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Crops Looking Good in Much of North Dakota and South Dakota

Moisture has been adequate — excessive in some cases — after a dry start.

It’s unknown at this point how the crops will turn out. But so far, everything is looking fine for Jason Frerichs and his family near Wilmot in northeastern South Dakota.

 “We are in great shape,” says Frerichs. “We have had some people visit our area, and they say our crops are looking the best of any place they have been. 

“Most corn is over knee-high or taller,” he adds. “Even though we got started a week to 10 days later than last year, it has all worked out. We are caught up.”

Frerichs and his family are now sidedressing corn, which is part of their normal nitrogen plan behind urea earlier in the year. 

“The soybeans aren’t quite as far along, which is usual for this time of year,” says Frerichs. “They are covering the ground and taking their time, which is OK, because we have spraying to do. We had to replant some soybeans, but it was no disaster. They either laid in dry dirt or headlands, where they just didn’t want to come up.”  

“Spring wheat also looks good,” says Frerichs. “It had maybe five days, a week of stress early on, but it has potential to be a good crop. It’s either heading out or just about to head out.

“Pastures look excellent,” adds Frerichs. The hay crop is also looking good. 

“The alfalfa first cutting is basically done,” he says. “We chopped quite a bit of it for haylage.” 

Timely rainfall is helping fuel the growth. Rainfall has ranged between .8 and 2 inches per event, with it averaging around an inch per week around Wilmot.

Dust in the Wind 

Other areas of South Dakota, though, have not been as fortunate. Farther west in areas like Miller, South Dakota, earlier dust storms ravaged soybean stands. 

“There has been a lot of replant in those areas where there were beans-on-beans or any tillage, or soybeans on sunflower stubble,” says Frerichs. “Where there was not a lot of cover, soil landed in ditches. There has been lots of talk in terms of soil health, and what can be done to correct it.”

It’s not a finger-waving approach, but more encouragement about ways that farmers can protect their soils, he says. It’s also a reminder for farmers to fall seed crops like rye in order to obtain some ground cover after harvest.  

“I did that this year, and cut it for hay,” he says. “We planted rye on corn silage ground, and it turned out. We have soybeans growing in there now. That ground was never exposed (to wind and water erosion).”

The Miller area also had a bad turn of fortune in the last few days. Tornadoes, hail, and rampant rainfall struck the area, damaging crops. 

Weeds

“There certainly is kochia, and also waterhemp out there,” says Frerichs. Overall, though, early weed control has been impressive in Frerichs’ area. 

“The pre’s (preemergence herbicides) worked pretty well on soybeans this year,” he says. “I think a lot of people made sure to get a pre out there, or at least a burndown. I don’t hear of a lot of disasters out there.” 

There’s been a trend of more farmers using the LibertyLink weed control system, he says. “It’s worked out pretty well for people on both on corn and soybeans,” he says. 

Farmers also grow dicamba-tolerant soybeans in the area. So far, no reports of off-target dicamba have occurred. Unlike Minnesota, there is no cutoff data for dicamba applications in South Dakota. 

“Our best-looking beans are Xtend beans,” he says. “I think they still have a place.” 

One challenge has been finding optimal weather in which to spray, due to wind and wet weather. “There have not been many ideal conditions for spraying,” he says. 

South Dakota Crop Conditions

Here’s how crop conditions have looked in South Dakota as of the week ending June 17. For that week, there were on average 5.0 days suitable for fieldwork, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. 

Topsoil moisture supplies were rated as:

  • Very short: 1%
  • Short: 20%
  • Adequate: 75%
  • Surplus: 4% 

Subsoil moisture supplies were rated as:

  • Very short: 3%
  • Short: 26%
  • Adequate: 70%
  • Surplus: 1%

Corn condition

  • Very poor: 0%
  • Poor: 2%
  • Fair: 32%
  • Good: 56%
  • Excellent: 10%

Soybean condition

  • Very poor: 0%
  • Poor: 4%
  • Fair: 35%
  • Good: 54%
  • Excellent: 7%
  • 91% of soybeans have emerged. That’s behind last year’s 96%, but ahead of 86% for the five-year average. 

Winter wheat condition 

  • Very poor: 1%
  • Poor: 11%
  • Fair: 44%
  • Good: 42%
  • Excellent: 2%
  • Just 89% of winter wheat has headed. That’s behind last year’s 97%, but ahead of the 77% average.

Spring wheat condition 

  • Very poor: 4%
  • Poor: 7%
  • Fair: 37%
  • Good: 48%
  • Excellent: 4%
  • Right now 48% of spring wheat is headed, behind last year’s 61%, but ahead of the 34% average. 

Oats condition

  • Very poor: 1%
  • Poor: 2%
  • Fair: 37%
  • Good: 54%
  • Excellent: 6%
  • Exactly 50% of oats are headed. That’s behind last year’s 69%, but near the 49% average. 

