The crop now needs snow and consistent temperatures, the Nebraska Wheat Board says
By Diego Flammini
All the winter wheat in one U.S. state is up, a new report says.
Winter wheat in Nebraska is fully emerged, the USDA’s latest Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin says.
Growers reported uneven emergence early on but the crop has since improved, said Caroline Clements, ag promotion coordinator with the Nebraska Wheat Board.
“We had some reports of spotty emergence in parts of southern Nebraska, which we chalked up to the timing of some precipitation,” she told Farms.com. “Our stands have evened out now with the rain and snow we’ve received. But, on the whole, the wheat crop is in good condition going into the winter.”
As the calendar turns to December, snow and consistently cold temperatures will be key to ensure the crop can thrive in the spring.
“A nice layer of snow will act as an insulation layer to protect the crop through the winter,” Clements said. “With the cold weather can come some pretty harsh winds, so the snow will help protect the wheat from those.
“We also don’t want to see drastic temperature swings to where the wheat thinks it’s spring and breaks dormancy.”
Overall, about 86 percent of the U.S. winter wheat crop has emerged, the USDA says. That number is up 5 percent from last week.
Corn producers continue to wrap up their 2018 harvests.
About 94 percent of the national corn crop is in the bin, the USDA says. That number is up from 90 percent last week.
Corn growers in Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Tennessee have finished their harvests.
Mike Homerding, an Illinois producer from Kendall and La Salle counties, is pleased with his 2018 crop.
“I think we’re going to have a whole farm average of about 250 bushels per acre,” he told Farms.com.
Field management changes may have helped increase yields, Homerding noted.
“We’re split applying nitrogen and that seems to be working out for us,” he said. “Fungicide also paid off for us this year, so I think we’ll continue to implement those on the farm as long as it remains profitable.”
The U.S. soybean harvest is also inching towards completion.
Growers have harvested about 94 percent of the American soybean crop, the USDA says. That number is up from 91 percent last week.
Farmers in Illinois and South Dakota are the only ones to report a completed soybean harvest.
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