Reports are for crop conditions up to July 9, 2020.
Dry weather has set in. Widely scattered thunderstorms have now become coveted. Wheat harvest is in full swing and those fields are being rapidly planted into double crop soybeans. Third cutting alfalfa is underway as well. Hay will be short this year. Plans are being made to plant oats after corn silage for additional forage.—Jeff Semler, Washington Co.
In some areas the corn appears to be starting to curl. Between the thunderstorms over the past few days and the small change of thunderstorms predicted over the next few days, hopefully that will provide some relief (even if temporary) from the heat and humidity. Corn has certainly surpassed being “knee-high by the fourth of July”. Wheat and barley harvest is underway. I have heard more reports of frost damage than Fusarium head blight damage. —Kelly Nichols, Frederick Co.
Rains have been very sporadic and isolated since the beginning of June. Soils are quite dry; corn and beans are feeling the effects of the heat and lack of moisture. Earliest planted corn fields are dealing with the dry conditions better than later planted fields, with some fields starting to tassel. Barley harvest is completed with highly variable yields due to frost damage. Wheat harvest is nearly complete with mostly good yields, minimal frost damage, high test weight, and good quality. Early maturing varieties didn’t fare as well. Double crop soybeans are being planted as soon as the straw leaves the field. Disease pressure in corn and beans is very low with the dry weather.—Andy Kness, Harford Co.
Upper Eastern Shore
Wheat harvest is all but finished. Yields were mostly 70-100 with test weights over 60 lbs/bu. The region has had a few dry spells, but most areas have been getting thunderstorms on and off. While I might not rate corn with record yield potential, it is still above average and looks good in most areas. There have been pockets of wind damage to corn including green snap, uprooting, leaning, and bent over. Full season soybeans are off to a good start with most fields reaching full canopy. Double crop soybeans have emerged and are also off to a good start. Hay (alfalfa and grass) yield and quality has been good. The pest of the year so far has been slugs. Up until 2 weeks ago, I was getting daily calls about slug damage to corn and beans.—Jim Lewis, Caroline Co.
Lower Eastern Shore
Conditions are very dry. Soybean planting is not complete; however, we have reports of soybean unable to be planted due to dry conditions. Corn is also beginning to curl due to drought. Wheat harvest is underway.—Sarah Hirsh, Somerset Co.
Crops were moisture stressed until two days ago, when storms brought from 3-6.5 inches of rain throughout most of the region. Rains were just in time for corn with earliest corn beginning to tassel and entering he critical pollination stage two weeks ago. Full season soybeans are off to a good start. Double crop beans are germinating well. Both needed the recent rains. Palmer amaranth has grown strides in the last two weeks, taking advantage of the hotter temperatures. Barley harvest is complete and wheat harvest as mostly complete. Wheat has been a mixed bag. Unfortunately much of the upland wheat had frost damage. Some farmers are reporting yields of frost damaged wheat in the 40-50 bushel range with isolated fields down to 10-20 bushels. Wheat that escaped cold injury is yielding well with very good quality. Frost damaged wheat with poor kernel development is also growing new tillers and the straw is very tough. Farmers have made some good second cutting hay in the last month. The week of very hot weather has set cool season grasses back for the summer. Tobacco is being topped with the first cutting expected to begin next week.—Ben Beale, St. Mary’s Co.