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Frost Date a Concern for Late-Planted Crops in Minnesota

Corn and Soybean Progress Falls Behind.

The corn Tom Haag planted on Mother’s Day this year has tasseled and has ears developing, but what was planted just a few weeks later on the first of June is going to need optimal weather through October.

Earlier this season, Haag described spring planting as something he’s never seen before and now talks about this summer as “completely out of the norm.”

“We’re starting to see some stress on soy and corn. There is probably moisture down deeper in the soil, but the roots didn’t develop because we had so much rain early on, and they stayed toward the surface.”

The USDA Crop Progress Report for the week ending August 4 indicates that silked corn is 10 days behind last year and six days behind the five-year average. Fifteen percent of the corn crop has reached the dough stage, which is eight days behind the crop in 2018, and five days behind normal. The corn condition is rated at 57% good to excellent.

Haag’s soybeans planted on June 8, an earlier variety, isn’t going to be what it normally would either. “With being late here, it depends on what the rest of August brings us.” Haag and others in south-central Minnesota are now contending with soybean aphids in the fields.

According to the USDA report, the soybean crop in Minnesota is four days behind last year and three days behind the average. Fifty-three percent of soybeans were setting pods, which is five days behind average. The soybean condition is rated 61% good to excellent.

The crops across the state could use the best growing conditions, including some more rain, for the next couple of months and a later frost date to ensure sufficient growth.

The drought monitor for Minnesota shows 6.28% of the state as abnormally dry, localized to the northeastern section of the state.

Minnesota Drought
National Drought Mitigation Center

The precipitation totals between August 1 to August 12, 2019, show pockets in west-central and north-central Minnesota received upwards of 2.32 inches of rainfall. Across the state, rainfall totals begin at the lowest, around 0.13 inches.

Minnesota Precipitation
Iowa Environmental Mesonet

For Minnesota, the USDA rates topsoil moisture supplies at:

  • 1% very short
  • 9% short
  • 79% adequate
  • 11% surplus

USDA-Rated Subsoil Moisture Supplies:

  • 1% very short
  • 6% short
  • 76% adequate
  • 17% surplus

Additional data from the USDA Crop Progress Report for the week ending August 4, 2019:

  • 92% of spring wheat was coloring or beyond, one day ahead of the average. Reports of spring wheat harvest beginning were received this week. Spring wheat condition rated 84% good to excellent.
  • Oats were 95% in or beyond the coloring stage, equal to the average. 12% of oats have been harvested, nine days behind normal. Oat condition was rated 68% good to excellent, declining from the previous week.
  • Barley turning color reached 97%, six days ahead of average. 4% of the barley crop has been harvested, nine days behind normal. Barley condition rated 81% good to excellent, improving from the previous week.
  • Dry edible beans blooming reached 85% complete, four days behind the average. Dry edible beans setting pods progressed to 60% this week, two days behind normal. Dry edible beans condition was rated 67% good to excellent, improving from the previous week.
  • Sunflower condition rated 83% good to excellent, improving from the previous week.  
  • Potato condition rated 94% good to excellent.
  • Sugar beet condition was rated 80% good to excellent. 
  • The second cutting of alfalfa hay reached 88% this week, three days behind normal.
  • Pasture condition rated 71% good to excellent, degrading from the previous week.
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