Nebraska’s corn and soybean crops continue to lag in their development, posing concern that an early frost could reduce crop yield, according to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Service.
Also, Nebraska Farm Bureau is reminding the public there is still time to donate to the Nebraska Farm Bureau Disaster Relief Fund to help victims of this year’s flooding and weather disasters.
For the week ending Sunday, the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service reported that corn condition rated 1% very poor, 5% poor, 23% fair, 58% good and 13% excellent. Corn silking was 85%, behind the 94% last year and the 95% five-year average. Dough stage was 27%, well behind the 54% last year, and the 40% average.
According to UNL Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ Crop Watch, the delay in crop development as a result of late planting has not translated into a high probability of early frost damage at the majority of the sites in Iowa, Illinois and Missouri. In contrast, the report said the risk of early killing frost has increased compared with a normal year in northeastern Nebraska (Concord, O’Neill and Elgin), western Nebraska (North Platte and Alliance), Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio and the site in Indiana.
In Grand Island this week, the National Weather Service reports that there’s a chance of showers and thunderstorms through Monday, with daytime highs in the mid- to lower 80s and nighttime lows in the mid-60s.
The USDA reports that Nebraska soybean condition rated 1% very poor, 4% poor, 25% fair, 57% good and 13% excellent. Soybeans blooming was 78%, behind the 92% last year and the 91% average. Setting pods was 51%, behind the 66% last year and the 62% average.
Winter wheat harvested was 75%, behind the 93% last year and the 96% average.
The Nebraska Wheat Board said wheat harvest in south-central Nebraska is for the most part complete, with a handful of producers hoping to finish up this week. Test weights in the area average 60 pounds and protein levels have averaged 10 in the area. The area has seen widely varying yields, as in other regions of the state.
Sorghum condition rated 1% poor, 16% fair, 73% good and 10% excellent. Sorghum headed was 43%, well behind the 75% last year and the 61% average. Coloring was 4%, near the 5% last year and the 6% average.
Pasture and range conditions rated 1% very poor, 2% poor, 15% fair, 67% good and 15% excellent.
The Nebraska Farm Bureau Disaster Relief Fund will close Aug. 15. Nearly $3.3 million has been raised and 90% of the funds have been distributed to Nebraska farmers, ranchers and rural communities suffering from the natural disasters that impacted the state in March, said Steve Nelson, Nebraska Farm Bureau president.
“As conditions slowly return to a new normal for Nebraska agriculture, it is our hope that the Nebraska Farm Bureau Disaster Relief fund has helped get farmers, ranchers and rural communities back on their feet sooner. Nebraska Farm Bureau is equipped and ready to help if other disasters strike affecting farmers and ranchers,” Nelson said.
The Disaster Relief Fund was established at the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit, so donations meet the criteria for qualified charitable contributions for tax purposes.
“With 90% of the funds distributed, the remaining amount will be dispensed by the foundation’s 2019 fiscal year end, Sept. 30. It will be distributed on a rolling basis until 100% of donated funds have been expended,” said Megahn Schafer, executive director of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation.
Nelson said the Nebraska Farm Bureau will continue to work with state and national leaders to do everything possible in dealing with disasters across the state.
“The floods and blizzards in March complicated life in Nebraska, and while the effects will likely be felt for months and in some cases years, Nebraskans are resilient and will move positively forward,” he said.
While donations to the Nebraska Farm Bureau Disaster Relief Fund will end next week, there are other ways to support continued disaster relief efforts. Donors interested in helping those affected by recent flooding in Central Nebraska or farmers in Western Nebraska who are without water for their crops because of a canal breach in Wyoming can learn more and make donations to the Kearney Area Community Foundation at www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr or the Oregon Trail Community Foundation at www.otcf.org.