Persistent Northern Plains Drought Hurts Corn, Beans Along With Spring Wheat

Little to no rain has fallen in North Dakota, the biggest grower of spring wheat in the U.S., in the past two weeks, according to the National Weather Service.
The persistent hot, dry weather has farmers, analysts, and traders worried about yields and production for wheat, corn, and soybeans in the region.
Steve Halverson, who grows both wheat and corn near Kennebec, South Dakota, said his corn is a foot tall – well shorter than normal – and has essentially stopped growing due to lack of precipitation.
It’s still green for now, but if we don’t get moisture soon, it’s going to die.” Spring wheat in North Dakota was rated 41% good or excellent, while only 11% of the crop in South Dakota earned top ratings, according to the Department of Agriculture.
About two thirds of the state is suffering from drought conditions, and the rest is abnormally dry, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
What’s worse, Hyde said, is there’s no widespread rainfall forecast for the Northern Plains for at least the next two weeks.
MDA’s forecast shows 30% to 60% of normal rainfall in North Dakota in the 15 days through July 19 with only one small pocket in the south-central part of the state at normal levels.
The best chance for widespread precipitation is this week, but that’s in the extreme eastern part of the state, he said.
Halverson said he doesn’t grow soybeans on his farm, but many of his neighbors do.
“We haven’t had measurable precipitation in so long, and hot temperatures are taking a toll on the crops.

Snap beans hard to grow in cover crop residue

Snap beans hard to grow in cover crop residue.
"We designed a study to look at a scenario that had a better chance of success.
We used snap bean, which is relatively large-seeded, and planted later to allow sufficient time to grow and then kill a cover crop."
In both Illinois and Washington, Williams and USDA-ARS agronomist Rick Boydston grew vetch, rye, and a combination of the two cover crops before killing them with a roller-crimper — a machine that evenly flattens and crimps standing plant biomass — or with a combination of the roller-crimper and a burndown herbicide.
Instead, vetch became weedy and caused yield losses in snap bean.
"Another issue was adequate seed-to-soil contact, which can become a challenge with excessive plant residues on the soil surface.
No-till snap bean performance and weed response following rye and vetch cover crops.
"Snap beans hard to grow in cover crop residue."
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.
"Snap beans hard to grow in cover crop residue."