Nieland and her husband Aaron farm near Breda in Sac and Carroll counties.
March 30: Introducing Alyce Nieland
Alyce Nieland and her husband Aaron farm near Breda in Sac and Carroll counties. The couple have a diversified farming operation, growing corn and soybeans along with contract feeding pigs for the Audubon-Manning Veterinary Clinic. The Nielands are fifth generation farmers and have three children — Aisha, Will and Ellie.
April 6: 'Everyone out doing something'
We have been out in the field the last few days and should finish up with anhydrous today (Monday). If the wind dies down, we can do some spraying. Everyone around here is out doing something. If it stays dry, we will be able to start planting next week.
April 13: 'Pretty cold to be planting'
We had a dusting of snow Sunday, but more sleet than snow. We did not have a lot of rain. It seems like most of the anhydrous is done around here. The sprayers were out last week with pre-emergence spray, and we've heard a few farmers have done some planting. It's pretty cold to be planting at the moment, with temperatures in the 20s this morning (Monday). We hope to be in the tractor by Friday maybe.
April 20: After rain and snow, ready to plant
There wasn't much movement in the field last week. At the end of the week on Saturday a few guys were out. On Sunday it began to ramp up and this week is going to be busy. We've had rain and snow in the past week and now we're getting ready to plant.
April 27: Planting beans into dust
It has been really busy around here. We had a full week of planting. We nearly had all our corn in, then switched to beans and finished them up. We just have one field of corn left and we'll be done. It's a similar story around the area. There was some patchy rain in the area Saturday, but we could use some more. It's getting pretty dry — we were planting beans into dust.
May 4: Done planting, hoping for rain
Last week was a busy week. We are done planting and most people in the area are wrapping up. Things look pretty good but we are a little short of rain. We could use a good shower right now.
May 11: Perfect planting conditions
The majority of folks are done with planting. The conditions have just been perfect. We have finally been catching some rain, which has really helped. We had frost last night (Sunday), so we will have to wait and see if any crops were damaged. I think everyone is pretty much waiting for post-emergence spraying to start. We really did have a beautiful planting season.
May 18: Rain helps with germination
I think we avoided any frost damage, and we got a good shot of rain over the weekend. We had about 2 inches here, and it really helped. We were getting pretty dry. Some of our beans needed that rain for germination. The corn looks really good, and the rain really helped it as well. We have some warmer days in the forecast this week, so that heat is going to help push things along.
May 22: Soybeans finally popping through
There is not much going on around here. It’s been cloudy with some drizzle most of today (May 22). The soybeans are finally popping through a little. There is some rain in the forecast, and there are places that only got about a half inch of rain a week or so ago who are needing moisture. We’re in pretty good shape here on our farm.
June 1: Corn at V4-V5, beans looking good
Things look pretty good. Some of the corn did turn yellow the last couple of days, but it should bounce back. We’ve had about an inch of rain since Memorial Day. Corn is at V4 or V5, so we should see some post spraying later this week. Soybeans look good. The heat this week should really push things along. I have seen some hay being cut. There is some rye around here but that hasn’t been cut yet.
June 8: Corn starting to canopy
We are looking really good here. The corn that was yellow really took off with the hot weather. There has been quite a bit of post-emerge corn spraying, and some are doing post spraying with beans as well. The beans look really good. Corn should be starting to canopy by the end of the week. Some of our corn is knee-high already.
June 15: Soybeans still in slow growth stage
Things look pretty good here, but we will see how they look after the hot and windy week ahead of us. The rye has been chopped and corn planted into it. Most of the corn has canopied, and the bean spraying is pretty much done in the area. We did get close to an inch of rain last week, which was very nice. Soybeans are still in that slow growing stage. The plants look good, but they haven’t taken off yet.
June 22: Corn V8-V10, soybeans blooming
It was super hot and windy last week from about Monday through Thursday, and then we got three-tenths of an inch of rain Thursday and that helped us get through the week. Crops still look very good. Corn is V8 to V10, and some of the soybeans are starting to bloom. We got a shot of rain this morning (Monday) which helps, too. We are about two weeks away from fungicide time.
June 29: Fighting buttonweed and waterhemp
The half-inch of rain we got June 22 is helping us through the week. We have scouted for insects but there isn’t much out there yet. Mostly we are fighting buttonweed and waterhemp that didn’t die the first time. It’s been a good week for growing crops, but we are needing some rain. We should be spraying fungicide in another week or so.