Sorghum condition 

  • Very poor: 0%
  • Poor: 1%
  • Fair: 14%
  • Good: 85%
  • Excellent: 0%
  • And 91% of sorghum is planted, near last year’s 94%, but ahead of the 85% average.

Sunflower plantings

  • Reports show 75% of sunflowers are planted, behind last year’s 89%, but ahead of the 68% average. 

Pasture and range conditions

  • Very poor: 2%
  • Poor: 10%
  • Fair: 45%
  • Good: 39%
  • Excellent: 4%

North Dakota crop conditions

For the week ending June 17, 2018, 5.0 days were suitable for fieldwork, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. 

Topsoil moisture supplies were rated as:

  • Very short: 4%
  • Short: 18%
  • Adequate: 73%
  • Surplus: 5% 

Subsoil moisture supplies were rated as:

  • Very short: 7%
  • Short: 25%
  • Adequate: 65%
  • Surplus: 3% 

Corn condition

  • Very poor: 0%
  • Poor: 2%
  • Fair: 17%
  • Good: 73%
  • Excellent: 8%
  • And 96% of corn has emerged, near last year’s 97% and the 93% average.

Soybean condition 

  • Very poor: 0%
  • Poor: 3%
  • Fair: 15%
  • Good: 76%
  • Excellent: 6%
  • Now 88% of soybeans have emerged, behind last year’s 93%, but ahead of the five-year average of 82%. 

Spring wheat conditio

  • Very poor: 0%
  • Poor: 2%
  • Fair: 18%
  • Good: 66%
  • Excellent: 14%
  • Also, 62% of spring wheat is jointed, near last year’s 64%, but ahead of the 49% average; 2% is headed, behind last year’s 8%, which is both last year’s level and the average level.

Durum wheat condition 

  • Very poor: 0%
  • Poor: 2%
  • Fair: 23%
  • Good: 63%
  • Excellent: 12%
  • Reports show 95% of durum wheat is emerged; 50% is jointed, behind last year’s 57%, but ahead of the 33% average. 

Winter wheat condition 

  • Very poor: 2%
  • Poor: 6%
  • Fair: 31%
  • Good: 53%
  • Excellent: 8%
  • A total of 93% of winter wheat is jointed, near last year’s 96%; 42% is headed, behind last year’s 59%. 

Canola condition

  • Very poor: 1%
  • Poor: 6%
  • Fair: 24%
  • Good: 59%
  • Excellent: 10%
  • And 96% of canola has emerged, near last year’s 98%; 5% is blooming, near last year’s 6% and the 7% average. 

Sugar beet condition 

  • Very poor: 0%
  • Poor: 0%
  • Fair: 10%
  • Good: 14%
  • Excellent: 76%

Oats condition 

  • Very poor: 2%
  • Poor: 2%
  • Fair: 22%
  • Good: 68%
  • Excellent: 6%
  • Also, 93% of oats are emerged, near last year’s 97% and the 92% average; 62% is jointed, near last year’s 64%; 8% is headed, behind last year’s 17% and near the 10% average. 

Barley condition

  • Very poor: 0%
  • Poor: 2%
  • Fair: 16%
  • Good: 77%
  • Excellent: 5%
  • Already 98% of barley is emerged, near last year’s 97% and ahead of the five-year average of 91%; 67% is jointed, ahead of last year’s 61% and the 48% average; 1% is headed, behind last year’s 7% and the 7% average. 

Dry edible peas condition 

  • Very poor: 0%
  • Poor: 2%
  • Fair: 24%
  • Good: 64%
  • Excellent: 10%
  • Also, 95% of dry edible peas have emerged; 28% have bloomed, ahead of last year’s 22% and the 13% average. 

Sunflowers

  • And 96% of sunflowers have been planted, near last year’s 98%, but ahead of the 87% average; 67% are emerged, behind last year’s 76%. 

Flaxseed condition 

  • Very poor: 0%
  • Poor: 3%
  • Fair: 20%
  • Good: 68%
  • Excellent: 9%
  • Now 89% of flaxseed is emerged, ahead of last year’s 84% and the 76% average; 2% is bloomed, near last year’s 3% and equal to average. 

Potato condition 

  • Very poor: 1%
  • Poor: 0%
  • Fair: 8%
  • Good: 69%
  • Excellent: 22%
  • Reports show 90% of potatoes have emerged, near last year’s 94% but well ahead of the 69% average. 

Dry edible bean condition

  • Very poor: 0%
  • Poor: 1%
  • Fair: 15%
  • Good: 76%
  • Excellent: 8%
  • Also, 92% of dry edible beans have emerged, near last year’s 91% and well ahead of the 72% average. 

Alfalfa condition 

  • Very poor: 0%
  • Poor: 8%
  • Fair: 47%
  • Good: 39%
  • Excellent: 6%
  • Alfalfa first cutting is 18%, well behind last year’s 38%.  
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