College News

Ag Instructor Vic Martin: Catching Up with Area Progress

Great Bend Tribune
Published June 12, 2022

The drought monitor report as of Tuesday, 7 indicated further improvement of conditions, especially for our area. The part of our area that was in extreme drought improved to severe last week and further to only moderate drought. There was some improvement for the western third of the state. The six to ten-day outlook (June 14 to 18) indicates a 40-60 percent chance of above-normal temperatures and 33-40 percent chance of below-normal precipitation. The eight to fourteen-day outlook (June 16 to 22) indicates a 60 to 70% chance of above-normal temperatures and 33-40 percent chance of below-normal precipitation. Helpful for wheat producers wanting to get in the field. So today, let’s see where we are at regarding the progress of the 2022 wheat crop and our summer row crops.

Wheat is turning and at least, with an exception or two, moderate temperatures allowed the mature and maximize the yield potential that’s there. Some wheat was sprayed out with producers planting summer crops. Some wheat was baled or worked under. We will have to wait for the combines to roll to see what is there and for protein and test weights. Depending on the weather, some wheat appears to be about ten days from harvest. It’s no surprise that the harvest will be down this year. Overall, fields don’t look too weedy and with all the dry weather until recently, disease pressure is overall low.

Corn that was is the ground is making progress and looking pretty good as some is already approaching one foot in height. All the row crops have benefitted greatly from the rains. The above-normal temperatures will help push corn as long as soil moisture holds out. The forecast isn’t promising for rainfall. Realistically, all the corn should be in the ground.

There are a fair number of soybean fields with beans emerging and some with their first trifoliate leaf. Dryland emergence looks good. They will need precipitation during podfill come August. So far weed control looks good. While May is a better time for planting, we are still in the full-season soybean planting window. And with this moisture, coupled with topsoil moisture, if what is harvested early enough there will likely be a fair number of acres in double-crop soybeans.

Some sorghum is in the ground and even emerged. We still have time to put sorghum in the ground and with the price of grain sorghum, we will likely see a fair number of acres, both full season and double-cropped. It is time, however, to go with an early to mid- medium maturity grain sorghum.

We are behind in planting feed (Sudan grass, sorghum x Sudan grass hybrids, and millets) in many areas but there is still adequate time for at least one good cutting. Finally, these rains greatly helped with native pastures and with those wanting to produce prairie hay.