at Imperial, NE
  • 72° at McCook, NE

Precipitation has been spotty in the area recently. The Drought Monitor at the University of Nebraska has southwest Nebraska, southeast Wyoming and the southern panhandle in an abnormally dry rating, with the northern Nebraska panhandle in a moderate drought rating.  Year to date rainfall totals according to the NeRAIN website are:

  • 18.00 inches -- Gering
  • 14.42 inches -- Kimball 
  • 20.23 inches -- Imperial
  • 18.81 inches -- McCook Airport
  • 25.69 inches -- 5 miles Southwest of McCook
Snowmelt in the Rocky Mountains has kept the North and South Platte Rivers flowing higher than normal.  Rivers in Kansas and Nebraska are flowing lower than normal because of reduced rainfall since early July.  

Corn is fully dented and popcorn is fully pearled.  Kernels are close to black layer with most dryland corn black layered and dead from the dry conditions.

Soybeans are starting to senesce with leaves and pods turning yellow as plants move to maturity.  About one-third of the fields are at yellow pod.  Green clover worms are in their third generation this year and are causing defoliation of the upper trifoliates mostly along the edges.  Some fields have had more than 20% defoliation and have needed spraying.  

August 12, 2016...Soil temperatures this morning were:

  • 66° at Douglas, WY
  • 63° at Cheyenne, WY
  • 73° at Imperial, NE
  • 74° at McCook, NE

Warm temperatures and low rainfall amounts during July and August have brought northeastern Wyoming and the Nebraska panhandle into the abnormal drought to moderate drought classification at the Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska.  There are also areas of abnormal drought in south central Nebraska and northeastern Colorado. Year to date rainfall totals according to the NeRAIN website are:

  • 15.18 inches -- Gering
  • 12.65 inches -- Kimball 
  • 17.73 inches -- Imperial
  • 20.18 inches -- McCook
Corn is at the milk to hard dough stage and we are finding some ears starting to dent.  Spider mites have not been a problem, but are present in fields.  Most fields that were not sprayed at tassel stage for western bean cutworm have earworms, western bean cutworms, and armyworms in the ear.  This is true across all brands and varieties of corn.   Western bean cutworm peaked out 10 days earlier this year, but moth flights were low.  There is no genetic resistance to these insects.  Goss’s wilt is present in some fields but is not widespread this year, however, gray leaf spot and northern corn leaf blight are more widespread this year.  

Soybeans are in the pod fill stage with bacterial blight present, but not serious.  FVC Crop Scouts have observed low levels of grasshoppers and green clover worm in all fields scouted.  

 

July 29, 2016...Soil temperatures this morning were:

  • 64° at Douglas, WY
  • 64° at Cheyenne, WY
  • 66° at Kimball, NE
  • 69° at Imperial
  • 71° at McCook, NE

Year to date rainfall totals according to the NeRAIN website are:

  • 14.13 inches -- Gering
  • 12.34 inches -- Kimball 
  • 17.29 inches -- Imperial
  • 18.52 inches -- 5 miles SSW of McCook
The Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln has the southeastern and the panhandle areas of Nebraska, eastern Wyoming, and a small portion of northwestern Kansas in a short term drought.  

By July 20th, wheat harvest was complete in the Imperial area.  Yields were above average but protein was low in hard red wheat; white wheat protein content was good with above average yields.  Lodged wheat in some areas created problems for some farmers and forced them to slow down.
 
Corn and popcorn in the area are in the pollination to blister stage with some fields are already in the milk or roasting ear stage.  Diseases like bacterial streak, Goss’ wilt, gray leaf spot and northern corn leaf blight have been common in all fields.  Western bean cutworm has peaked however numbers were down this year. We have found spider mites in some fields but colonies have been very small.   We have also found rootworm beetles are starting to lay eggs in all corn fields we have scouted.  However, beneficial insects are present in good numbers in all fields. 

Soybeans and dry beans are in the bloom to pod fill stages.  We have not seen any white mold but bacterial blight and halo blight are common.  Green clover worms are present in low numbers in most fields.  

Wheat stubble fields will need to be sprayed in the next 2 weeks.  Pigweeds have been a nuisance this year and need to be controlled while they are small.  

July 1, 2016...Soil temperatures this morning were:

  • 67° at Douglas, WY
  • 62° at Cheyenne, WY
  • 65° at Kimball, NE
  • 69° at Imperial
  • 71° at McCook, NE

Year to date rainfall totals according to the NeRAIN website are:

  • 13.63 inches -- Gering
  • 10.84 inches -- Kimball 
  • 15.70 inches -- Imperial
  • 13.73 inches -- McCook
According to the University of Nebraska Drought Mitigation Center, there are small areas of drought in Nebraska, Kansas, and Colorado.  The northern half of Wyoming is in a long term drought and the entire western quarter of the United States is in some form of drought.  

Wheat harvest has begun in Chase County however the threat of rain this weekend will undoubtedly prevent harvest from being fully underway until next week.  Recent rain and windstorms, particularly on Monday evening June 27, lodged wheat and corn throughout Chase and Dundy County. Some hail in the storms totaled out wheat fields in the panhandle, southwest Nebraska and northeast Colorado.   Two confirmed tornados touched down in northeast Colorado as well.  

Corn is growing rapidly with plants at 3 to 4 feet high.  We have found damaging levels of rootworms on corn and European corn borer on popcorn.   We have found western bean cutworm in our moth traps and Makena Ketter found and documented the first western bean cutworm egg mass two weeks ago in corn.  We have observed low levels of Phytium root rot and stem rot in corn fields as well as bacterial streak or stripe, and common corn smut on some varieties.  There have been problems with the control of pigweed species and kochia, especially those who are only using glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, Durango, and Touchdown.  Other weeds creating problems for farmers are ivy (a garden plant that has escaped to the tree rows as well as corn fields) and wild buckwheat.  Tissue samples results from corn fields we are monitoring indicate adequate nutrient levels however some minor adjustments need to be made for micro nutrients. 

Soybeans and beans are rapidly growing with the current soil moisture and heat.  The use of Cadet with glyphosate has cleaned up most of the pigweeds, kochia, and velvet leaf.  We found some beet armyworm in one soybean field.  Hopefully this pest will not be a problem elsewhere.  Bacterial blight is showing up on soybeans. 

Peas are getting closer to harvest.  Cowpeas or Black Eyed Peas are growing rapidly.  With the number of leafhoppers in the corn we anticipate finding them in the cowpeas. Also, western bean cutworm moths are more active in the cowpea fields than in the dry bean fields.  
 

April 21, 2016...Soil temperatures this morning were:

  • 49° at Douglas, WY
  • 48° at Cheyenne, WY
  • 52° at Kimball, NE
  • 60° at Imperial
  • 62° at McCook, NE

Year to date rainfall totals according to the NeRAIN website are:

  • 8.73 inches -- Scottsbluff County
  • 7.43 inches -- Kimball County
  • 8.53 to 12.01 inches -- Chase County
  • 7.90 to 12.77 inches -- Red Willow County

The variability at Red Willow and Chase County are from the number of reporting stations in both counties.  The norm for Imperial is 6.65 inches from January 1- May 31. With the spring moisture we have received, the Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska has all of Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado and the southeastern quarter of the state of Wyoming out of drought. 

