Maryland Regional Crop Reports header
Updated: September 11, 2023

Western Maryland

Garrett, Allegany, and Washington Counties

Northern Maryland

Carroll, Baltimore, Harford Counties, and Baltimore City

Central Maryland

Frederick, Howard, and Montgomery Counties

Upper & Mid Shore

Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne's, Talbot, and Caroline Counties

Lower Shore

Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties

Southern Maryland

Anne Arundel, Prince George's, Charles, St. Marys, and Calvert Counties 

September 2023

WESTERN MARYLAND

Still dry! Pasture is all but gone. Corn silage harvest is well underway. Some areas have gotten some timely rains and their beans and corn will Fair better. Most double crop beans are suffering. So send rain, we will welcome it.—Jeff Semler, Washington Co.

CENTRAL MARYLAND

Crops are drying down quickly in this hot, dry weather. Corn harvest is underway, with soybeans to follow shortly. With the drought, grass hay did not grow back as quickly, reducing third cutting. Remember to stay hydrated in this heat!—Kelly Nichols, Montgomery Co.

NORTHERN MARYLAND

We have received very little rain over the past 4 weeks, causing the rapid dry down of crops. Most corn is denting and quickly approaching black layer and full season soybeans are starting to drop leaves; some due to maturity and some due to lack of moisture. Most corn ears look decent, so the bulk of the crop should make an ok yield, although the further west you go in the region the more severe the drought has been. Soybeans on the other hand are quite variable with some small pods and small beans. Double crop soybeans are especially hurting. Corn silage chopping has been in full swing for about two weeks now; corn grain harvest will not be far off. We did find tar spot in several fields in Harford county, but all at very low levels that should not affect yield. Many acres of cover crop have been flown into standing corn and it could use some rain to germinate. Pasture and hay is suffering in the heat and drought.—Andy Kness, Harford Co.

UPPER & MID SHORE

Hopefully by the time this is being read, we are thankful about rains on the weekend of the 9th/10th!! Parts of the upper shore region are drier now than anytime this growing season. Most of the corn is mature and drying fast. Late corn is dying fast. Early maturing beans look good and are dropping leaves. Late maturing beans and double crop beans are dropping leaves also - due to drought! Corn harvest will be starting by the time this is printed with bean harvest beginning the following week. Cover crop seeding is well underway. Hay quality and yield have been phenomenal recently.—Jim Lewis, Caroline Co.

LOWER SHORE

Corn is drying down. Both full season and double crop soybean are looking good. Full season soybean is on average in early reproductive stages. The crop dusters have been flying, aerially seeding cover crops. Herbicide-resistant palmer amaranth and marestail have escaped management in some fields and precautions should be taken during harvest to prevent seed spread. If at all possible, palmer amaranth should be hand pulled at this point in the season.—Sarah Hirsh, Somerset Co.

SOUTHERN MARYLAND

In the last report I noted that we continued to receive rain just in the nick of time. Well our luck has run out. Conditions are very dry across the majority of Southern Maryland. As a result, corn is drying down, whether it’s ready or not. Corn harvest is in full swing with reports of good to very good yields for early planted corn. I suspect the majority of the corn crop corn was made when the drought started. Beans are another story. Double crop beans are affected the most, with many fields failing to recover overnight and patches on knolls or sandy areas dying. Full season beans planted early were also mostly made and are drying down now; though bean size is probably going to be smaller. Deer damage is readily apparent in later planted beans that are failing to re-grow or canopy following deer feeding. Of course these fields are hot spots for weeds, including common ragweed and the pigweeds.—Ben Beale, St. Mary’s Co.

August 2023

WESTERN MARYLAND

Dry, dry, dry. Full season beans and corn are showing signs of drought stress. Many double crop beans are spotty and stressed. Hay yields are low so this winter could bring some hard decisions. The weatherman is giving us some hope with rain in the forecast but we have heard those predictions before only do be disappointed. The high heat has subsided and cooler overnight and morning temperatures are a welcome relief.—Jeff Semler, Washington Co.

CENTRAL MARYLAND

Scattered thunderstorms have resulted in above, at, or below typical rainfall for the month of July, depending on what part of the county you’re located in. For the year, though, we’ve received 50-100% of normal rainfall. Corn at R2-R3, and soybeans at R1-R2. We continue to catch zero moths in the fall armyworm trap or western bean cutworm traps. Japanese beetles are clipping corn silks, but with the kernels already pollinated, that should not cause yield damage. Insect pests are present in soybeans, but in low numbers.—Kelly Nichols, Montgomery Co.

The corn crop is finishing pollination and entering the early stages of kernel development. Recent scouting trips have revealed significant curling of upper leaves above the ear given the recent spell of dry weather. Interestingly, grey leaf spot is abundant in the central and lower portions of the county, though the majority of the infection appeared to be localized to the lower canopy away from the ear leaf. Full season soybeans are ending flowering and beginning pod-fill, while double crop beans are in the later stages of vegetative development and will shortly begin flowering. Japanese Beetle pressure in soybeans has been of primary concern with some fields reaching greater than 60% defoliation. Forage crop regrowth is limited at best given spotty rains, however quality is generally terrific.—Mark Townsend, Frederick Co.

NORTHERN MARYLAND

Most of the region was fortunate to get sufficient and consistent rainfall for much of July needed for pollination in corn; although there are some areas in Carroll County that have remained excessively dry. Most of the corn crop has pollinated by now; looking at some ears, 16 rows around is quite common; I believe we lost a couple rows around due to the drought in May and June. With continued rainfall hopefully we can make up for it in kernels per row and kernel depth. Most soybeans are R3 and have very little disease or insect pressure. Double crop soybeans are out of the ground and growing rapidly. Some second cutting of hay was made but some farmers are holding off due to the slow regrowth.—Andy Kness, Harford Co.

UPPER & MID SHORE

Most of the region has received adequate rainfall over the past few weeks with some areas getting excessive amounts. Corn yields will probably be pushing record yields again in most areas. Soybeans have excellent potential but still need rainfall to fill the pods. Most corn fields received a fungicide application whether needed or not. Stinkbugs are present in most fields. Troublesome weeds are outgrowing beans in some fields and being spot sprayed. Hay has been hard to make for the past month.—Jim Lewis, Caroline Co.

LOWER SHORE

It was a good year for wheat, with higher than average yields. Corn was hurt a bit by early dry weather, but has really turned around in the last three weeks after several rains. Most corn is currently in reproductive stages. Late corn will probably yield better than early planted corn. Most soybean is still in vegetative growth stage. Full season soybean was hurt a little due to dry weather, and are a little shorter than normal, but doing pretty well. Double-crop soybean is looking good. Cover crop sign-up acreage for the 2023-24 season has increased from last year.—Sarah Hirsh, Somerset Co.

SOUTHERN MARYLAND

We have continued to receive rain just in the nick of time during the last month. As is normally the case this time of year, there are areas with too much rain and others with too little, but overall, growing conditions have been favorable. Corn is mostly all pollinated and in the grain fill stage. Full season beans are also in good condition. We had adequate moisture during the week of hot weather which limited the adverse effect on crop condition. Double crop beans were late being planted following a late wheat harvest and most fields have not yet canopied. In both corn and soybean, Palmer amaranth, Waterhemp and common ragweed are making their normal debut above the crop canopy. Vegetable crops are coming off now with a consolidated harvest season due to the cooler May and hot temperatures as of late squeezing harvest the window.—Ben Beale, St. Mary’s Co.

