One of the challenges of being a crop consultant is dealing with weather events that make it very difficult to produce an economical yielding crop.

Since mid-April when corn was planted in the central Nebraska area, it has experienced very cold freezing temperatures and excessively dry winds and conditions to dry and crust the soil surface. Now, three- to over-10-inch rainfalls fell in a short time period throughout the many of the high-producing areas of irrigated corn and soybeans. Devastating hail also accompanied many of the highest rainfall areas.

Most of the corn was spiking through the soil surface or at the 1- to 2-leaf stage. Soybeans were mostly sprouting and not emerged yet. The ridge-till fields fared better than the disked fields, especially where there were slopes in the fields and much washing of soil occurred. The lower areas in the fields that have standing water should be OK as long as the water drains away in 24-48 hours. There will be areas of the flat Platte River Valley that will take a much longer time to allow the water to drain.

Crop injury always looks worse the 1-2 days after hail and heavy rain. It is best not to jump to a decision to replant at this point. Crops in very early stages of growth can withstand quite a bit of damage and still recover.

Over the next 7-10 days, growers and crop consultants will be evaluating crop stands. Changes in weed control and nitrogen management practices may result from flood damage and soil erosion.

Source: Orvin Bontrager, CCA, CPAg, CropTalk