Wheat crops are in the head to pollination stage.  Light hail has damaged some fields but stems that were knocked over by hail are still alive and the heads are filling.  Farmers that applied fungicide to control stripe rust have halted the spread of the disease.  Last week intern Andrew Rahe and I probed a dryland wheat field south of Wauneta, Nebraska and the soil was 65% full of water in the top foot, and 75% full down to 6 feet. 

Corn is still emerging in late planted fields, and at 2 collars or 4 leaves in early planted fields.  Corn appears yellow from the cool, cloudy conditions.   Herbicides are holding weeds down however, there are some weeds, mostly kochia, Russian thistle, and marestail along the edges of most fields.  Dryland corn planting is hampered by the rain and moist conditions. 

Soybeans are emerging since rainfall has kept the soil moist so that seedlings can emerge.  

April 21, 2016...Soil temperatures this morning at the four inch depth were:

  • 51° at Douglas, WY
  • 49° at Cheyenne, WY
  • 51° at Kimball, NE
  • 55° at Imperial and McCook, NE

Rainfall reports from the NeRAIN website January 1- May 6 are:

  • 8.73 inches -- Gering, NE
  • 5.62 inches -- Kimball, NE
  • 7.85 inches -- Imperial, NE
  • 9.60 inches -- McCook, NE

The long term norm for Imperial from January 1- April 30 is 4.04 inches.  The Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska has Nebraska, most of Kansas, Colorado, and southeast Wyoming out of drought thanks to the spring rains and snow. 
Wheat in Perkins, Chase and Dundy County in Nebraska is in the flag leaf to head stage.  Most of the wheat in the head stage is in the southern portion of the county.  Stripe and leaf rust infestations are spotty, but common.  We are finding that the fields treated early with Tilt at topdress time are staying healthier. 
Corn planting is in full swing with farmers racing to plant ahead of the next series of storms.  Corn planted April 25 was not germinated on May 2.  Soil temperatures at 7 AM during the week were in the 40° range.  

April 21, 2016...Soil temperatures this morning were:

  • 41° at Douglas, WY
  • 38° at Cheyenne, WY
  • 40° at Kimball, NE
  • 45° at Imperial, NE
  • 47° at McCook, NE 
Prior to the February 1st blizzard, much of the area was dry.  Blizzards on February 1st and March 22nd and 23rd brought needed moisture to replenish soils and protect the wheat crown however leaf tips were burned by cold temperatures and high winds the evening of March 22nd
The rain last weekend put the precipitation totals above normal for January 1st - April 30th.  Precipitation totals from the NeRAIN website are:
  • 5.88 inches -- Gering, NE
  • 3.33 inches -- Kimball, NE
  • 6.08 inches -- Imperial, NE
  • 8.43 inches -- McCook, NE

Rainfall totals vary across each of the counties listed above, with more rainfall as you go east. 
Wheat currently is in the joint stage for most of Nebraska and at the tiller stage in Wyoming.  Leaf rust is showing up on the lower leaves near McCook.  Kansas State University is reporting stripe rust on wheat in the northern tier of counties in Kansas.  FVC Aerial is currently in Oklahoma helping applicators apply fungicide to wheat infested with stripe rust.  Conditions have been ideal in Nebraska since April 13th for stripe and leaf rust.  It typically takes 14 days for the stripe rust pustule to form once the spores infect the leaf.  I anticipate stripe rust forming on the leaves the last 3 days of April. 
Corn planting will be starting this weekend as soil temperatures move to ideal temperatures in southwest Nebraska.  Corn development is best when corn is planted no shallower than 1.5 inches on clay soils and no deeper than 2 inches on sandy soils.  Be sure to follow plant population guidelines as recommended by your seed dealer.  


March 18, 2016...Soil temperatures have declined from a week ago when temperatures were in the mid 40 degree range.  Temperatures this morning were:

  • Douglas, WY -- 32 degrees
  • Cheyenne, WY -- 34 degrees
  • Kimball, NE -- 37 degrees
  • Imperial, NE -- 38 degrees
  • McCook, NE -- 42 degrees
Rainfall totals from January 1 through March 18, according to the NeRAIN website are:
  • Gering, NE -- 2.60 inches
  • Kimball, NE -- 1.16 inches
  • Imperial -- 1.25 inches
  • McCook, NE -- 1.26 inches
Wheat in the area is growing with plants in the tiller stage.  Most fields have a large number of tillers per plant indicating not enough seed was planted.  Agronomists in the company have seen stripe rust and tan spot.  We are encouraging farmers to apply 2 ounces of either Priaxor or Tilt fungicide with their topdress herbicide to keep fungus diseases down.  Priaxor is more expensive but it helps promote growth.  Last fall we sprayed part of a field of dryland wheat near Enders with Priaxor and left part of the field untreated.  The Priaxor treated wheat had more plants and better growth than the untreated wheat.  FVC McCook Agronomist, Dorn McCallum, has observed the same thing in their wheat variety trial.  
 

    March 4, 2016...Soil temperatures have increased in the last month.  At 7:00AM this morning soil temperatures in the FVC trade territory were:

    • Douglas, WY -- 37 degrees
    • Cheyenne, WY and Kimball, NE -- 36 degrees
    • Imperial, NE -- 37 degrees
    • McCook, NE -- 39 degrees
     
    The U.S. Drought Monitor from UNL shows that most of the FVC trade area has no drought. North of Douglas, WY, there is an area of abnormally dry conditions. 
    Precipitation totals from the NeRAIN website January 1 through March 4 are:
    • Gering, NE -- 1.02 inches
    • Kimball, NE -- 0.34 inches
    • Imperial and McCook, NE -- 1.20 inches

     
    Conditions for irrigated and dryland wheat are good.  Wheat is greening up and winter annual weeds and downy brome survived the winter.  The only observation of spotty stands was in a field a mile west of Paoli, CO.  All fields have plants that have overwintered very well with most plants in the area at 3-6 tillers per plant.

    November 24, 2015...The Board of Directors and the employees of Frenchman Valley Coop wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving as you gather with friends and family to celebrate the bounty and wealth God has given us in the past year!
    Soil temperatures in the FVC trade area are getting closer to freezing. 

    • Douglas, WY 29 degrees
    • Cheyenne, WY 33 degrees
    • Kimball, NE 34 degrees,
    • Imperial and McCook, NE 37 degrees

    Precipitation totals are over the long term median for most of the area.  The Drought Monitor at the University of Nebraska has most of the southern counties of Nebraska, the northern half Kansas and a small spur in northeast Colorado in an abnormally dry long term drought category.  Information is from the NeRAIN website.

    • Gering, NE 24.06 inches
    • Kimball, NE 25.06 inches
    • Imperial, NE 22.30 inches
    • McCook, NE 25.43 inches

    Reservoirs around the area are at low levels ready for spring thaw and runoff.  

