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Harvest could bring in record corn crop; frost expected this weekend

Harvest could bring in record corn crop; frost expected this weekend

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Drought conditions continue, but weather will turn colder as farmers continue to make excellent progress on what could be a record corn crop in Nebraska.

Widespread frost may occur during the weekend, along with a possibility of snow showers.

The National Weather Service in Hastings forecast continues to call for dry conditions with a high Wednesday in the 70s and breezy conditions of southwest winds at 15-25 mph with wind gusts as high as 35 mph. The morning low will be about 38, but Thursday’s high will only be in low to mid-50s as winds will come from the north/northwest at 10-15 mph with gusts as high as 20 mph.

Early Friday morning, the low will be about 32 as a widespread frost is expected throughout the area. It will be sunny, with a high near 58 and a morning low Saturday of about 44.

On Saturday, temperatures will return to the low 70s, but then drop considerably by Sunday morning, with a low of about 33. There is a 20% chance of rain after 2 a.m.

A slight chance of rain will continue into Sunday and possibly snow showers in the morning. It will then warm up to a high of 48. The chance of precipitation is 20%. The early morning low Monday will be about 27, with widespread frost. Monday’s high will be in the mid-40s.

For Grand Island, the weather service reports that since Sept. 1, only 1.26 of precipitation has fallen, which is 1.78 inches less than the 30-year average. For the year, 20.56 inches of precipitation has fallen, which is 3.25 inches less than the 30-year average.

Crop conditions

Despite the drier conditions, the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service reported that, based on Oct. 1 conditions, Nebraska’s 2020 corn production is forecast at 1.84 billion bushels, up 3% from last year’s production. Area to be harvested for grain, at 9.83 million acres, is up slightly from a year ago. Yield is forecast at 187 bushels per acre, up 5 bushels from last year.

On Tuesday, the USDA reported that state corn condition rated 5% very poor, 9% poor, 23% fair, 46% good and 17% excellent. Corn mature was 96%, ahead of the 82% last year and the 90% five-year average. Harvested was 34%, ahead of the 18% last year and the 22% average.

State soybean production is forecast at 309 million bushels, up 9% from last year. Area for harvest, at 5.15 million acres, is up 6% from 2019. Yield is forecast at 60 bushels per acre, up 1.5 bushels from last year. Soybeans harvested was 82%, well ahead of the 24% last year and the 39% average.

State sorghum for grain is forecast at 12 million bushels, down 1% from last year. Area for harvest, at 135,000 acres, is up 4% from 2019. Yield is forecast at 89 bushels per acre, down 4 bushels from last year.

Sorghum condition rated 4% very poor, 10% poor, 18% fair, 42% good and 26% excellent.

Sorghum mature was 95%, ahead of the 80% last year and the 89% average. Harvested was 31%, well ahead of the 8% last year and ahead of the 23% average.

The crop production forecast for other Nebraska crops includes:

— Dry edible bean production is forecast at 3.49 million cwt, up 85% from 2019. Area for harvest, at 149,000 acres, is up 54% from last year. Yield is estimated at 2,340 pounds, up 400 pounds per acre from last year.

— Sugarbeet production is forecast at 1.4 million tons, up 31% from 2019. Area for harvest, at 45,800 acres, is up 9% from last year. Yield is estimated at 30.6 tons per acre, up 5.2 tons per acre from a year ago.

— All sunflower production is forecast at 68.1 million pounds, up 52% from last year. Acreage for harvest, at 47,000 acres, is up 12,500 acres from 2019. Yield is forecast at 1,450 pounds per acre, up 150 pounds per acre from a year ago. Of the acres for harvest, non-oil sunflowers account for 9,000 acres and oil sunflowers account for 38,000 acres.

— Alfalfa hay production, at 3.78 million tons, is up 5% from last year. Area for harvest, at 970,000 acres, is up 2% from a year ago. Yield of 3.9 tons per acre is up 0.1 ton from 2019. All other hay production, at 2.21 million tons, is down 11% from last year. Area for harvest, at 1.7 million acres, is up 13% from a year ago. Yield of 1.3 tons per acre is down 0.35 ton from 2019.

— Nebraska winter wheat planted was 89%, near 93% last year and 90% average. Emerged was 60%, near 59% last year, but behind the 68% average.

— Dry edible beans harvested was 87%, near the 85% last year.

— Pasture and range conditions rated 16% very poor, 22% poor, 26% fair, 36% good and 0% excellent.

USDA reported that state subsoil moisture supplies rated 23% very short, 41% short, 36% adequate and 0% surplus.

Nationwide, the USDA reported that corn production is up 8% from last year, forecast at 14.7 billion bushels. Soybean growers are expected to increase their production 20% from 2019, forecast at 4.27 billion bushels.

Based on conditions as of Oct. 1, the USDA said that nationwide, corn yields are expected to average 178.4 bushels per harvested acre, down 0.1 bushel from the previous forecast but up 10.9 bushels from 2019. Area harvested for grain is forecast at 82.5 million acres, down 1% from the previous forecast.

Soybean yields are expected to average 51.9 bushels per acre, unchanged from the previous forecast but up 4.5 bushels from 2019. Area harvested for beans in the United States is forecast at 82.3 million acres, down 1% from the previous forecast but up 10% from 2019.

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