July 2023

Western Maryland

Rain has been hit or miss here but crops are still looking good considering the erratic precipitation patterns of late. Barley harvest is complete and wheat harvest is in full swing. Disease was low but test weights and yields are still being accessed. Hay yields continue to suffer but hopefully El Nino will kick in and we will get more much needed precipitation.—Jeff Semler, Washington Co.

Central Maryland

Frederick County has received notable rainfall in the last few weeks that has prevented potentially drastic crop condition reductions following the spell of hot and dry weather in May and June. Early corn is approaching the later stages of vegetative development, while most of the crop remains in the V8-9 stages. Soybeans are generally in notable shape, even with the early season drought. Scouted fields remain generally low in typical pests though Japanese Beetles have emerged and are maintaining a watchful eye. Soybean aphids were observed in two fields, however with more recent rains and populations well below IPM threshold values, they may remain an afterthought. Wheat harvest has progressed well with field average yields reported in the 80-110 bu/ac range. Crop moisture however has remained a touch higher than desirable. Additionally, maintain a watchful eye over earlier fields that have dried recently and have received rains--reports of low falling-numbers from local mills indicate the presence of sprouted wheat. Barley yields were outstanding as some growers noted personal bests in the 150-170 bu/ac range.—Mark Townsend, Frederick Co.

Northern Maryland

For the better part of 6 weeks, most of the region received very, very  little rainfall; however, that has changed in the past two weeks where we have had multiple storms, bringing anywhere from an half inch to several inches of rain per storm. This rain was much-needed for the corn and soybean crop, as well as hay and pasture. Barley harvest wrapped up prior to the rains with very strong yields. Since wheat has matured it has been difficult to find enough dry weather to cut it. So far, wheat yields are very good with no DON but unfortunately test weights and falling numbers are declining in some areas. Earliest planted corn is in tassel, although most of it is only about 5-6’ tall. The dry April, May, and the bulk of June, coupled with relatively mild temperatures and low light intensity from the Canada wildfires, has resulted in some of the shortest corn in memory. Moisture is present as we go into tassel and silking, so hopefully we get decent pollination. Soybeans are also growing slowly but are rebounding; some early maturities are starting to flower. Regrowth on hay is very slow.—Andy Kness, Harford Co.

Upper & Mid Shore

Barley harvest finished during drought conditions with record yields. Wheat harvest has been underway for 2 weeks in between storms/ humidity/wildfire smoke. Test weight was above 60 lbs per bushel to start with, but as expected, has lowered after the stretch of rainy weather. Like barley, yields have been record breaking. While wheat harvest has been underway for 2 weeks, it’s only half complete. Even with 2 weeks of rainy weather, there are areas in the region that is still relatively dry. The storms have been spotty. Some areas have had 6 rain events with a grand total of less than an inch while other areas are over 5”. Corn and full season beans look much better, but will need significant additional rain for decent yields.

With beans blooming and corn tasseling, farmers are concerned about poor light quality resulting from the smoke filled atmosphere from wildfires up north. This is a new phenomenon for our region with very little research data available. Let’s hope for west winds with blue sky!—Jim Lewis, Caroline Co.

Lower Shore

Wheat harvest is underway. Corn maturity is varied. Early planted corn is tasseling. Corn that was planted late is still in early vegetative stages. Double-crop soybean is being planted. Full season soybean is 6-12” tall on average, in vegetative stage. There were scattered rain storms over the past couple of weeks, with some areas receiving significantly more rain than others. Non-irrigated crops in areas that had limited rain are showing signs of water stress, particularly in sandier soils. Herbicide-resistant ragweed and marestail are apparent in fields across the region.—Sarah Hirsh, Somerset Co.

Southern Maryland

We have seen dry and we’ve seen wet this month. Most areas of the region received decent rains in the last two weeks. Crops responded well. Corn is now tasseling with moisture just in time for pollination. Our corn crop is much shorter in stature than normal, but the crop overall looks good. Soybeans follow much of the same story. Early planted beans have canopied. The barley crop is now off. The wheat harvest season has been challenging, with limited harvest windows. Good news is the wheat crop has been excellent in terms of both yield and quality. Double crop beans are going in as soon as the wheat comes off. Vegetable crops are just beginning to come off. Heavy rains have hampered quality of some vegetable crops.—Ben Beale, St. Mary’s Co.

June 2023

Western Maryland

To say we are dry would be an understatement. Corn planting is winding down and the last of the full-season beans will soon be finished up too. Barley and wheat are in full head a bit ahead of normal, whatever that is. The dry weather is a good thing for cereals as the conditions are poor for fungal growth. It will be interesting to see what effect the dry weather will have on test weight and yield. First cutting alfalfa and most of the grass hay is in the barn or silo. Rain will be important very soon for forage regrowth and corn and bean growth. The cool evenings and overnights have been the only blessing but heat is on the way.—Jeff Semler, Washington Co.

Central Maryland

Frederick County has finished planting corn. There may be the occasional field that remains, but this is the exception. Early corn is at the V4-5 stage while later planted fields are approaching V2. Seedling diseases have been nearly non-existent in scouted fields, though wireworm pressure has been observed in both corn and soybean fields. Soybeans are 90% planted; early beans are around V2 while most are VC-V1. The majority of the hay crop is made and in the barn. Annual weeds have emerged and are approaching a foot tall in some fields, though weed pressure has remained limited given the dry weather and resulting effective burndown applications. Second cutting alfalfa is underway, some weevil pressure had been observed in the occasional field though generally there has been relatively limited pressure. Most barley is at or near soft-dough stage, while the wheat crop has finished flowering and is moving into grain fill. Both small grain crops appear in good to great condition given the limited disease pressure.—Mark Townsend, Frederick Co.

Northern Maryland

We got through the entire month of May without any measurable precipitation. Such weather has made for great conditions for making hay, and this is one of the few times in recent memory where pretty much all of the first cutting hay crop was put up before June 1; although yields did appear to suffer in some fields due to the dry weather. 99% of the corn crop is planted and emerged, with earliest planted corn around V5-6. Almost all full-season soybeans have been planted and are anywhere from just planted to V3-4. Both corn and soybeans have yet to show wilting, but they are both growing very slowly due to the lack of rain. Fortunately we are running well below with temperatures in the 70s most of the month. Wheat is just starting to turn and appears to have very little disease pressure; we will see how the dry spring affects yield and test weight. We are hoping for a bit of rain in the coming weeks.—Andy Kness, Harford Co.

Upper & Mid Shore

Early planted corn greened up, but definitely has reduced yield potential. Later planted corn looks great- good color and uniform. Early beans are finally outgrowing slug feeding. Like corn, later beans look great. Barley harvest will begin 1st week of June. Wheat is starting to turn. There was great hay made last week. Soil conditions across the region are getting dry.—Jim Lewis, Caroline Co.