    • Glendo Reservoir, Douglas, WY is 38.2% full at 197,781 acre feet.
    • Swanson Reservoir at Trenton, NE is 37.2% full at 40,938.9 acre feet.
    • Harlan County Reservoir at Republican City, NE is 48.8% full at 153,704 acre feet. 

    Corn harvest is 90- 95% completed in the area.  Irrigated corn yields have been good averaging 200 to 250 bushels per acre.  Precipitation helped dryland corn yields which averaged between 100 to 130 bushels per acre.   

    November 6, 2015...Cool rainy weather has shut down corn harvest for the second day this week.  While several farmers in the Imperial and Grant area are completed with corn harvest, total area harvest is only 50% complete. Most irrigated fields had yields in excess of 220 bushels.  Dryland yields ranged from 50 to 150 bushels per acre. 
    Soil temperatures this morning were:

    • Douglas, WY 39
    • Cheyenne, WY 38
    • Kimball, NE 40
    • Imperial, NE 41
    • McCook, NE 43
    The NeRAIN website has the following precipitation totals for 2015.  This year’s total precipitation for Imperial is in excess of the yearly average of 19.95 inches.
    • Gering, NE 23.44 inches
    • Kimball, NE 20.42 inches
    • Imperial, NE 21.42 inches
    • McCook, NE 20.18 inches

    Wheat is in the tiller stage for most of the fields planted by October 10.  Soil moisture on both dryland and irrigated fields is good down to the third foot with stands and growth looking uniform across most fields. 
    Sorghum harvest is still underway with some fields still too moist to harvest.  Most yields range from 80 to 130 bushels on dryland.  

    October 19, 2015...I apologize for not keeping this report updated as summer scouting kept me busy with 13- 15 hour days.  It has been an unusual year that started off dry went to cool and wet and is finishing off warm and dry. 
    Soil temperatures are listed below.  The cold front last week dropped soil temperatures to the upper 40 degree range through the weekend.  As of today, soil temperatures have rebounded and are in the 50 degree range.

    • Douglas, WY 50
    • Cheyenne, WY 53
    • Kimball, NE 53
    • Imperial, NE 54
    • McCook, NE 60

    Rainfall totals according the NeRAIN website are below.  High levels are due to the rain in May.

    • Gering, NE 21.90
    • Kimball, NE 20.42
    • Imperial, NE 19.24
    • McCook, NE 20.18

    Wheat stands in dryland fields look good with very few bare spots and irrigated wheat looks good.  Most of the wheat is in the tiller stage.  According to Ryan Schultz, FVC Grain Division Manager, soybean harvest in the FVC trade territory is 90% completed.  Corn harvest is just starting with many fields still testing 20% or higher in grain moisture. 

    I have just returned from a trip to Fort Wayne, IN.  My route took me on U. S. Highway 36 from Oberlin, KS to Indianapolis, IN.  Along the way I saw many soybean fields that were not harvested even in the eastern corn belt.  I estimate soybean harvest in the Midwest is approximately 50% complete, with some fields in southern Indiana still green.  Corn fields in Missouri and Indiana were harvested and tilled.  

    May 16, 2015...Soil temperatures this morning were:

    • 45 at Douglas, WY,
    • 46 at Cheyenne, WY,
    • 49 at Kimball, NE,
    • 57  at Imperial, NE,
    • 62 at McCook, NE 
    Rain on May 9 across the region has filled soil profiles, caused flooding along the South Platte River in Colorado and Nebraska and greatly relieved the dryland wheat crop and pastures from the drought.  

    According to the NeRAIN website, rainfall totals through our region from April 27 through May 18 and year-to-date totals include:
    • Gering, NE = 3.69” and 8.02”
    • Kimball, NE = 4.48” and 9.37”
    • Imperial, NE = 3.28” and 5.74”
    • McCook, NE = 1.56” and 4.70”

    Ironically, the year-to-date totals are opposite of normal for this region.  

    River flows on the South Platte River is at flood stage.  Current water flows on the South Platte is 13,300 cubic feet per second, equating to 99,484 gallons per second or 3.66 acre inches per second. The long-term median is 133 cubic feet per second or 995 gallons per second.

    The North Platte River is currently flowing at 1,390 cubic feet per second, equating to 10,397 gallons per second.  The long-term median for the North Platte River is 600 cubic feet per second or 4,488 gallons per second. 

    Runoff is lower in the Republican River basin, including the tributaries and Harlan County Reservoir is at 188, 971 acre feet. 

    Wheat is in the flag leaf to head stage in the FVC trade area.  We are finding stripe rust in 99% of the fields.  Conditions the last three weeks are ideal for the stripe rust, with strong southeast winds bringing spores from gulf coast states, Kansas and the border counties of Nebraska. High humidity and dew lasting on the plants for more than 12 hours has increased the potential for stripe rust.

    Corn planting is 97% complete.  Corn that was emerged the morning of May 11 had frost damage from the cold temperatures that morning.  The FVC Agronomy and crop scouting program is concentrating on marestail, Russian thistle, Canada thistle, and kochia as we scout prior to planting and immediately after planting to control these weeds in the early stage of crop production. 

    Soybean planting is 40- 50 % complete with no emergence to date. There is some evidence of volunteer soybeans in the area.  

    April 27, 2015...Soil temperatures this morning were 46 degrees in Douglas, WY and Kimball, NE; 42 degrees in Cheyenne, WY; 50 degrees in Imperial, NE and 52 degrees in McCook, NE.  Corn planted two weeks ago had a quarter of an inch stem growing out of the seed the middle of last week. 

    Rainfall has been highly variable throughout the region with some areas in NE Colorado receiving 3 inches of rain while some areas of SW Nebraska received very little rain over the past week.  In the last 7 days Gering, NE received 0.79 inches of precipitation for a year to date total of 4.33 inches.  Kimball, NE received 1.96 inches for a total of 4.89 inches for 2015.  Imperial received no measureable precipitation with the total at 2.46 inches.  McCook received 0.40 inches for a total of 3.14 inches of precipitation.  In Imperial the norm for precipitation for April is 2.06 inches. 

    River flows in the area are showing some spring rain runoff while the North Platte River is not showing any sign snow melt yet.  The North Platte River at the Nebraska, Wyoming State line is flowing at 86 cubic feet per second (CFS), or 636 gallons per second.  The South Platte River at Roscoe, NE is flowing at 389 CFS or 2879 gallons per second.  The Republican River at Orleans, NE is flowing at 150 CFS or 1110 gallons per second. 

    Wheat is in the joint stage.  Weather conditions have been ideal for strip rust development for the last three weeks.  I have not seen any strip rust in irrigated or dryland fields. 

    Corn planting is fully underway in Imperial.  Several farmers are fifty percent completed or more.  I have found volunteer popcorn in several fields.  Last Tuesday we had 14.5 growing degree day units for corn.  The 34 year norm for April 20- April 30 is 84 units.  