July 6: Hot and dry, but things look good
It has been hot and dry here. Despite that, everything looks pretty good. We are spraying corn fungicide this morning (Monday). We usually spray ahead of tasseling, and the corn should start tasseling this weekend. Beans look really good. Some hay was cut over the weekend. We aren’t seeing insects in the beans yet. We are seeing some corn rootworm beetles, but that’s primarily in the fields where we plant corn on corn.
July 13: Crops look good considering dryness
It’s really starting to get dry – we missed all the rain last week. The crops still look pretty good considering how dry it is. The corn is all tasseled, and I’ve seen some rolled leaves in the afternoon. Soybeans look good. They are starting to set pods, so we will probably be spraying fungicide on them soon. I think some are still spraying fungicide on corn.
July 20: Drought stressing corn
We are very dry here – just rained enough to dampen the sidewalk this morning (Monday). We are really starting to see drought stress with the corn. It looks okay for as dry as it’s been, but if we don’t get some rain this week, we’ll be in trouble. Soybeans look okay yet, and they are setting pods. I would say 75% of the corn is pollinated, with 50% of the silks brown.
July 27: Sunday night shower was needed
We finally caught a good shower Sunday night, with around a half-inch of rain here. We really needed it. North of here they didn’t get any rain, and it’s really dry. A couple planes have been out spraying fungicide. Thistle caterpillars have been a big problem lately, and some farmers are addressing that. When there is no humidity, the corn is really looking stressed out.
August 3: Sprayiung done, in waiting mode
We finally caught some rain, including 0.7 inches Saturday. The corn looks really good yet, but some places in the area are showing stress. The cooler weather recently has helped quite a bit. Soybeans are still setting pods, but they look good. Most of the insecticide spraying is done in our area, and I think all the fungicide has been sprayed as well. We are just in waiting mode now.
August 10: Corn yield check was disappointing
Some of the area had hail and high winds this morning (Monday). We did get some rain last week, and anything we get from here on should really help the beans. Corn is showing some stress, but is still a nice green color. We did a yield check and it’s going to be disappointing. The ears are small. Beans are touch and go. Some fields will hit the average, but others will not. We definitely need some rain to help them out.
August 17: Corn stressed, beans need rain to fill pods
We are on the lucky side of the state — no damage to our farm, but you don’t have to go very far to the east to see lots of hail and wind damage. We had anywhere from a half-inch to an inch of rain over the week. I think the rain will help fill soybean pods, but the corn is stressed. One farmer chopped silage in a damaged field, and I think you will see some more of that this week. They have to do something with it.
August 24: Corn starting to fire
It’s been very dry and very hot. Some silage is being chopped in fields where they had hail damage or where it’s just been too dry. The corn is really starting to fire. Soybeans are still green and are trying to fill pods, but there are a lot of clusters at the bottom where they just ran out of juice. Pretty much all we can do is hope for some rain, and the hot weather in the forecast isn’t helping.
Aug. 31: Chopping silage and earlage in damaged fields
We are still dry. The soybeans are starting to turn. The cattle guys have started chopping silage and earlage, especially in fields that got a lot of wind and hail damage.
Sept. 7: Lots of corn being chopped for cattle feed
Both corn and beans are progressing fast. There is a lot of corn being chopped for cattle feed. Some of the fields that had a lot of wind and hail damage during the derecho were/are starting to be disced under if deemed a complete loss.
Sept. 14: Everything starting to turn
Everything is really starting to turn, and we could possibly see some soybeans harvested this week. We had from three to 3.5 inches of rain last week. I would think more farmers would start harvesting beans next week if it stays dry. Some of the corn that had hail is showing signs of breaking and dying, so we may need to harvest that soon to save it. We normally don’t start harvest until after Oct. 1.
Sept. 21: Beans in field take most of day to dry
Harvest has started. Most are working on beans, although a few are harvesting corn. I would say about half of the farmers have started, and with a dry week in the forecast, we hope to get started by the end of the week. Bean moisture is 12.5%. I’ve heard beans are pretty wet still in the morning, and by the time they dry down there might be two or three hours left to harvest. Yields are both good and bad in the area.
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