Agronomy Blog

Western Iowa and Northwest Missouri Crop Progress

by Greg Peters | Dec 18, 2017

Producers have finished harvest but many continue to find things to do in the field with warm temperatures that have persisted into winter.  Some have even done secondary tillage work that they would normally do in the spring because they feel that they need to take advantage of the weather. 

Most farmers would say that yields were higher than expected with yield reports varying from 140 bushels per acre to some reporting field averages close to 300 bushels per acre.  The differences in final yields were primarily caused by differences in rainfall throughout the growing season but also included temperature variations as well.  Attached are maps that show the variations of Growing degree units compared to normal from April 15 to October 1, as well as a rainfall map compared to normal in the same period from the Iowa Mesonet. 

I am also including a map that shows the rainfall accumulation from April 15th through July 31st because the weather changed after August 1 and much of the area received timely rains and even heavy rains toward the end of the growing season.  Plot results showed that late maturity hybrids could take advantage of the 2017 growing season. 
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Late fall winds led to standability problems as well as some farmers reporting issues with ear retention.  The stress conditions that were experienced during the growing season contributed to these issues.  Many fields were showing extreme potassium deficiency during the extreme heat in June resulting in weak ear/shank attachments.  This was affecting plants that had normal ear development and usually these ears slip clean of the husk.  We were also seeing some hybrids that did not pollinate the butts of the ears resulting in pinched butts that do not have a good shank attachment as well.  Stalk strength of the hybrids was affected by these stress conditions.  The thickness of the rinds was reduced and hybrids couldn’t “rind stand” as stalk rots moved in.  Excessive winds at harvest compounded this situation. 

Soybean yields were better than expected as pod formation was low until the rains fell.  It seemed that the soybeans went into a suspended life and then they exploded in growth when the rains began to fall.  Yield levels were from the upper 40’s to some reports near 100.  The main disease problems were with white mold in the northern portion of the area and SDS in the southern areas especially Missouri.  We also saw Charcoal rot and Pod and Stem Blight in the areas that had moisture stress late in the season. 

Several hybrids and varieties stood out this season and they vary depending on where they are being evaluated.  Please contact your local DSM or myself and we will be happy to help you make plans for 2018.  Have a safe and happy holiday!   


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