Nebraska crop conditions hold steady under heat wave as weather remains challenge for farmers

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Nebraska crop conditions hold steady under heat wave as weather remains challenge for farmers

A Central Nebraska farmer says weather has been the biggest challenge this growing season.

“The weather this year just in general has been pretty brutal.”

Clay Govier tells Brownfield he started pivots about two weeks ahead of planting once it got underway in May, and they haven’t shut off since. “Even at this point in the year when we’re really starting to get into what is traditionally the heavy irrigating season, I don’t think we’ve ever irrigated so much. We started out with such a deficit from having no moisture in the winter and none in the spring.”  

Govier says some farmers in the area battled wildfires in April.

He says some fields were replanted twice after hailstorms in May and June, but those crops are in good condition despite a third storm last weekend.

The USDA says corn is rated at 64 percent good-to-excellent and increase of one percent on the week. Forty-five percent is silking.

Soybeans are in 56 percent good-to-excellent, a drop of two percent on the week.  More than half the crop is blooming.

More than 60 percent of winter wheat has been harvested and 23 percent of the crop is in good-to-excellent shape.

Pasture and range conditions dropped to 15 percent good-to-excellent – a decline of four percent from last week.

Now, Govier says, receiving timely rains is critical. “It kind of looks like the rain is going to shut off and it’s going to be 95-plus degrees for the next two weeks.  That’s going to pretty hard on the dryland.”

He says he expects the drought to intensify over the next several weeks.

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