    April 20, 2015...Soil temperatures last week in Imperial were 50 degrees or warmer.  The cold front that came through this weekend has lowered the soil temperatures to the 37 to 44 degree range in the FVC trade area.  This morning soil temperatures were 37 and 38 degrees in Cheyenne and Douglas WY, 40 degrees in Kimball, NE, 42 degrees in Imperial, NE and 44 degrees in McCook, NE.  McCook received 1.51 inches of rain fall for a total of 2.74 inches.  Imperial received 1.72 inches for a total of 2.46 inches of precipitation.  Kimball, NE received 2.60 inches of rainfall for a total of 2.93 inches of precipitation.  Gering received 2.68 inches for a total of 3.54 inches of precipitation.  The Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska has SW Nebraska, NW Kansas and NE Colorado in an abnormally dry category. 

    Corn planting has been delayed in the area due to cold temperatures and rain.  We expect to see planting get under way this week.   

    Wheat is in the tiller to joint stage in most fields.  Moist conditions, southerly winds, development of stripe rust earlier in the south and cool temperatures in the 41 to 59 degree range is ideal for stripe rust development in most of the irrigated wheat.  Stands are thin in most of the dryland wheat this year.  As of last week, we did not see any stripe rust development in the wheat in our trade territory.  Leaf rust and stem rust will need warmer temperatures to develop.  

    April 6, 2015...Soil temperatures this morning were 38 degrees in Douglas, WY,39 degrees in Cheyenne, WY, 40 degrees in Kimball, NE, 45 degrees in Imperial, NE, and 51 degrees in McCook, NE.  Soil temperatures have been hovering around 40 degrees or warmer since March 12 in Imperial. 

    Precipitation totals from January 1 through April 6 total 0.86 inches in Gering NE, 0.33 inches in Kimball, NE, 0.75 inches in Imperial, NE, and 0.54 inches for McCook, NE.  The median precipitation total for January 1 through March 31 is 1.99 inches.  At Imperial we are at 38% of normal. 

    Ben Sauder communicated with Nebraska State Climatologist Al Dutcher at the University of Nebraska for some insight into weather trends and the potential for summer.  According to Dutcher, the models indicate daily precipitation April 12 through April 16.  Dutcher also said that soil moisture throughout Nebraska is moister than in 2014.  Dutcher indicated that weather models and trends indicate severe weather could increase throughout April. 

    With the moisture and warmer air and soil temperatures rangeland, wheat and turfgrasses are greening up.  Farmers will need to make a choice on spraying their wheat with herbicide this week.   If Al Dutchers forecasts are right, and the wheat continues to grow we could see wheat at the joint stage in 2- 3 weeks.  We are encouraging farmers to spray their thin wheat with Ally and 2,4-D.  The thinner stands will allow weeds to grow and further make a difficult situation worse.  Remember that if wheat does take off before you can spray the field with a ground rig, you can have us aerially apply the herbicide with the FVC Aerial program. 

    Now is the time to apply Step 1 of the FVC 5 step lawn program.  Step 1 applies fertilizer and pre-emerge herbicide to keep weeds especially crabgrass from germinating in your lawn.  The fertilizer will help green up your lawn! 


    March 11, 2015...Warm temperatures have come back to the Plains bringing relief from the cold temperatures of just a week ago.  People are out walking, grilling, and starting to garden.  Officially spring is 10 days away, but with sunny warm days everyone is fighting cabin fever with outdoor activities. 

    Soil temperatures this morning at the 4 inch depth was 33 degrees at Douglas, WY and Kimball, NE; 34 degrees at Cheyenne, WY; 35 degrees at Imperial, NE and 37 degrees at McCook, NE.  Wheat and turfgrass has started greening up and growing. 

    Precipitation totals from January 1- March 11 are 0.69 inches at Gering, NE; 0.18 inches at Kimball and McCook, NE; and 0.34 inches at Imperial, NE.  The Drought Center at the University of Nebraska has most of the southwestern United States in fewer droughts, than a month ago.  However, California is still in a severe drought.  Here in the Plains, southwest Nebraska and northwest Kansas are still extremely dry.  The median precipitation for Imperial for the first 2 months of the year is 0.87 inches of precipitation.  Currently Imperial is 0.16 inches behind the median. 

    River flows are close to the median for this time of year.  The North Platte River at the Nebraska- Wyoming state line is 214 cubic feet per second (CFS) or 1600 gallons per second.  The South Platte at Roscoe, NE is flowing at 540 CFS or 4039 gallons per second.  The North Fork of the Republican River is flowing at 61 CFS or 456 gallons per second.  The Republican River at Orleans, NE is flowing at 194 CFS or 1451 gallons per second. 

    An agreement has been reached between Kansas and Nebraska and Colorado on managing river flows on the Republican River allowing the states to manage river flows to benefit the Kansas Bostwick Irrigation District (KBID).  Water will be delivered in a timelier manner during the crop season.  Currently Harlan County Reservoir has 170,445 acre feet of water which will meet the irrigation needs of KBID.  


    February 16, 2015...Soil temperatures have been around the 32 degree mark for the last 2 weeks.  This morning, Douglas and Cheyenne, WY, and Kimball, NE were at the 34 degrees at the 4 inch depth.  Imperial was at 32 degrees and McCook was at 33 degrees.  Wheat is greening up in southwest Nebraska, Kansas, and in northeast Colorado.   Lawns are also starting to green up. 

    Precipitation totals from January 1 through this morning, total 0.49 inches in Gering NE, 0.14 inches in Kimball, NE, 0.20 inches in Imperial, NE, and 0.14 inches in McCook, NE.  The 6- 10 day precipitation forecast is calling for above normal precipitation for the plains states, according to Bryce Anderson.  The Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska has southwest Nebraska at the abnormally dry category.  Western Kansas is at the moderate to severe drought category. 

    Disease reports coming out of Texas indicate that rust is present and spores could start blowing north as wheat breaks winter dormancy.  


    December 29, 2014...As 2014 comes to an end we hope you have had a pleasant Christmas with family and friends.  May 2015 be a productive year for you.

    Since the end of November, the FVC trade area has received a series of small snowstorms going through the area.  As of December 16, southwest Nebraska remains in an abnormally dry category, and NW Kansas remains in a Moderate drought.  California and the southwest portion of the U.S. remain in an extreme to exceptional drought category.  Precipitation totals for the area according to the NeRAIN website are 23.31 inches for Gering, 10.32 inches for Kimball, 17.95 inches for Imperial, and 23.25 inches for McCook.

    Soil temperatures have steadily declined to the below 32 degree range due to shorter days and cooler temperatures.  Douglas, WY and McCook, NE were at 26 degrees this morning, Cheyenne, WY was at 25 degrees, Kimball, NE was at 27 degrees, and Imperial, NE was at 23 degrees.  

    November 26, 2014...A Happy Thanksgiving to all this season.  Drive safely, enjoy the bounty of our land, take time to thank God for all of the blessings given but especially for the forgiveness of sins, and enjoy the family and friends around you!

    Soil temperatures this morning were 30 degrees in Douglas, WY, 32 degrees in Cheyenne, WY and Kimball, NE, 34 degrees in Imperial, NE and 40 degrees in McCook, NE.  Precipitation is falling in the High Plains area, but forecasts are not calling for much snow or rain.  Precipitation totals are low for Gering, and Imperial, with no precipitation for Kimball and McCook since November 10, 2014.  Gering received 0.16 inches for a total of 21.69 inches and Imperial received 0.01 inch for a yearly total of 17.65 inches.  Total rain for Kimball remains at 10.28 inches and 22.42 inches in McCook. 