Lower Shore

Wheat and barley are drying down. Corn has been planted, and is generally around V1 to V5 stage. Most soybean has been planted and early soybean plantings have emerged. Herbicide-resistant weeds, such as common ragweed, marestail, and palmer amaranth, are starting to emerge. Scout and spray early to stay ahead on control. Some farmers have utilized late-terminated cover crops to help manage weed pressure through providing a mulch on the soil surface. Deer are prevalent in fields and causing damage on corn and soybean seedlings.—Sarah Hirsh, Somerset Co.

Southern Maryland

Temperatures finally touched the 80°F mark this week. Cooler temperatures and lack of rainfall has slowed crop progress in May. Most corn fields are a kaleidoscope of yellow shades and uneven stands. Black cutworms, slugs, wireworms and seed corn maggot are active across the region. We received scattered showers last weekend that helped crop conditions improve in most areas. Soybeans follow much of the same story. Early planted beans look decent. Barley is drying down with harvest expected any day. Wheat will not be far behind. Ryegrass continues to be a challenge for producers in both burndown situations in corn and beans, as well as small grains. My thought is the cooler weather is affecting the performance of glyphosate, especially on larger plants. The pockets of glyphosate resistant ryegrass are expanding in our area as well. The drier weather has been good for making hay- we saw a lot of balers in the field last week.—Ben Beale, St. Mary’s Co.

 

May 2023

Western Maryland

Welcome rains fell over the weekend but cooler temperatures will stall the corn that has been planted. Most of the triticale has been harvested and the barley is in head. First-cutting alfalfa will soon be mowed when sun and rain allow. Corn planting will continue at breakneck speed since soybeans are haunting farmers from their seed sheds. Thus far peaches and apples are faring ok as long as the nighttime cold temps don't drop too far. Spirits are high since our recent rains and farmers are eternal optimists.—Jeff Semler, Washington Co.

Central Maryland

We have finally received some much needed rain, with areas around the county getting a total of 2-3 inches in the past several days. However, this cool and wet weather has slowed planting, as well as crop and summer annual weed emergence. A majority of corn has been planted. Some emerged corn is yellow due to the cooler weather. Barley and wheat are heading.—Kelly Nichols, Montgomery Co.
Much of the small grain acres for forage have been harvested in the last three to four weeks. Many wheat acres are moving past flag-leaf and into heading, though this has been slowed with recent weather. Barley across the county, though short, is headed and into flowering. Some early planted corn has emerged and generally appears okay, however the cooler temperatures have slowed development and in some cases resulted in a few more yellow leaves. Not many soybean acres have been planted thus far, though the ones that have are not yet emerged.—Mark Townsend, Frederick Co.

Northern Maryland

The season was off to an early start, with most everyone that had a corn planter had it rolling full tilt by April 20 or so, which is normally around the time folks are just playing around with planter settings. Since last week, the rains came and temperatures took a nose dive and we went from hot and dry to cool and wet, which has stopped planting. Right now a good majority of the corn crop is planted, with some emerged and looking ok but it is probably wondering where the warm weather went. Some soybeans have been planted, but not a lot. This weather brings the possibility of slug pressure. Early wheat varieties have already flowered; later varieties should be heading in the next few days.—Andy Kness, Harford Co.

Upper & Mid Shore

We were ahead of schedule planting until the heavy rains last week. Soil moisture is optimum/excessive with last weeks 4-6” rain. Early planted corn has faded to a yellow hue with the recent cold weather. Early planted beans have been providing slugs, breakfast, lunch, and dinner with cloudy damp weather. Planters are full and tractors are fueled up waiting for dry sunny weather. Small grain has headed and is being sprayed with scab protectant fungicides. A little dot of hay was made before the rains.—Jim Lewis, Caroline Co.

Lower Shore

After a very dry couple of weeks, we had a heavy rainfall last weekend, ranging from 3-4 inches across the lower shore. Corn planting began before the rain, and now farmers are waiting for the ground to dry out to continue. Some farmers are concerned they will have to replant some corn acreage planted prior to the rain. Winter wheat is looking good and heading out. Fungicides are being sprayed on wheat. Most cover crops have been terminated, but those that remain look great and will provide a nice mulch for reducing summer weed pressure.—Sarah Hirsh, Somerset Co.

Southern Maryland

Planters have been running for weeks now. May-like temperatures in April brought about nearly ideal conditions, and many folks rolled the dice with early planting. It appears it was a good bet as stands have emerged well with no frost. I suspect we are close to 90% planted in So MD. We have many acres of early planted soybeans again this year. Rain was hard to come by with soil conditions becoming dry a couple of weeks ago. Rain 10 days ago and last weekend was much needed though it delayed planting progress. The current week of cooler weather has slowed crop progress, but overall we are in good shape. With recent rains, keep an eye out for slugs in newly emerged fields. In other crops, barley is headed out with some fields turning already. Wheat is headed and flowering now. We have seen an extended flowering period in wheat this year, with a lot of variability in flowering across the same fields. Alfalfa weevil pressure has been high this year. Be sure to scout fields for weevil injury. I have seen a lot of fields with a white cast due to severe feeding injury. In our area, pyrethroids are no longer working well due to resistance. Steward EC is the best alternative. On the fruit and vegetable front, plasticulture strawberries has an excellent growing season and are ripening now. I expect a bumper crop of berries this year. All of our main season vegetable crops are preparing to go in the ground this week.—Ben Beale, St. Mary’s Co.

April 2023

Western Maryland

Spring is here, or is it just around the corner? To say our weather in March has been erratic would be an understatement. The old saying goes, March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Well, this year, the March was more fickle than that. We have enjoyed some good moisture, but many times it was followed by ridiculously high winds, which dry the top of the soil out. The good news is that it looks like the fruit has escaped damage so far. Winter cereals are green and growing after a shot of N, and manure is out in hopes soil temps will soon allow corn planters to start rolling. So just another day to be in agriculture.—Jeff Semler, Washington Co.

Central Maryland

With the warmer weather, small grains and other cover crops have really jumped. In this week's scouting of a wheat field in central Montgomery County, no diseases were prominent, and only a handful of spiders were caught in the sweep net. Common winter annual weeds (e.g. henbit, chickweed, and shepherd's-purse) were scattered across the field; most were flowering and already producing seeds. The last 24 hours brought anywhere from a trace to half an inch of rain. Spring applications of manure, lime, and fertilizer have been happening for several weeks.—Kelly Nichols, Montgomery Co.

Northern Maryland

Winter in northern MD was unseasonably mild and slightly dry. Right now the 5-day average soil temperatures are hoovering in the mid-upper 50s and the temptation to plant early beans is getting stronger. The extended forecast shows temperatures in the 70s and 80s with clear skies. Recent rains have replenished topsoil moisture, so I anticipate planters will be rolling in a few days to a week; about a week earlier than usual for our region. Small grains have greened up and are jointing and look very good coming out of the mild winter. Pastures and hay fields are also growing well.—Andy Kness, Harford Co.

Upper & Mid-Shore

A superstitious person wouldn’t say this, but our soil conditions are great for this time of year.  While we have had rainy days, the water has soaked in and top soil moisture levels have been perfect for field work.  It has been easy and stress free making fertilizer/pesticide applications to small grain.  Wheat and barley have come out of winter dormancy looking great.  Manure and lime applications are finishing up and planting equipment is being “warmed up”.—Jim Lewis, Caroline Co.

