Cool, cloudy days and afternoon rains have plagued the Panhandle of Nebraska and eastern Wyoming this spring.
While the weather caused many farmers to plant later than usual the Hard Red Winter Wheat, which was already in the ground is still trying to play catch up.
“Statewide less than 70 percent of our wheat is headed, which is pretty far behind our average. Usually, at this time we have about 90 percent headed,” said Caroline Clements, executive director for the Nebraska Wheat Growers Association.
In the south-central and southeastern parts of Nebraska, there is still some flowering.
“In the northern parts of the Panhandle, it may be August before harvest starts,” said Clements.
The situation leads to a lot of uncertainty for growers. The longer the wheat is in the fields, the more chances of storms, winds, insects, and other problems could arise for the growers.
The dry edible bean crop has also stopped and started with the weather, as farmers have just planted their fields or are waiting to plant.
“Depending on what part of the growing region the farmer is in,” said Courtney Schuler area field representative for Trinidad-Benham. “Some of the sandier ground people have been able to get started and continue to plant. In the areas where the ground is heavier, it has been slow going, and the ground temperatures are not warming up as fast.”
For dry edible beans, the ground needs to be around 60 degrees for growers to plant.
In the past week, the ground has warmed up, and farmers have been able to plant.
“Last week when we had the warmer days there were some (beans) that germinated and already had a root within 48 hours,” Schuler said. ”That’s pretty quick for germination.”
Both Clements and Schuler advise growers to be on the lookout for insects and diseases.
There have been reports of the Wheat Stem Sawfly in the southern Panhandle, as the season progresses, it could create more headaches for growers.