    Grain harvest in the area is 99% done.  Small patches of acres remain to be harvested in the next few days.  

    November 10, 2014...Happy Veterans Day to all of our veterans who have served or are currently serving our nation!  Veterans Day was formerly known as Armistice Day marking the end of the Great War, sometimes called the War to End All Wars, or World War I.  Congress passed legislation in 1926 marking the day for parades and speeches and the cessation of business at 11 AM.  In 1938, Congress passed an Act making the day a national holiday.  Following World War II and the Korean War, Congress amended the 1938 Act changing the name from Armistice Day to Veterans Day to honor veterans of all wars.  Thank you to all of our veterans!

    A cold front coming from the Typhoon Nuri through the Aleutian Islands in Alaska is bearing down on the lower 48 states and bringing the possibility of snow to the upper Midwest.  Temperatures with this cold front will be 20 to 40 degrees below average.

    Soil temperatures before the cold front were in the 40 degree range.  Douglas, WY and McCook, NE had the warmest soil temperatures at 48 degrees.   Cheyenne, WY had a soil temperature of 41 degrees.  Kimball, NE had a soil temperature of 45 degrees.  Imperial, NE had a soil temperature of 47 degrees.  The NeRAIN website has low rainfall totals for Kimball, Imperial, and McCook, NE.  Gering, NE had 0.68 inches of precipitation since October 31 for a year to date total of 21.53 inches.  Kimball, NE has not received any precipitation and has a total of 10.28 inches of precipitation.  Imperial, NE received 0.03 inches for a total of 17.64 inches of precipitation.  McCook has not received any precipitation for a year-to-date total of 22.47 inches. 

    Corn harvest is 80 to 90% completed in the area. Grain quality has been good and most yields have been average to above average.  

    October 31, 2014...Cold temperatures the last four nights have finally killed most annual plants in the country.  Corn harvest is underway although grain moisture is mostly higher than what is normal for this time of year.  No rain has fallen in the area this past week.  Corn harvest is approaching the 50% mark with some farmers finishing up. 

    Corn and popcorn yields have been average to above average in yield.  Grain bins and elevators are struggling to find room for grain and are dumping corn on the ground partly due to high wheat yields still in storage.

    Soil temperatures in the FVC trade area are in the lower 40 degree range.  In the next couple of weeks wheat and cool season grass growth will go dormant as temperatures drop below 40 degrees.  The drought mitigation center at the University of Nebraska has most of our area out of drought with the exception of NE Kansas which remains in the moderate to severe drought category.

    I want to remind all of our readers that Tuesday, November 4, is Election Day.  Please get out and vote.  Ronald Reagan once said that “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.  We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream.  It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” Remember to vote on Tuesday, November 4

    October 24, 2014...October has been a warm dry month with low rainfall amounts in the FVC trade area.  From October 9 through October 24 Gering has received 0.18 inches, Kimball received 0.02 inches, and McCook received 0.09 inches of rain.  Rainfall totals to date are 20.85 inches for Gering, NE, 10.28 inches for Kimball, NE, 17.61 inches for Imperial, NE, and 22.47 inches for McCook, NE.  River flows in the area are down due to drought. 

    Soil temperatures are 47 in Douglas; WY, 50 in Cheyenne, WY and Kimball, NE; 52 in Imperial, NE; and 55 in McCook, NE.  Wheat is growing with recently planted fields emerging in one week.  Soil moisture in wheat is dry in the upper four to eight inches, and moist below four to eight inches.  Wheat on hilltops and knobs are turning blue in the afternoon on warm days. 

    Soybeans harvest is completed with most yields between 65 and 75 bushels per acre.  Milo harvest is near completion, with yields running from 70 bushels to 120 bushels for dryland.  Corn harvest for grain is 20 to 30% completed when you factor in silage and wet corn harvest. 

    Pheasant populations are up, with plenty of cover for the birds.  Deer and turkey populations are good.  You may be able to get one bow or rifle hunting. Make sure you are vigilant when driving because you can definitely get one with your vehicle!


    October 09, 2014...Night time lows have reached 30 to 32 degrees 3 times since September 13.  The low temperatures have not killed frost sensitive plants in Imperial, however, in areas around the county you can find low spots where frost has killed plants.  Soil temperatures range from 47 near Douglas, WY to 56 near McCook, NE.

    Corn plants are mature with grain moisture at 20 to 30%.  As of today, no corn grain has come into the elevator and soybean harvest is winding down.  Yields on soybeans have ranged from 50 to 75 bushels per acre on a field basis with yield monitors recording yields as high as 107 bushels per acre in spots.  One dryland field had a yield of 25 bushels per acre. 

    Gering, NE has had 4.01 inches of rain since September 15, bringing the year-to-date total to 20.67 inches.  Kimball, NE received 2.17 inches for a year-to-date total of 10.26 inches, Imperial, NE received 0.80 inches for a year-to-date total of 17.61 inches.  McCook, NE received 0.75 inches for a year-to-date total of 22.38 inches.

    The Imperial precipitation norm January 1 through September 30 is 17.55 inches. NeRAIN website gauges around the Chase County area have recorded 15.87 inches to 22.08 inches of rain fall in the same time period. The lowest total was from a site 16.6 miles north northwest of Wauneta, NE, and the highest total was 3.4 miles south of Lamar, NE.  

    September 15, 2014...Cold temperatures brought frost to the FVC trade area this past weekend. Corn, forage sorghum and soybean fields are showing signs of light frost damage in spots. The average first frost is usually not until October 10. 

    Soil temperatures are cooling due to cooler temperatures and shorter day length. Soil temperatures this morning at the four inch depth were 48° in Douglas, WY; 54° in Cheyenne, WY; 56° in Kimball, NE; and 60° in Imperial and McCook, NE. 

    Since August 29, Gering, NE received 0.63 inches of rain for a year-to-date total of 16.66 inches.  Kimball, NE received 0.34 inches for a year-to-date total of 8.09 inches.  McCook, NE received 1.08 inches for a year-to-date total of 21.63 inches.  Imperial, NE received 0.48 inches for a year-to-date total of 16.81 inches.  The norm for Imperial for January 1 through September 30 is 17.55 inches.

    Crops are maturing rapidly with soybean harvest anticipated to begin around October 1.  Corn grain dry down may take longer with the rain fall, but corn harvest is expected to start in the first half of October.  Dry bean harvest is under way and yields have been disappointing due to Pythium rot of the roots that started mid-season.  

    August 29, 2014...The shorter daylight hours of August along with cooler temperatures has brought soil temperatures down in Imperial.  The soil temperatures this morning at 7:00 AM were 60 degrees in Douglas, WY, 51 degrees in Cheyenne, WY, 59 degrees in Kimball, NE, 65 degrees in Imperial, NE, and 69 degrees in McCook, NE.  The last time temperatures was this low in Imperial was in the first two days of July. 