Lower Shore

We have had some rain and winter wheat is looking good and growing fast. Most fields are still covered with either wheat for harvest or cover crops. Cover crops that have not been terminated yet are looking great, and accumulating significant biomass. Forage radish cover crops mostly winter killed this year. Farmers are preparing to plant grain crops. They have been applying manure and working the land in some fields. Fields without cover crops have a flush of winter weeds.—Sarah Hirsh, Somerset Co.

Southern Maryland

Farmers are preparing for planting. Everyone is busy spreading litter/manure, applying herbicides and completing field operations before planting commences in the next couple of weeks. Field conditions are drier than normal allowing for good progress, but rains will be needed soon as the growing season commences. Warmer weather in February resulted in early flush of winter weeds.  Small grain crops are at jointing stage. Most of the second N applications are being made now. Wheat looks good this year. Hayfields are greening up now.—Ben Beale, St. Mary’s Co.

November 2022

Western Maryland

The fall has been unseasonably dry which aids in harvest but is concerning for winter crops going into the ground at this time. The weekend has provided welcome showers but not enough. Hopefully, November will bring more precipitation. Full-season soybeans and corn yields looking good and hopefully, the double-crop beans will be good as well. Here is to a profitable year and bountiful crops in 2023.—Jeff Semler, Washington Co.

Central Maryland

The majority of the corn crop has been harvested. Many producers are finishing their soybean harvest with very little full-season soybeans remaining. Reported yields have been generally average to slightly above average, while the crop moisture levels seem to vary significantly. Nearly all the wheat acres have been planted with some exceptions. Most other harvestable small grains are planted. Cover crop acres follow suit with still some later plantings in the offing.—Mark Townsend, Frederick Co.

Northern Maryland

Corn harvest is nearly complete and yields have been strong across most of the region. Full season soybean harvest is about 3/4 complete; yields are about average. Dry weather in August and took away a lot of top end yield for beans. As I write this, double-crop soybeans are still drying down as we have yet to have a good hard frost. Yields for double crops are expected to be below average due to the dry September, The generally dry weather has been good for wheat planting and what has emerged looks excellent.—Andy Kness, Harford Co.

Upper & Mid Shore

Corn harvest is essentially complete. Bean harvest is 90% completed. Barley is off to a good start. Wheat is still being planted with the first fields planted up and looking good .—Jim Lewis, Caroline Co.

Lower Shore

Corn has been harvested in almost all fields. About 30% of soybean has been harvested. Farmers are still waiting for soybeans to dry down further in the majority of fields. Wheat planting is progressing well with much of the acreage already planted. Early planted small grains have emerged and are looking good at this time. Cover crop fields are already seeing substantial growth. Recent warm weather has been very beneficial for fall cover crop growth. Palmer amaranth is evident throughout the region and farmers are advised to use best practices such as thoroughly cleaning combines between fields and harvesting infested fields last.—Sarah Hirsh, Somerset Co.

Southern Maryland

In general, the 2022 season has resulted in good to very good yields for corn with prospects for mediocre to good soybeans yields. The season started off well with corn planting. Rains halted planting progress of late corn and beans in late April and May. Some areas received more rain than others, and those on the receiving end were required to replant once, twice and some occasions three times to get an acceptable stand. Slugs continued to play havoc on soybeans well into June. The wheat crop was a good one this year with nice harvest weather and very little issue with Fusarium head blight. Moisture and favorable growing conditions continued through the summer. The sky spigots shut off in many areas as we entered August and September. The corn crop was pretty well made, but both full season and double crop beans took a yield hit. Weed pressure has been constant this year, with many late season escapes in corn and beans. As in past years, herbicide resistant Palmer amaranth, marestail, annual ryegrass and common ragweed are prevalent. Presently, small grain planting is mostly complete. We are receiving reports of aphids in small grains-- something to keep an eye on with the warm, dry weather as of late.—Ben Beale, St. Mary’s Co.

October 2022

Western Maryland

Moisture and cooler temperatures have ushered in fall here. Corn and soybeans are being harvested as weather allows and wheat and cover crops are soon to follow. Yields have been running above average in most areas. Corn stalks and pumpkins are starting to decorate the porches and lawns in the area so everyone is finding a way to enjoy autumn.—Jeff Semler, Washington Co.

Central Maryland

Corn grain harvest was off to a good start, but has been paused with the recent rains. Most of the area has received 2-3 inches over the last few days. With the warmer temperatures predicted into the weekend, hopefully fields will dry out soon.—Kelly Nichols, Montgomery Co.

Northern Maryland

Harvest has been in full swing since about mid-September but has been halted with rains from hurricane Ian. Prior to the rain delay, corn yields have been good, but highly variable in some areas where lack of moisture and/or disease took hold. Full season soybeans are drying down but most are still too wet to combine. Double crop beans needed the rains from hurricane Ian. Final cutting of alfalfa and grass hay was made before the rains. Hopefully we get some dry days to finish harvest and plant small grains on time.—Andy Kness, Harford Co.

Upper & Mid Shore

It’s wet. Everything has been at a stand still for the past week. Corn harvest is about 40% complete with good yields in most areas. It’s wet. Soybean harvest has begun. It’s wet. Cover crops are off to a good start. Did I mention, most of the region is wet.—Jim Lewis, Caroline Co.

Lower Shore

Approximately 75% of corn was harvested in late September. Irrigated corn yields were above average while unirrigated were average to below average. We have had a week of rainy weather, so corn harvest has now been put on hold. Full-season soybean is drying down, with about 50% of fields yellow. Double-crop soybean should benefit from the rains this week. Significant cover crop acreage has been aerially seeded. Palmer amaranth is evident throughout the region and farmers are advised to use best practices such as thoroughly cleaning combines between fields and harvesting infested fields last.—Sarah Hirsh, Somerset Co.

Southern Maryland

Farmers have made good progress with corn harvest, with most corn now in the bin. Yields have been good to very good depending on the degree of wet conditions at the start of the season and dry conditions at the end. Soybean harvest has just begun but recent rain will hamper harvest progress for a few days. Conditions had turned dry in many areas prior to the recent rains so the added moisture will help some late double crop beans fill out pods. Small grain planting will soon begin.—Ben Beale, St. Mary’s Co.

September 2022

Western Maryland

As the old saying goes you are only two weeks away from a drought. We have been 11 days without rain until August 30, when we received a welcome soaking. The high heat coupled with even more sporadic showers led us to the cusp of drought stress. Corn was curling and beans were cupping, the shower alleviated the situation and will help the double crop beans. On the upside, the dry weather has allowed for corn silage harvest to shift into high gear. Yields are very good leading us to hope corn grain yields will be as well. Cover crop planting will commence shortly with the winter annual forages behind corn silage being the first. Combines will hit the fields later in the month to start on the early corn followed by the early beans. Thus once in full swing harvest will last into late October or early November depending on precipitation. Pastures and hay fields are looking great for this time of rain thanks to the showers of late July and early August.—Jeff Semler, Washington Co.

