Maryland Regional Crop Reports: August 2020

Reports are for crop conditions through August 6, 2020.

Western Maryland

Recent rains have helped replenish soil moisture to a point but only time will tell if it helped our crops. Corn yields will certainly be reduced by the hot dry weather we experienced this year. Full season soybeans may fare a little better than the corn but we will have to wait and see. Double crop soybeans are struggling and without additional significant moisture will most likely be disappointing. A greater proportion of our corn crop will be headed to the silo and not the grain bin as dairymen stock up their winter stores. Hay stocks are also down so savvy operators will be planting oats and winter cereals for increased forage reserves.—Jeff Semler, Washington Co.

Central Maryland

Much needed rain came with Hurricane Isaias this week, with most of the region seeing approximately 2-4 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service. I have not heard any reports of major flooding in the area. Corn has been more affected by the dry weather, with most lower leaves completely dried up. Corn silage harvest will begin soon. The corn earworm, fall armyworm, and western bean cutworm traps have caught very low or no moths this summer, indicating low populations this year.—Kelly Nichols, Frederick Co.

Northern Maryland

Rain has been sporadic and isolated from approximately the first week of June through the third week of July. It is not common on our soil types here to see hard leaf roll in corn, but you didn’t have to look hard to find it in July. All things considered, crops do not look that bad, as timely storms right around corn pollination likely saved yields. You can find incomplete pollination in corn on lighter soils, but overall, yield potential is still good in most fields, but likely not as big as the past few years. The hurricane brought some much-needed 2-5 inches of rain. Double crop soybeans are growing slowly and sill very short. Full season soybeans look pretty good; although many fields have reduced pod set due to the lack moisture. Recent rains should help compensate for fewer pods by making bigger beans and maybe a few more blooms. Disease pressure in both corn and soybeans has been minimal.—Andy Kness, Harford Co.

Upper & Mid Eastern Shore

With the recent 3-6” of rain, most of the region will probably have record drylands corn yields. Irrigated corn looks good, but the cloudy humid weather for the past month may have shaved some top end potential off. Gray leaf spot is sporadic with infection levels all over the board. Early corn is dented. Full season soybeans are taller than I like to see with many beans reaching 4’; well at least before the hurricane. Due to lodging, some are now 2’ tall. Double crop beans have closed over the rows. Hay yields have continued to be above average, but it has been a challenge to get it cured. Many acres of corn have been sprayed with a fungicide. Herbicide resistant weeds continue to be a problem in soybeans. And there have been a few bean fields with worms at thresh hold levels requiring treatment. Hopefully the hurricane didn’t deliver rust spores from the south.—Jim Lewis, Caroline Co.

Lower Eastern Shore

After having a dry spell, we have finally had several rain events on the Lower Shore, and crops are looking much better. Early season corn will likely have yield loss due to the dry weather during critical growth periods. Some corn is already in dent growth stage, approaching maturity. Soybean crops are looking promising, and double-crop beans are getting a good start. Palmer amaranth is present on many farms in the area, anywhere from early vegetative growth stages to already flowering. Common ragweed is also prevalent, including young seedlings, which is surprising as ragweed is primarily a spring emerging weed. Hurricane Isaias swept through the area yesterday, which brought 1 inch of rain in Salisbury and reports of up to 3 inches in other locations. There were reports of three tornados that touched down on the Lower Shore. As of yet we have not gotten reports of major crop damage from high winds.—Sarah Hirsh, Somerset Co.

Southern Maryland

With regular rains over the past month, most corn and soybean crops have been in good to excellent condition. Most grain sorghum fields are headed out and sugarcane aphids are starting to show up in low numbers, though headworm pressure seems to remain low at the time. The area saw between 2 to 10+ inches of rain from the tropical storm that moved through on Aug 4, with much of the heavier rain to the south and east. High winds saw some blowdown of soybean crops, which should recover. More damage is expected to be seen in vegetable crops, especially where heavy rains and standing water will likely lead to disease problems through the rest of the season.—Alan Leslie, Charles Co.