    The FVC trade area has seen precipitation fall in the last 12 days.  This will help get wheat established in the next month.  Gering, NE received 0.49 inches for a total of 16.03 inches.  Kimball, NE received 0.47 inches for a total of 7.75 inches.  Imperial received 2.20 inches for a total of 16.33 inches.  McCook received 4.21 inches for a total of 20.55 inches.  Areas in eastern Perkins County, NE received 5.00 inches or more on Wednesday evening.  All of this information is from the NeRAIN website. 

    The United States Geological Survey Stream Flow site has most of the local rivers flowing higher due to rain fall.  The N Platte River at the Nebraska/Wyoming state line is flowing at 1,450 cubic feet/ second (cf/s) or 10,846 gallons/ second (g/s).  The S Platte River is flowing at 530cf/s or 3964.4g/s.  The N Fork of the Republican River at the Nebraska/Colorado state line is flowing at 24cf/s or 179.52g/s.  The Republican River at Orleans, NE is flowing at 115cf/s or 860.2g/s.  The Republican River at Hardy, NE is flowing at 1,570cf/s or 11,743g/s.  Harlan county Reservoir is currently at 146,342 acre feet.  The level on May 1 was 148,755 acre feet. 

    Most of the corn in the area is at the beginning dent to dent stage.  This is similar to where the corn was last year.  Corn in Imperial has accumulated 2,254.5 growing degree day units from April 20 to August 26. 

    Soybeans are at the pod fill stage.  The wooly bear caterpillar, thistle caterpillar, blister beetles, and stink bugs are feeding on the leaves of plants. 

    Dry beans continue to mature with 20 to 70 percent of the pods turning yellow.  

    August 21, 2014...Small scattered rain storms have brought low levels of rainfall to most of the area.  Gering, NE received 0.10 inches for a year-to-date total of 15.54 inches of precipitation.  Kimball, NE received 0.19 inches of rainfall for a year-to-date total of 7.28 inches.  Imperial, NE received 0.20 inches for a total of 14.13 inches.  McCook received 0.76 inches for a total of 16.34 inches. 

    Corn has accumulated 2103 growing degree day units from April 20-August 19.  Last year we had 2091.5 units for the same time.  We are 4-5 days behind the 34 year norm.  If current conditions persist we will be at 2300 units or more by September 1.  Most of the corn needs 2300 to 2500 to reach black layer. 

    Crops are racing to maturity.  Most of the corn is between soft dough and beginning dent.  Popcorn is at soft to hard dough.   Pods on the dry beans are at yellow pod with vines turning yellow.  Soybeans are at pod fill stage.  

    August 9, 2014...The last three nights have brought rain to the FVC trade area.  Dryland crops were starting to burn up over the last week.  Crops along the edges were burning up.  Fortunately this does not go far into the field.  Gering, NE received 0.31 inches bringing the year to date total to 15.44 inches.  Kimball, NE received 0.67 inches for a year to date total of 7.09 inches.  Imperial received 0.75 inches for a year to date total of 13.93 inches.  McCook received 0.93 inches for a year to date total of 15.58 inches.  High humidity levels have been tough on employees working out in the field, but have helped the crops.  Crop water use is down and most fields are probing moist. 

    Most of the corn and popcorn are in the blister to milk stage.  We are expecting fields to be in the dough stage next week. 

    Soybeans and dry beans are in bloom to pod fill.  We have not seen any white mold with the humid conditions.  In many cases we can count beans in the pod.  We expect some of the dry bean fields to have yellow pods in 30 days.  

    August 2, 2014...July was a dry month for much of the High Plains area.  Northeastern Colorado received ample monsoon rains.  Rain fall was isolated and the totals listed are not widespread totals.  Gering, NE received 0.38 inches since July 18 for a total of 15.13 inches for the year.  Kimball, NE received 1.36 inches for a year-to-date total of 6.42 inches.  Imperial, NE received 1.04 inches for a year-to-date total of 13.18 inches.  McCook, NE received 0.40 inches for a year-to-date total of 14.65 inches.  The norm for Imperial for January 1 through July 31 is 13.12 inches of precipitation. 

    Wheat harvest is about 99% complete in Imperial.  Corn is fully into pollination to milk or more commonly known as the roasting ear stage.  We have had a heavy infestation of western bean cutworm this season with 90% of the fields needing treatment.  Soybeans and dry beans are in the bloom to pod fill stage.  We have treated most of the dry beans for western bean cutworm. We have also seen western bean cutworm in some soybean fields and did recommend treatment in one field.  Dryland corn is growing but hot dry conditions at the end of July are causing added stress.  Previously stressed and compacted areas in the field are especially susceptible to dry up which rapidly kills the corn. 

    Weed growth is phenomenal in the wheat stubble following harvest.  Some weeds that farmers need to be aware of are common mullen in CRP and pastures, wild buckwheat in CRP and crop land, kochia and Russian thistle that is tolerant to glyphosate in crop land.  These weeds are increasing in areas and will require attention or treatment at the appropriate time.  

    July 18, 2014...This past week was a brief relief from the normal July weather of 90-100 degrees.  Wheat harvest stopped on Wednesday and Thursday due to rain and wet grain.  Forecasts are calling for a chance of late afternoon and evening thunderstorms for the next 2 days, but temperatures will be in the 90 degree range for the next week.  Wheat harvest has been good for the farmers in the area with higher than expected yields of 60-90 bushels for dryland and some reports of 100-117 bushels an acre.  Test weights have been in the 65 pound test weight for many fields.  Irrigated wheat harvest has just started.  The cool temperatures this week slowed crop development and we will have lower than normal growing degree day accumulations for this week.  The Imperial area has accumulated 1356 growing degree day units from April 20-July 15. The norm for the same time is 1408 units.  Most of the corn is pre-tassel to tassel.  Beans are developing pods with some pods at 1 inch length. 

    The precipitation totals for the area is 14.75 inches for Gering, NE, 5.06 inches for Kimball, NE, 12.44 inches for Imperial, NE, and 14.25 inches for McCook, NE through 7-17-14.  The norm for Imperial January 1 through July 31 is 13.60 inches.  The Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska has the area in a short –long term moderate drought bringing the area out of the severe to exceptional drought that we were in just 45 days ago. 

    Pests that we are monitoring include western bean cutworm in corn and dry beans, weeds in all the bean crops, bacterial blight in the beans, Northern corn leaf blight, gray leaf spot, Holcus leaf spot, and Goss’ wilt in corn.  We have started to find rootworm beetles with a couple fields being treated for rootworm beetles.   We are treating corn and dry beans for diseases because of the threat of disease and the current weather pattern we have seen all season long.


    July 12, 2014...The weather this past week has been more like July wheat harvest weather, allowing dryland farmers to bring in wheat.  Dryland wheat yields have ranged from 60 to 80 bushels per acre with good test weights.  More than half of the dryland crop has been harvested with the hopes of starting early planted irrigated wheat next week.  Dryland wheat following other crops will yield more poorly because of drought in March through early May. 

    Corn growth has exploded the last 2 weeks with corn and popcorn at the 12 to 14 leaf stage (10- 12 collar).  We are seeing low levels of western bean cutworm, Holcus leaf spot, gray leaf spot and Northern corn leaf blight in some fields.  Corn has accumulated 1205.5 growing degree day units from April 20 through July 8. 