Central Maryland

The last month has been pretty dry in our region. Corn is quickly drying down, and silage harvest has begun. Double crop beans are filling pods. Hopefully we get a bit more rain to help finish out the season. —Kelly Nichols, Montgomery Co.

Northern Maryland

End of July and first couple of weeks of August have been without much moisture. While most of our soils hold a decent amount of moisture, but I believe we’ve come up a little shy on water for corn and full season soybeans to have reached their full yield potential. Corn silage harvest started last week and it will not be very long before combines hit the fields. Some full season soybeans have started to turn, which is a bit earlier than usual, likely due to the lack of August rains. We did have a period two weeks ago of cooler, wet weather, which brought on the first occurrence of tar spot in corn to our county, which is now a hot topic of discussion.—Andy Kness, Harford Co.

Upper & Mid Shore

While half of the region has received adequate rains recently, the other half is in drought conditions. 99% of corn is made and harvest is beginning. Early maturity beans are starting to turn, but later maturity groups are suffering in the droughty areas. Troublesome weeds are popping up above bean canopy. A few areas have podworms and stink bug levels above thresholds.—Jim Lewis, Caroline Co.

 

Lower Shore

Weather has been extremely dry in most of the region. Farmers have been irrigating when possible; however, the majority of our rowcrop land is unirrigated. Corn is drying down. Soybean is on average in early reproductive stages. Cover crops are beginning to be aerially seeded via airplane. However, there are concerns of a poor cover crop stand due to the dry weather. Herbicide-resistant Palmer amaranth is apparent in many fields. Now is the time to walk the fields to pull mature Palmer plants. Herds of deer continue to be sited grazing in soybean fields.—Sarah Hirsh, Somerset Co.

 

Southern Maryland

We have experienced a return to drier conditions in the majority of the region. Harvest of shorter maturity corn has started with reports of very good yields. Corn is drying down quickly with harvest expected to hit full swing in the next week or so. Soybeans have suffered over the last few weeks due to limited rainfall. We are finding podworms and podworm feeding injury in many double-crop soybeans throughout the area with many fields above threshold levels. If you have not already scouted fields for worm activity, I encourage you to do so soon. We are also observing Palmer amaranth and common waterhemp becoming more evident in the drier conditions.—Ben Beale, St. Mary’s Co.

August 2022

Western Maryland

Overall crops are looking good. While rain has been spotty, every area of the county has gotten sufficient enough precipitation that our crops are doing well. Corn silage harvest is just around the corner and third cutting alfalfa is off and in the barn or trench. While yields are expected to be good we can't count our bushels before they are in the bin. —Jeff Semler, Washington Co.

Central Maryland

We've had a few scattered storms roll through over the last few days with some much-needed rain and a little relief from the heat. Overall, crops look good. We could use a bit more rain in some areas, though, especially since we're in the grain filling stages in corn and about to be there in full season beans. Double crop beans have some insect pressure but nothing out of the ordinary. In July, no fall armyworm moths were caught, and only three western bean cutworm moths were caught.—Kelly Nichols, Montgomery Co.

Northern Maryland

July had it’s ups and downs for our region. Prior to the 4th of July, growing conditions were nearly perfect. The weekend after July 4 was wet and delayed the remainder of wheat harvest, which affected quality in some fields. All in all, still a very good wheat crop. The middle of July then got hot and dry, although most of our soils held enough moisture to carry the crops to the next rain event, but crops on lighter soils definitely felt the stress. A significant line of storms came through a couple of weeks ago brining straight line winds upwards of 90 mph. Wind damage was significant and severe in some areas, including downed trees, power lines, barn roofs, and corn. Most of the corn has goosenecked but will make for a challenging harvest in those fields. Recently we have been receiving adequate rainfall and the crops still look above average. —Andy Kness, Harford Co.

Upper & Mid Shore

The upper and central area of the region has received some recent rains and corn remains at a record pace. On the other hand, the southern area of the region is getting drier by the day. Corn was a 2” rain away from a record crop. The corn in the southern area is turning brown, but not due to maturity! Similarly, soybeans in the central and northern areas look great and rain at the end of August to fill out the pods will ensure a great crop. Soybeans in the southern area are under severe drought stress and will need significant rain to recover. Spidermites are showing up in the drought stressed beans as expected with dry weather. Stink bugs seem to be present in most crops. Troublesome weeds like Palmer Amaranth and Ragweed are beginning to poke through beans. —Jim Lewis, Caroline Co.

Lower Shore

Most soybean plantings are still in vegetative growth stage. Several growers indicated periods of stalled or slow growth this season. Corn is looking good, in reproductive stages. Certain areas of the lower shore had significant rain events that flooded fields. Herbicide-resistant weeds such as Palmer amaranth, ragweed, and marestail are present and posing management challenges. Deer continue to be overpopulating crop fields and damaging crops. —Sarah Hirsh, Somerset Co.

Southern Maryland

Because of spotty rains over the last few weeks, some corn on sandier ground is starting to show signs of drought stress. Soybeans are variable, with stands with good early establishment looking good now and others struggling to catch up. Hot dry stretches have been good for hay making, especially with annual forages like sorghum sudangrass. —Ben Beale, St. Mary’s Co.

July 2021

Western Maryland

Warm and moist depending on where you are in the county. The warm days have been somewhat universal but depending on where you live you might have received a spritz or 4.5 inches. The rain seems to be highly variable so far this summer. The wheat is nearly all off and the yields have been good. The straw is baled and the soybean drills have been running close behind. Full-season beans and corn are looking good. Hayland and pastures are doing well the showers have kept them growing and not drying up. Recent storm cells have flooded some areas but all in all we are looking pretty good so far this year.—Jeff Semler, Washington Co.

Central Maryland

Again this month, we've seen scattered rain across the region. However, we've had some good days for wheat and hay harvests. So far, I have not heard of issues with Fusarium head blight at harvest. Double crop beans are going in. No moths have been caught in the fall armyworm or western bean cutworm traps in western Montgomery County. Most of Frederick County is finished with small grain/wheat harvest, with about 70% of double crop acres planted and sprayed. Full season soybeans range from V3-R1, while corn ranges from V4-VT in some places. It appears that marestail got a late start this year outside of the burndown or post-spray window, as many corn and bean fields have 8-10" marestail. Japanese beetles appear to be the most prevalent pest of soybean, low pressure from other insects yet. With warm, wet weather in the near forecast, growers are advised to keep scouting for leaf diseases.—Kelly Nichols, Montgomery Co. and Mark Townsend, Frederick Co.

Northern Maryland

In general, growing conditions have been great for much of the region, although slightly on the dry side on some of our drier soils; however, nothing dire just yet. A lot of hay was made a couple of weeks ago when we had near perfect weather. Barley harvest wrapped up about a week ago and a significant portion of the wheat crop has been harvested—showers this week has grinded harvest to a halt. I am hearing reports of great yields and great quality. Wheat straw market is still strong enough to make it worth baling instead of leaving it in the field to offset some potash prices. Corn is looking good and earliest planted is in tassel. Soybeans also look good. Overall, pest pressure this year has been low thus far.—Andy Kness, Harford Co.

