Wet weedy prevent plant field

Here with the Fourth of July already upon us, most of the corn in northeastern South Dakota will easily surpass the proverbial “knee high” benchmark.

June brought a warm pattern that northeastern South Dakota has not seen for a couple of years, which was generally welcomed by most people.

With the surplus moisture that exists in the soil profile along with the much warmer weather, the pastures and hay fields have shown tremendous growth. The soybean and corn crops have benefited considerably as well.

We have had very sporadic thunderstorms with limited coverage, unfortunately – some including hail. Some of these storms delivered as much as an inch or more, while completely missing others.

The spring wheat crop is off to a good start as well, and many fields are now heading out. The hot weather we have had and warm temperatures in the will likely add stress to this crop.

Hay season has been in full swing with much of the first alfalfa cutting largely complete and some producers now moving into prairie hay production. Weather conditions have been quite good for hay production compared to the major challenges faced just a year ago.

We experienced what seemed like a solid week of strong winds which hampered field herbicide application. But generally, most spray applications were only slightly behind.

Along with the wind, a much warmer pattern has emerged as well. It appears that some needed drying is slowly starting to occur in the prevent plant acres. We are hoping that this will create opportunities to start getting cover crops planted.

Along with cover crops, weed management is going to be a challenge for the remainder of summer with the large number of prevent plant acres.

Following a very unusual end to our school year, we proceeded with our Webster High School graduation ceremonies June 21 outdoors. The weather cooperated with bright sunny skies to finally bring an earned and deserved celebration for our senior class.

Fireworks displays for the Fourth of July celebrations should proceed as planned, considering the higher moisture conditions for most areas in the northeast. The forecast is calling for more rains prior to the 4th weekend. This will negate some of the concerns for safe fireworks events. We wish everyone a safe and enjoyable Independence Day celebration!

Jerry Mork farms in Day County, South Dakota. His report was submitted June 29.