Location, location, location!

The biggest factor determining the crop condition in late July is not a new one. If your location has caught some of the sporadic rainfall in the past month, you are likely in reasonable shape. If not, your crops are beginning to struggle. The driest areas in terms of rainfall deficit from normal since May 1 are northwest, west-central and south-central, which are all around 50 percent of normal rainfall. That said, corn and soybean both are hanging in pretty well, and late July and August rainfall will work wonders--if and when it comes.

First-generation bean leaf beetles are emerging now. Remember that leaf loss now usually looks far worse than reality, and insecticide treatments right now are generally not economically warranted. Be on the lookout in a few weeks for the second-generation beetle emergence, when pod feeding is more of a concern.

Degree days May 1 through July 23, 2006
May 1 through July 23, 2006 Accumulated Base: 50 °F Degree Days

This article originally appeared on page 214 of the IC-496(21) -- July 24, 2006 issue.

Updated 07/26/2006 - 2:34pm