Upper & Mid Shore

Soil moisture has been on the edge of dry, up until a few days ago. Most of the crops are good, but have only been a couple days from drought before another thunderstorm. In the last few days, the region has received numerous storms dropping inches of rain. Corn is tasseling with good soil moisture. The crop is uniform with excellent yield potential and expectations. Soybeans are also off to a great start with group 3’s beginning blooming. Wheat yield was above average and double crop beans are also off to a good start. Good hay was made between thunderstorms at the end of May.—Jim Lewis, Caroline Co.

Lower Shore

Wheat has been mostly harvested. Yields were average to above average. Corn maturity is varied. Early planted corn is tasseling. Corn that was planted late due to rainy weather is still in early vegetative stages. Double-crop soybean is being planted. Full season soybean is about 1 foot tall on average, in vegetative stage. Non-irrigated crops are showing signs of water stress, particularly in sandier soils.—Sarah Hirsh, Somerset Co.

Southern Maryland

The region received some much needed rain this week. Corn is beginning to tassel. The crop overall looks very good. Wheat is now mostly done. The crop came off quick this year with reports of good yields and quality. Double crop soybeans are being planted now. The soybean crop is a bit more variable with some areas receiving a bit too much rain during planting and some fields are spotty. Common ragweed and marestail are present in many double crop wheat fields. It will be important to have a plan to control these before the beans emerge. Hay fields are responding nicely to recent rains. Vegetable harvest is about 1-2 weeks behind schedule this year.—Ben Beale, St. Mary’s Co.

June 2022

Western Maryland

Erratic temperature swings and scattered showers continue to challenge planting and hay-making. Wheat and barley crops are looking good. Grass hay tonnage should be well ahead of last year but the quality may suffer a bit due to its maturity. Corn planting is wrapping up as are full-season beans. All in all the growing season is off to a good start.—Jeff Semler, Washington Co.

Central Maryland

Rainfall has been scattered and heavy in some areas over the last month. Between this and periods of cooler temperatures, field work has been a challenge. However, with the heat wave we're currently getting, things should jump up out of the ground quickly. Most corn has been planted and has emerged. Some soybeans have been planted. First cutting of hay has been behind compared to previous years. Most of Frederick County is planted with many fields of both corn and beans emerging. Early corn is in the V1-2 range while most beans are VE-VC. Most hay operators have completed their first cutting of cool-season perennials (orchardgrass/pasture hay) within the last week with the warmer, dryer weather. Similarly, first cutting alfalfa is pretty well completed for most of the county. Weed pressure seems ordinary so far; pokeweed seems off to a strong start in some high pressure fields.—Kelly Nichols, Montgomery Co. & Mark Townsend, Frederick Co.

Northern Maryland

The weather has finally cooperated and has given us several good field days in May. Most corn is in the ground and emerged and a significant dent has been made in full season bean planting. Corn growth is all over the place from not emerged to V5 due to the delayed and spread out planting season. A few early soybean plantings have had some slug problems due to the cooler wet weather we had in early May. Wheat and barley are slightly behind normal progress and we are just starting to see head blight symptoms in wheat. First cut alfalfa is wrapped up and first cutting grass hay has been in full force this week and will continue with a few hot, sunny days.—Andy Kness, Harford Co.

Upper & Mid Shore

Corn is at various stages across the region, but off to a good start. Side-dressing corn is well underway. Soybeans also vary in growth and seem to be slow to close in the rows. Some replanting is needed due to slug feeding. Barley harvest will start in a few days with wheat right behind. Recent weather has finally changed favorable for hay harvest.—Jim Lewis, Caroline Co.

Lower Shore

Wheat and barley are drying down. Corn has been planted, and is generally around V1 to V5 stage. We had significant rain mid-May, which halted corn planting. Due to flooded conditions, some fields had to be replanted. Early soybean plantings have emerged; however, most soybean planting was delayed due to the weather. Hay cutting has just now resumed after rain. Deer damage on corn is evident on many fields. Herbicide-resistant weeds, such as common ragweed, marestail, and Palmer amaranth, are starting to emerge. Now is the time to spray these seedlings to stay ahead on control.—Sarah Hirsh, Somerset Co.

Southern Maryland

The region has received regular rains over the last month, with enough breaks to finish up with corn and get most full season beans planted. Corn has emerged well and was looking for sunshine and warmer days, which it received in the last week. Fields were variable with yellow and uneven growth but have greened up nicely now. There are some areas with poor stands due to heavy rainfall. Side-dress N applications have begun this week on corn. On average, PSNT results are coming back in the lower range. Full season soybean planting is wrapping up. We have had some slug damage in isolated fields. Barley will be ready to come off in a week or so. Wheat fields are beginning to yellow. Ryegrass continues to be the largest weed challenge in wheat. Rains have delayed hay cutting this spring. There was a lot of nice dry hay made in the last few days.—Ben Beale, St. Mary’s Co.

May 2022

Western Maryland

Erratic weather patterns continue to dominate and challenge us here in Washington County. While we can still use precipitation, it has recently been coupled with wild temperature swings. In the 70s or low 80s and then back to the low fifties with nighttime temperatures on several occasions hovering near freezing. Triticale harvest is over half finished but very little corn has gone in the ground. First cutting alfalfa will begin early next week barring rain showers. First cutting hay of any kind looks like it will be below normal. Forever the optimist, second cutting will be better.—Jeff Semler, Washington Co.

Central Maryland

Small grain silage harvest is in full swing. Manure is being hauled and corn is being planted. Some soybeans have been planted. First cutting of hay may also start soon. Over the past month, most of the area has been at or above normal rainfall, according to the National Weather Service. Field work may slow down depending on much rain we get this weekend, but next week is forecasted to be drier and in the 70s. —Kelly Nichols, Montgomery Co.

Northern Maryland

The trend for April has been a continuation of March—cool temperatures that rarely want to move out of the 60s. As a result, the start of planting was about a 5-10 days later than usual for this region. Most planting kicked off the week of Easter. In general, small grains look good. Barley is headed out and wheat is a couple of weeks away. Some rye has been chopped for feed. Pastures and hay fields are enjoying the cooler temperatures.—Andy Kness, Harford Co.

Upper & Mid Shore

Soil moisture has been perfect for spring crops, field work, and planting. Soil temperatures have been a little cool for this time of year. Many acres of corn and beans have went in over the past week. Barley is fully headed and wheat will be in a few days. Both look good. Hay and pastures look good, but the cool weather has them a little behind normal.—Jim Lewis, Caroline Co.

Lower Shore

Wheat is starting to pollinate. It’s been a relatively dry spring, making for an average to above average wheat crop, with minimal disease pressure. Cover crops have been mostly terminated. However, where still standing, cover crops are looking great. These late-terminated cover crops should bring additional benefits to the fields, such as providing substantial organic matter to the soil, and in some cases releasing nitrogen on the soil surface. Growers have spread poultry manure. Weather has been relatively favorable these last couple of weeks for planting. Corn has started to be planted. Much more corn acreage is expected to be planted in the next weeks, to be followed by soybean planting.—Sarah Hirsh, Somerset Co.