    Soybeans and dry beans are in bloom stage with bacterial blight showing up in both crops.  Thrips have not been an issue this year.  Weeds are still a concern in both crops. 

    Rain fall totals for the year are 14.44 inches in Gering, NE, 4.71 inches for the year south of Kimball, NE, 12.37 inches for the year at Imperial, NE, and 13.49 inches for the year at McCook, NE.  Rain fall this past week has been 0.86” at McCook, 0.24” for Imperial, 0.51” for Kimball, and 2.37” for Gering.  Harlan County Reservoir still has 177,000 acre feet in the reservoir, but about 300 cubic feet per second is being released for the past week.  About 195 cubic feet per second is entering from runoff, and both augmentation sites at NCORPE, and Rock Creek.  


    June 27, 2014... I spent part of this afternoon with a farmer around Wauneta looking at cutworms.  The infestation was so serious that you could not tell the field had been drilled to wheat. The field was continuous wheat with downy brome grass or cheat grass that emerged with the wheat last fall.  Cutworms need to be sprayed when you have 2- 4 larvae per square foot.  Some of the larvae were very large and should pupate in the next week.  Others were probably 2 weeks old and will be capable of feeding on the wheat for another 2- 3 weeks.

    Control options are Lorsban 4 E at 1 pint per acre ($ 5.41), Mustang Maxx at 1.28- 4 ounces per acre   ($ 1.99- 6.22), and Warrior at 1.92- 3.2 ounces per acre ($ 4.50-7.50).  We do not add insecticide to top dress because of the toxicity to our floater operators.  

    June 14, 2014... Southwest Nebraska received some nice gentle late spring rains in the last 7 days, that have filled soil profiles in crop land and pastures.  The Nebraska panhandle received low amounts of rain this week.  The NeRAIN website reports that Gering, NE received 0.17 inches for a year-to-date total of 10.32 inches.  Kimball, NE received 0.52 inches of rain for a year-to-date total of 3.87 inches.  Imperial, NE received 2.12 inches of rain for a year-to-date total of 8.07 inches.  Imperial has a long-term median of 7.29 inches January 1- May 31 and 10.73 inches from January 1- June 30.  Currently Imperial has received 75% of the long term median in precipitation.  McCook received 3.05 inches of rain for a year-to-date total of 8.99 inches. 

    The U.S. Drought Monitor based at the University of Nebraska has moved SW Nebraska from the Extreme Drought category to the Severe Drought category.  Western Kansas is still in Severe to Extreme Drought category. 
    River flows in the area have not changed much.  The South Platte River is still flowing high from rain and snow melt in the Colorado Rockies and Eastern Plains.  The Republican River at Cambridge is flowing 2.89 times higher than the long term median due to rain and the augmentation projects. 

    Harlan County Reservoir is currently at 163,240 acre feet.  The long term median for the date is 268,224 acre feet.  We are short from the long term median by 104,984 acre feet. 
    Growing degree day units from April 20 through June 10 is at 650 units.  A growing degree day unit is based off of daily high temperatures between 50 and 86, and night time lows between 50 and 86.  The 34 year median GDD units for June 10 is 643 units.  The highest for June 10 was 777 in 1987 and the lowest was 497.5 units in 2011. 

    Most of the irrigated corn is in the 5- 6 leaf stage or 3 to 4 collars.  Dryland corn ranges from 4- 6 leaf.  With the rain in the area, soil profiles are full and weeds are growing.  Wheat is in the watery to mealy ripe stage.  Some fields are starting to turn amber in color as the wheat grows toward maturity.  Soybeans and dry beans are in the first true leaf to 2 trifoliate stage.  

    June 7, 2014...  Warmer and longer days have warmed up soil temperatures across the high plains region and more normal rainfall has brought nice slow soaking rains to the FVC trade area.  The Drought Center at the University of Nebraska still has most of Nebraska and Kansas under some form of drought.  Even NE Colorado has some form of drought.  

    Soil temperatures this morning were 54 degrees at Douglas and Cheyenne, WY, 57 degrees at Kimball, NE, 61 degrees at Imperial, NE, and 65 degrees at McCook, NE.  

    Rain has brought relief to most areas from May 17 to this morning.  Kimball, NE is receiving more rain than it had in the first 4 months of the year.  Gering has received 1.84 inches for a year to date total of 9.98 inches.  Kimball received 0.99 inches of rain for a year to date total of 3.35 inches.  Imperial received 2.61 inches for a year to date total of 5.95 inches.  McCook received 4.25 inches for a year to date total of 5.94 inches.   

    May 17, 2014...  Soil temperatures this morning were in the 40 degree range for the FVC trade area.  Douglas, WY and Kimball, NE reported 46 degrees, Cheyenne, WY, reported 43 degrees, Imperial and McCook, NE reported 47 degrees.  

    Since April 28, all NeRAIN websites have reported rain, with Kimball tripling the amount of rain fall received in the last 3 weeks.  Gering, NE received 4.36 inches for a total this year of 8.14 inches.  Kimball, NE received 1.81 inches for a year to date total of 2.36 inches.  Imperial received 1.75 inches for a total of 3.34 inches.  McCook received 0.41 inches, for a total this year of 1.69 inches.  

    Harlan County Reservoir has risen from 124,000 acre feet to 151,645 acre feet since January 1.  Water flowing into Harlan County Reservoir has come from augmentation sites in Colorado and Nebraska and from water releases of 297.5 acre feet per day from Enders Reservoir at Enders, NE.  

    Wheat is at the flag leaf of head stage.  Since May 1 we have had several nights where we have had frost or freezing temperatures.  It is still too early to tell what effect these temperatures will have on injuries to the head.  So far I have not been able to find frost damaged heads as I look at the fields.  

    Corn planted shortly after Easter has emerged and been frozen off.  Plants are slowly recovering.  Emerged corn has a yellow appearance from the cool cloudy conditions.  

    May 7, 2914...  A cold front has come through dropping daytime highs.  Much needed moisture in the form of rain, snow, and hail fell in the area in the last 14 hours.  You know you’re in a drought when you call hail much needed precipitation.  Initial rain fall reports range from 0.34 to 0.58 inches.  Soil temperature this morning were 55 degrees in Imperial.  

    Corn planted shortly after Easter is emerging.  It is taking 10- 14 days for the corn to emerge.  The biggest problem I have seen this week is Russian thistle and kochia in most fields.  

    Wheat is at joint to flag leaf emerging.  We are seeing low levels of tanspot.  On May 1 and May 2 we had nighttime lows of 25 and 28 degrees.  Much of the wheat is showing symptoms of tip burn from the low temperatures causing a rust looking appearance.  This is not disease!  We have some individuals selling fungicide saying that this is tan spot or rust.  


    April 28, 2014...  Soil temperatures have been as low as 38 degrees and as high as 57 degrees near Imperial in the last 9 days.  This morning soil temperatures were 41 degrees in Douglas, WY, 38 degrees in Cheyenne, WY, 43 degrees in Kimball, NE, 47 degrees in Imperial, NE, and 51 degrees in McCook, NE.  

