Drier & Wetter: How is topsoil moisture affecting crops?
Across the U.S., the dry is getting drier and the moist is getting wetter. The latest USDA Topsoil Moisture ratings show both categories increased this past week.
USDA Meteorologist, Brad Rippey, says, “Nationally 31 percent topsoil moisture rated very short to short and then on the other side, 12 percent surplus, that is up two points on the surplus and up three points on the very short to short rating.”
Topsoil moisture in the majority of the Great Plains and Rocky Mountain states remain at 50 percent or more very short to short. The Midwest reports five states with a surplus topsoil moisture rating between 20 to 40 percent.
That heavy moisture level is causing some issues with the wheat crop. The upper Midwest has received heavy snow and lots of rain lately which could increase the chance of head scab.
BASF recommends using a fungicide when the crop is heading. If the stand goes untreated, yields could be reduced by as much as 30 percent. Soybean farmers should also take precautions because conditions are just right for white mold.
Ohio farmers seem to have missed the dreaded wheat disease. A farmer from Erie County shared this crop update on Twitter saying his red winter wheat is looking strong. They had some minor lodging from a storm last weekend. He says he will spray one more time for head scab and he should be cutting by the end of June.