Southern Maryland

The region has experienced good planting conditions over the last week. Corn planting progress is still a bit behind schedule with cooler soils limiting the number of early-planted acres. Most farmers are finishing up with corn planting and have started with soybean planting. Recent showers were welcome with soil conditions becoming slightly dry during the last couple of weeks. Wheat is in the early heading stage and many fields will be flowering by the time you read this. Farmers will be evaluating the need for a head scab fungicide in the next few days. Many wheat fields are exhibiting yellowing in the upper canopy that is not readily attributable to any disease. We are also seeing a lot of powdery mildew in the lower canopy, but very little in the upper canopy. Insect and disease pressure has been light so far. Forage crops look great this spring. Alfalfa weevil are very active this year and many fields required treatment. Pyrethroid resistance continues to be an issue for our growers. First cutting of cool season grasses is underway.—Ben Beale, St. Mary’s Co.

April 2022

Western Maryland

As I write we are receiving spring showers for which we are grateful. March came in like a lamb and went out like a lion. Both March and April thus far have been erratic with temperature swings and high winds. This rain is a blessing as we have been on the dry side. Wheat, barley and triticale are looking good after the first application of nitrogen which as everyone know is much pricier this year. Grass and alfalfa are slowly greening up and before you know it the corn planters will be in the fields. Manure applications are continuing as field conditions permit. So in short to quote a country song, "Sounds like life to me." —Jeff Semler, Washington Co.

Central Maryland

There have been a few warm days over the last month, but temperatures were often down around freezing at night. Some manure applications and field preparations have been happening the past few weeks, but the rain this week has put a stop to field work for now.—Kelly Nichols, Montgomery Co.

Northern Maryland

Winter has been drier than usual; however, recent rains have provided adequate moisture. Small grains are coming out of winter looking good and wheat is just beginning to joint. The fluctuating weather conditions have made for sporadic periods of field work; recently, fields have been fit for lime and manure applications and other spring prep work but I’d say we are slightly behind our average for spring field work progress. Temperatures have been below normal and soil temperatures are running a couple of degrees shy of 50 °F. Early soybean and corn planting should start in a couple of weeks if temperatures warm up a bit and all goes as planned.—Andy Kness, Harford Co.

Upper & Mid Shore

As of April 5th, soil moisture has been ideal for spreading lime, fertilizer, and manure. First and second applications of nitrogen went on small grain very easily (with the exception of high winds). Small grain looks good and seems to be ahead of schedule for this time of year. Barring excessive rain, corn and bean planting will start next week. —Jim Lewis, Caroline Co.

Lower Shore

Winter wheat is looking good. Growers have been applying manure and working the land in some fields. Farmers are starting to terminate cover crops, while most of the landscape is still green. Fields without cover crops have a flush of winter weeds. Corn planting has not begun yet, but expected in the next few weeks. We had a recent cold snap that prevented early planting. Fields are now wet due to recent rains.—Sarah Hirsh, Somerset Co.

Southern Maryland

Wheat crops are greening up and looking good this year. So good, in fact, that some are cancelling MACS contracts in favor of harvesting for grain. Two consecutive nights with high winds temperatures below freezing provided a scare for strawberry and tree fruit that were in bloom. Reports suggest strawberries fared well under row covers, but the impact on peaches and other tree fruit may be seen later in the season.—Alan Leslie, Charles Co.

November 2021

Western Maryland

The trees are coloring, while not as pretty as when we receive summer showers but we will take it. Four good nights of hard freezes give us hope winter will bring some healing from insects and disease. Nearly all of the corn and beans are in the bins and the wheat, barley, rye, and triticale are planted. The last of the dairy manure will soon hit the ground and everyone will head to the shop to begin winter repairs and maintenance looking towards spring 2022. Depending on where you are located in the county, grain yields were mostly unaffected but hay and silage yields were down. Looking forward to a better 2022. —Jeff Semler, Washington Co.

Central Maryland

After temperatures dipped down to freezing at night for a day or two last week, we finally have a few warm, sunny days to continue harvest, which rains in the past month had made challenging. On average, I have heard reports of at or above average corn and soybean yields, as well as some local and regional mills being full.—Kelly Nichols, Montgomery Co.

Northern Maryland

In general, harvest ‘21 has been very smooth. Weather has cooperated with the exception of a few cloudy/rainy days in October that stopped combines for a few days. Just about all corn and full season beans have been harvested, the majority of what’s still sanding in fields are double crops. Yields for corn, full-season, and double crop beans have been very strong across the board. Soil temperatures and moisture conditions made for very good cover crop and small grain establishment. The talk of supply shortages, double and tripling fertilizer costs and other rising inputs has put a damper on an otherwise exciting harvest. Hopefully 2022 inputs will not price us out of farming!—Andy Kness, Harford Co.

Upper & Mid Shore

It has been a very smooth harvest season. Bean harvest is winding down, with most farmers finishing full season beans and working on double crop beans. Small grain and cover crops look excellent.—Jim Lewis, Caroline Co.

Lower Shore

Corn harvest is complete. About 30-40% of soybean has been harvested. Recent floods and high water table in the region have delayed some fields from being harvested. Wheat planting is progressing well with 70-80% of the acreage planted. Early planted small grains have emerged and are looking good at this time. While cover crop planting is still underway, many early-planted fields are already seeing substantial growth. This fall cover crop growth should provide great benefits in terms of scavenging leftover nutrients from the soil. If conditions are favorable, we are expecting a lot more cover crop to be seeded with the extended MDA planting date deadline.—Sarah Hirsh, Somerset Co.

Southern Maryland

Weather conditions have been decent for harvest with the last of the corn coming off now. Farmers are scrambling to finish up soybean harvest as well. Soybeans have been hard to get down to 13% moisture in many cases. Both corn and soybean yields have been very good to excellent. Small grain planting is a bit behind schedule due to the weather conditions as of late. Most folks are getting cover crop and wheat planting finished up this week. This area received its first frost last week; we still haven’t received a hard frost but most vegetable crops are finished. Time to put this season to bed and get ready for next spring.—Ben Beale, St. Mary’s Co.

October 2021

Western Maryland

The weather has remained kind to us here in Washington County. We have had welcome rains that have been gentle in their nature. Soil moisture is at its optimum for fall planting. Early soybeans and corn harvest has begun, yields have yet to be reported. Most corn silage has been harvested and planting of winter annuals has begun. Additionally, wheat seeding will soon commence. — Jeff Semler, Washington Co.

Central Maryland

As I write this, it is lightly raining here at the Montgomery County Extension Office. Corn grain harvest is in full swing. I have not seen any soybean fields come off yet. Corn yields have varied depending on location and summer rainfall, but have overall been close to or slightly above average. — Kelly Nichols

Northern Maryland

Conditions have been ideal for corn harvest. Corn harvest started around the second week of September and is now in full swing. Yields are variable but most fields are running average to above average. A few acres of early soybeans have been harvested; double crop soybeans continue to look very strong. We’ve had good soil conditions for cover crop, small grain, and pasture seeding. — Andy Kness, Harford Co.

Upper & Mid Shore

Corn and soybean harvest is moving along smoothly, with the exception of lines at the granaries. It takes time to deliver high yields to market. We are setting records in both bean and corn yields. Farmers are reporting yields that they have never seen before! Soil moisture is adequate throughout the region with the few dry and wet spots. Cover crops are off to a great start. Troublesome weeds like glyphosate-resistant common ragweed and palmer amaranth are really showing up as beans are drying and the weeds are still green. Remember those fields for next year. — Jim Lewis, Caroline Co.

