Nebraska’s dryland corn is feeling the stress

Dry, hot weather has plagued western Nebraska. For some, it’s effecting the corn crop.

In the southeast area of the panhandle, Clint Robertson, manager of Oshkosh Grain, says that the irrigated corn is doing well, but there are challenges for the dryland corn.

“Really need some rain right now, a good inch of rain. Pretty much now to finish filling out the cobs and get a decent test weight out of it,” Robertson states. “They’re thinking if they don’t get any rain here soon that we’re going to end up with really light corn and of course yields will suffer because of that...”

In the central and northern area, Jacob Smelley with West Plains in Alliance agrees with what looks like a good irrigated corn crop: “The irrigated corn just looks phenomenal. I think it’s going to be some big yields out there; dryland in this area, some of it could use a drink, a couple of different spots had showers at just the right time... The drylands is definitely a little stressed out here.”

In the valley, Smelley says that the story is similar to stress in the drylands and good quality in irrigated corn. With the dry summer, ranchers are already bracing for a tight forage and hay situation.

Smelley adds that for some producers of drylands corn, silage could be an option. “For some producers its all about a break even price, where people can make money... I’ve had quite a few people tell me that they are going to have to chop some for silage, especially the areas in the dryland valley.”