BEEF Daily

How’s Your Crop Looking?


With dry conditions, are you worried about the crops?

Things are looking a little crispy around my part of eastern South Dakota. Although we got around 9 in. of total rain in May, we haven’t seen a drop since. Because we were so saturated earlier this summer, I think it helped the subsoil and is helping our corn crop survive this extreme heat and dry weather.

Head south of town, however, which didn’t receive the flood and rains we did in May, and it’s a whole other story. The corn is parched and tasseling with very few ears on each stalk.

Although we got a first cutting of hay and another of alfalfa, we could use some rain to get a second cutting. My dad is stocking up on straw bales following the wheat harvest in anticipation of a shortage of feed and skyrocketing corn prices. He says if it comes down to it, we will pour liquid feed on the straw to feed the cows.

With competition for corn growing and drought continuing to stagger the Corn Belt, this week’s online poll question at asks: “How high will corn prices go?”

With 146 votes in, 68% of you say corn prices will be above $8 (I hope you’re all wrong, but I understand the worry!) Another 27% say corn will be around $7. And, 5% of you say corn will be priced at $6.

What do you think? Vote in our poll here, and tell us in the comment section about the growing conditions in your area.  

How’s the corn crop in your neck of the woods? How much rain have you gotten this summer? How high do you think corn prices will go? Are you concerned about feeding your cattle through the winter?

Discuss this Blog Entry 9

Kevin (not verified)
on Jul 16, 2012

Here in SW WI we are really dry. The corn is so bad we are wondering if there will be any ears at all. Late planted corn will be dead soon if we don't get rain. Cow calf guys are already starting to sell down to conserve feed.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jul 16, 2012

Here in the southcentral Pennsylvania ridge and valley section, after a wet spring it turned dry. Showers that finally came were spotty with one neighbor's fields getting a drink and the next farm down not getting anything. Everyone here seems worried, but most of us have enough hay for the winter and the corn is ruined yet.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jul 16, 2012

We have received .3" since April. No irrigation water since middle of June. What corn was planted is either done or just about. Hay is half of normal.

Robin MacLeish (not verified)
on Jul 16, 2012

It is the dryest I can remember and that goes back to the 1950's. First time we have had to feed hay to cows on pasture. Corn looks like less than 50 bushels. Hay fields are all dryed up. Second drop was 20%. We are losing some scrubs and even a few trees. No snow also hurt. We farm near the Columbia / Sauk County, WI, line.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jul 16, 2012

Here in southern Illinois, they are mowing down what is left of corn stalks. I've heard of a lot of kernel abortion for the corn that did pollinate. Corn is already trading at $7.50 in this area. Feeding cows this coming winter should be a great time!!!

Sue Stone (not verified)
on Jul 16, 2012

Here in western Washington State, its a whole different story. We finally had sunshine after the 4th of July. That lasted about two weeks. Then back to more rain and clouds. Our pastures are great, just has been a little difficult getting dry hay in. We have had to do a lot of haylage bales this year. So we won't complain. Sure wish we could share some of this moisture.

klh (not verified)
on Jul 16, 2012

In west central Kansas it is very dry. Dryland corn is dead, milo is barely hanging on. Silage feed suffering as is cane feed. Pastures look like middle of winter. Very sad situation. We are creep feeding calves and getting ready to wean first part of August. Will sell all cows 9 and older and cull poorer producers and late calvers.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jul 16, 2012

Here in east central Missouri we have not seen a wide spread rain since May. The farm did see .6 inches last Friday evening. The corn is almost all dried up and pastures look like straw fields. We are feeding almost a round bale a day to each group of cows.

Bobbi (not verified)
on Jul 17, 2012

There have been some rains come through parts of Ne the past couple of weeks but they were extremely spotty. We were not on the fortunate side of any of them. Problem is the ground is so dry that we are even having a hard time getting our gravity irrigated corn to actually soak up the water. We are almost regretting ridging the fields this year leaving the old stalk residue in the row may have helped slow water down some. Every hot and windy day that we make it through is 1 day closer to a rainy day!! Cash corn in our area for old crop near by delivery is over $8 and new crop is about $7.75 a bu.

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BEEF Daily Blog is produced by rancher Amanda Radke, one of the U.S. beef industry’s top social media “agvocates.”


Amanda Radke

Amanda Radke is a fifth generation rancher from Mitchell, S.D., who has dedicated her career to serving as a voice for the nation’s beef producers. A 2009 graduate of South Dakota State...

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