Digging In

Hoping for Any Progress by the 4th of July

Hoping for Any Progress by the 4th of July

By Emily Keiser on Thursday, 04 July, 2019

This year, farmers across the U.S. have faced less than ideal conditions trying to get their crops planted. The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) Field Managers have been on the ground all spring and have documented the struggles our Partner and Associate farmers are experiencing. Below, our Field Managers share quick field updates from their regions.


Pictured: RabenhorsFarms, in South Dakota V2-V3 corn, planted June 7th.  

In South Dakota, most of the corn is between V2-V4. South Dakota Field Manager, Maddy Rabenhorst, has seen a lot of variety throughout the state. “If growers were able to get in early, their corn is around waist high, but in other places, fields have yet to be planted and everything in between.” 


Pictured: Corn planted into clover in Central Indiana on June 25th and soybeans planted into large cereal rye. 

Many areas in Indiana were hit hard with wet weather during much of the planting season. Most planting has taken place throughout the month of June if farmers were able to get in the field at all. The heavy rains throughout the last few weeks have caused ponding and have drowned out a few spots. Indiana Field Manager John Stewart said, “It’s been an interesting spring watching the different cover crop species in our trials. Many farmers had to delay termination and plant into larger than expected cereal rye and other cover crops.”


Pictured: Corn at V4 in Northern Illinois.

Throughout Illinois, there is a variety of growth stages. Most farmers had good termination for how tall many of the fields were due to the wet spring. There will be many prevent plant acres throughout the state and as farmers look for something to put out in their fields, cover crops seeds could be in high demand. Farmers that were able to plant in the late April window have corn emerged up to V7, but the majority are V3-V6. Minor stand issues have also been a common problem based on wet planting conditions, according to Northern Illinois Field Manager, Jim Isermann. 


Pictured: Corn and Soybeans planted green in Nebraska.

Overall throughout Nebraska and Kansas, farmers are in good shape given the conditions they have been dealt this year. Corn is anywhere from V3 to V10 in fields just a few miles away from one another. The main problem throughout the central states is water infiltration. “In several areas, it is quite apparent that high-intensity rainfall caused erosion, but in areas with cover crops established, the damages weren’t nearly as devastating,” said Nebraska and Kansas Field Manager Keith Byerly


Pictured: Corn at V10, flooding in fields due to recent rainfall and soybeans at V2 in Eastern Iowa. 

Crop conditions throughout Iowa are scattered and vary across the state. Corn ranges from V3-V10 with some fields looking good and some highly variable within the field. Soybeans, in general, are around V2-V4 and far from canopy. Some areas covered with prevent plant and many flooded acres that have, or will need, to be replanted. “Conservation practices are definitely showing advantages throughout the state in reducing erosion and decreasing the amount of dry time to get back in the fields,” said Iowa Field Manager Lisa Kubik.  

As we head into July, fields throughout the Midwest are at all different stages of development. Farmers have battled through many challenging conditions to get crops planted throughout this Spring and continue to battle the wet fields as crops begin to emerge. In general, farmers who have implemented conservation practices have seen better water absorption and are able to plant into a better soil structure. As the crop continues to mature, benefits of cover crops and no-till continue to help farmers combate the saturated soils. 

No matter the region, conservation practices are paying off during these challenging weather patterns. Keep watch on our social media channels to see weekly updates of crops at our Partner and Associate sites! 

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