By Ev Thomas
Oak Point Agronomics, New York
Much of New York has had normal rainfall in August; an exception is an area just east of Lake Erie, where farmers are suffering through their third consecutive month of dry weather, some with less than 3 inches of rain since June 1. This, combined with above average summer temperatures, has severely stressed crops. Meanwhile, areas 50 miles east of Lake Erie have been inundated with rain since early June; farmers there report excellent alfalfa crops but very uneven corn with significantly reduced yields expected. One of the main challenges this fall will be deciding when to harvest since there’s a great amount of within-field variability. Row crops on clay loam soils in northeastern New York are also under stress from too much water. On the bright side, where there’s been adequate rainfall, the hot weather has helped advance the maturity of late-planted corn — and there’s a lot of it out there. Frequent rain events (“pop-up showers”), often not in the morning forecast, have made haymaking particularly difficult, causing farmers to question the abilities (and occasionally the parentage) of weather forecasters. However, farmers harvesting alfalfa and alfalfa-grass for silage have had some very nice second and third cuts, while fourth cut is also looking good. Head smut has been found in northern New York cornfields for the second consecutive year after a 30-year hiatus.
By Dennis Hancock
Extension Forage Specialist
University of Georgia
The dog days of summer are beginning to ease up. Temperatures have moderated and some areas have received high rainfall. But, it’s been a case of the “haves and have nots” this year. The southeastern half of Georgia continues to suffer from moderate to severe drought. Hay yields range from 70 to 125 percent of normal because of this rainfall disparity. Producers are bracing for the impact of tropical storm Erika, but they are anxious for the rain. Bermudagrass stem maggot damage is now at high levels across the whole state. Those who are in dire need of hay have placed a special effort in controlling the stem maggot. Sugarcane aphids are at extremely high levels all across the state and affecting virtually all forage sorghum, sorghum x sudangrass, and sudangrass plantings. Producers gearing up for winter grazing are also encountering short seed supplies and dealing with higher prices.
By Phil Kaatz
Forages & Field Crops Educator
Michigan State University-Extension
Corn silage will start for most after Labor Day with anticipation for an above average yield per acre. Due to the wet start this spring, some areas of the state have uneven cornfields making it problematic to harvest at the right maturity and moisture.
By Steve Orloff
Farm Advisor/Siskiyou County
University of California-Extension