    April has been a dry month in the area.  According to the NeRAIN website, in the last 9 days, Gering, NE has had 0.61 inches for a year to date total of 3.78 inches of precipitation.  Kimball received 0.10 inches for a year to date total of 0.55 inches of precipitation.  Imperial received 0.42 inches for a year to date total of 1.59 inches of precipitation.  McCook received 0.06 for a year to date total of 1.28 inches of precipitation.  On average Imperial receives 4.23 inches of precipitation for the first 4 months.  

    Corn planting is 40% completed around Imperial.  Corn planted 12 days ago has a 1 inch sprout below the soil surface.  I have seen volunteer corn emerged with 1 leaf extended.  Wheat is mostly in the joint stage with soil moisture in the second and third foot.  Weeds are surviving the drought with high levels of germination and emergence, especially for kochia.  


    April 19,2014...   A Happy Easter to all of you this Sunday as we rejoice in an empty grave and a Victorious Savior!   

    Soil temperatures today were 38 degrees in Douglas, WY, 44 degrees in Cheyenne, WY, 48 degrees in Kimball, NE, and 51 degrees in Imperial and McCook, NE.  In the past 2 weeks precipitation has brought needed moisture to some areas.  Gering, NE received 0.15 inches for a year to date total of 3.17 inches.  Kimball, NE received 0.04 inches for a year to date total of 0.45 inches.  Imperial received 0.09 inches for a year to date total of 1.17 inches.  McCook received 0.50 inches for a year to date total of 1.22 inches.  

    Rivers and streams in the FVC trade area are up due to snow melt or augmentation projects.  
    River and site.                                                                   cubic feet/ sec.             gallons/ sec.
    Laramie River at Ft. Laramie, WY.                                            50                                 374
    Sybille Creek above Canal # 3 at Wheatland, WY.                      97                                 725.56
    N Platte River below Glendo Reservoir, WY.                           1920                             14361.6
    N Platte River at NE/ WY state line.                                       142                               1062.16
    S Platte at Roscoe, NE.                                                        266                               1989.68
    N Fork Republican River at NE/ CO state line.                          37                                  276.76
    Rock Creek at Parks, NE.                                                      30                                  224.4
    Republican River at Stratton, NE.                                            60                                  448.8
    Frenchman Creek at Culbertson, NE                                       44                                  329.12
    Republican River at Orleans, NE.                                          199                                 1488.52
    Republican River at Hardy, NE.                                              25                                   187

    Harlan County Reservoir has increased the water stored in the lake from 124598 acre feet on January 1, 2014, to 143841 acre feet on March 18, 2014.  

    Wheat continues to grow with plants in the joint stage.  We expect to see some corn planting start on Monday, but most farmers are looking at starting late next week or early the following week in the Imperial area.  

    April 16, 2014...  The soil temperature this morning was 43 degrees in Imperial.  The temperatures have been up and down the past week with the highest on Sunday morning at 50 and the lowest Tuesday morning at 38 degrees.  Wheat, pastures and turfgrass have been responding to moisture and the warmer temperatures.  Some of the wheat is at tiller to joint stage.  The snow storm on Sunday brought needed moisture to the area with 0.26 to 0.46 inches of moisture.  

    April is National Lawn Care Month, and now is the time to apply Step 1 of the FVC lawn fertilizer program.  Step 1 provides fertilizer for feeding the lawn and a pre-emerge herbicide to keep crabgrass from germinating in your turfgrass.  Are lawns worth spending money on?  Yes!  Turfgrass can trap up to 12 tons of dust and dirt annually reducing dust, a source of allergic reactions in some people, and wear and tear on home electronics.  A 50 foot by 50 foot area of turf releases enough oxygen to supply a family of four.  Turf grass holds the soil in place around homes and filters and slows rainfall runoff, keeping water out of municipal storm drains and waterways.  And turfgrass can reduce cooling costs around the home by 26%.  This reduces electric demands during peak summer use.  While environmentalists condemn turfgrass, the numbers above show a different story of the value of plants around the home.  Go out and spread Step 1 with the confidence that what you are doing is good for you and the planet.  

    This past week, Nebraska FFA members met in Lincoln, NE for the State Convention.  Local teams did well and we congratulate the winners and all the contestants in all the programs.  As a local supporter of our local chapter I do want to thank the Board of Directors of Frenchman Valley Coop, as well as Doug Ohlson our General Manager, for their support of all the local chapters in the FVC trade area, and of the state and national organization as well.  I am pleased to say that we were the only locally owned Cooperative or agricultural company that supports the FFA program.  Thanks again for all who help and support our young community members as they learn about life, leadership, competition, and careers in agriculture! 

    April 5, 2014...  The soil temperatures have come up with several warm sunny days and the increasing day length.  Soil temperatures this morning were 35 degrees at Douglas and Cheyenne, WY, 36 degrees at Kimball, NE, 38 degrees at Imperial, and 41 degrees at McCook, NE.  

    Precipitation has been limited and mostly in the form of snow in the FVC trade area since March 14 according to the NeRAIN website.  Gering has received 0.53 inches for a total this year of 2.87 inches of precipitation.  Kimball has received 0.05inches for a total of 0.41 inches.  Imperial received 0.22 inches for a total of 1.08 inches.  During the month of March Imperial received 0.33 inches of precipitation which is 29% of average.  The average for the month of March in Imperial is 1.1289 inches.  For the year Imperial is at 49% of average with the average for the first 3 months being 1.9913 inches of precipitation.  McCook received 0.12 inches for a year to date total of 0.65 inches of precipitation.  

    Cutworms are present in some fields across the area.  Most fields are close to pastures or weedy stubble fields. The highest concentration is around the Stratton, NE area.  Compounding the problem is the slow wheat growth this spring.    

    April 2, 2014...  The soil temperature this morning in Imperial was 38 degrees.  Precipitation for the month of March totaled 0.33 inches.  On average Imperial receives 1.13 inches of precipitation during March which places last month at 29% of average.  From January 1- March 31, 2014, Imperial has received 1.06 inches of precipitation.  On average we receive 2.15 inches of precipitation.  We currently are at 49% of average.  

    April 1, 2014...  Fluctuating high and low daytime temperatures have caused the soil temperatures to rise and fall below 40 degrees at the 4 inch depth.  Yesterday morning in Imperial the soil temperature was 45 degrees.  This morning it was 37 degrees.  Wheat, cool season pasture grasses, mustards, kochia and turfgrass are growing slowly.  Now is the time to be topdressing wheat with herbicide and fertilizer.  Soil moisture in the dryland wheat is 35% depleted in the top 4-8 inches, and 25 % depleted at the lower depths around Imperial.  

    Homeowners should remember to apply Step 1 of the 5 step FVC lawn fertilizer program around Easter.  Step 1 has a pre-emerge herbicide that will keep crabgrass, windmill grass and other weeds from germinating during early turfgrass establishment this spring, reducing the amount of weeds in your turf.  We also have the Flower and Garden fertilizer for your flower beds and gardens.  This product does not have herbicide and is safe for the garden.  

     
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