Lower Shore

The harvest season is progressing with no major problems. Corn is approximately 60% harvested. Soybean is drying down and ready to start harvest within the next week if the weather cooperates. Wheat and barley planting will begin soon. However, the ground is harder than desired at the moment due to lack of rain. Cover crop planting is going well; we have had significant acreage aerially seeded and ground planting has begun. — Sarah Hirsh, Somerset Co.

Southern Maryland

Conditions have been favorable for good progress on corn harvest. Yields are very good to excellent in most areas. Full season soybeans are mature and drying down. Some farmers started harvesting early-planted full season beans last week. Double crop soybeans are also looking very good. Vegetable harvest is winding up. The pumpkin and cucurbit crop is coming off now, with a decent pumpkin harvest this year. We did receive a report of alfalfa with second infestation of fall armyworm, assuming the next generation is now active. — Ben Beale, St. Mary’s Co.

September 2021

Western Maryland

Welcome rains have come to the area. Too late for some crops but late beans, hay, and fall crops will enjoy the drink. Corn silage harvest has been going on since early August with some of the crop drought-stressed in some areas of the county. Rain patterns all summer were scattered and erratic. At this writing, the remnants of Ida are replenishing soil moisture.—Jeff Semler, Washington Co.

Northern Maryland

The past 2-3 weeks have been very hot and humid and has really driven accelerated maturity of corn and soybeans, especially in pockets of the region that did not receive as much rain over the summer and on lighter soils; I think it’s likely taken some yield off the top of the corn crop and some soybeans. Double crop soybeans have put on a lot of growth and are looking good; hopefully, the September weather will favor good pod fill. Corn silage harvest started about two weeks ago. The heat stress has also brought out a lot of symptoms related to stem diseases in soybean, as well as fall armyworms in hayfields (and lawns). Corn for grain is nearly all dented and the earliest at black layer. With the recent heat, the corn grain harvest should start in a couple of weeks.—Andy Kness, Harford Co.

Central Maryland

As I'm writing this, Ida is giving us what might be the first county-wide rainfall; most rainfall to date has been scattered across the region, leaving parts of the area drier than others. Our usual soybean insect pests are munching away in soybean fields; however, soybeans can withstand a fair amount of leaf defoliation before a spray threshold is reached. Scout fields for leaf defoliation and/or pod damage in order to determine if the threshold has been reached. Traps for fall armyworm and western bean cutworm near Poolesville have remained empty. Recent rainfall has greatly improved double-crop beans and brought a lot of drought and heat stress corn back around just in time for grain fill. Folks were really starting to get going with corn silage harvest before the Tropical storm shut them down. I've heard from some Extension colleagues a little further south and they are experiencing the largest infestation of armyworms in years. I received a report of one field of Teff grass being severely defoliated by armyworms just this week. Although we aren't capturing many in traps we should keep an eye out for this destructive pest.—Kelly Nichols, Montgomery Co. & Jarette Hurry, Frederick Co. 

Upper and Mid Shore

Soil moisture is adequate in most areas and surplus in a few areas. Corn harvest will begin next week. Cover crop seeding is well underway and the early seeded cover crops are off to a great start. Most farmers are anxious to get combines moving as the crop looks good. Soybeans are tall and filling out well. There are areas of sudden death syndrome showing up in many fields as would be expected with recent weather patterns. Hayfields still look good, but we have not been blessed with good haymaking conditions.—Jim Lewis, Caroline Co.

Lower Shore

Corn is looking good and approaching black layer. Soybean looks great and pods are beginning to fill. We have had adequate rain in most places, even while storms have been somewhat sporadic. Herbicide-resistant Palmer amaranth is apparent in many fields. Now is the time to walk the fields to pull mature Palmer plants. There have been no reports of major insect pest or disease outbreaks in grain crops. It's looking like it will be a strong yield for grain yields.—Sarah Hirsh, Somerset Co.

Southern Maryland

The region has received widespread rains in the last three weeks. Corn is in grain fill stages with the earliest fields ready for harvest any day now. Yields are expected to be good to very good. Rains helped the soybean condition as well. Double crop beans have really responded well with excellent growth. Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) is now evident, with patches showing up mainly in full-season beans. We are also seeing Phytophthora crown and root rot show up in fields. Insect and mite pressure remains low. Palmer amaranth, common waterhemp, and common ragweed escapes are clearly visible now with seed heads waving from above the plant canopy. Annual grass hay is being cut for the second time. Cool-season grass is beginning to respond to the moisture with growth resuming.—Ben Beale, St. Mary’s Co.

August 2021

Western Maryland

We had a great wheat harvest and many optimists planted double-crop beans. It has been very dry in most of the county. Depending on where in the county you are located is the difference between chopping corn now and admiring your crop. Hay will be in short supply so many will plant forage oats for fall forage. Full season beans are looking good in most places. We will continue to pray for rain. —Jeff Semler, Washington Co.

Central Maryland

In general, Central Maryland has had a good combination of heat and rain, and the crops are looking great. Most of the region is close to or above the normal rainfall over the last 30 days. Fall armyworm and western bean cutworm traps near Poolesville have been empty this past month. Corn silage harvest will begin soon, especially if August turns up the heat.—Kelly Nichols, Montgomery Co.

Northern Maryland

We’ve been fortunate to have excellent pollination conditions over the past 3 weeks when the vast majority of the corn crop was pollinating. Temperatures were in the upper 80s and occasionally low 90s with frequent storms that brought timely moisture. The majority of the corn crop is looking above average. Full season soybeans are beginning to set pots and look good; some fields had very spotty emergence due to slug damage early; we will see what August brings in terms of rain to help make the bean crop. Double crops had good soil moisture to germinate and are off to a decent start. Insect and disease pest pressure in both corn and beans has been minimal so far. Small grain harvest wrapped up a couple of weeks ago with big wheat yields.—Andy Kness, Harford Co.

Upper & Mid Shore

Soil moisture levels are all over the board. Some areas have been receiving rains while others have not. None of the region is too wet. Therefore, corn and early bean yield predictions also vary, but are not disastrous. Corn will be 100-250 bu/acre plus. Early beans will be 40-80 bu/acre plus. Later maturing beans still have a long ways to go. Corn leaf diseases have been expanding/moving up the plant in the last few weeks. Soybean diseases have been minimal, but foliage-feeding insects are increasing. Luckily most of the beans have plenty of foliage and can withstand some feeding. Trouble weeds, especially the glyphosate-resistant weeds are starting to outgrow beans and showing their ugly heads(growing points). As with past months, there has been good quality hay harvested.—Jim Lewis, Caroline Co.

Lower Shore

The weather has been favorable and grain crops are looking good. Corn is around R3 reproductive stage. Full-season soybean is flowering. Deer are regularly observed grazing in soybean fields. Corn Earworm numbers are currently low. Herbicide-resistant weeds such as ragweed, marestail, and Palmer amaranth are present and posing management challenges.—Sarah Hirsh, Somerset Co.

Southern Maryland

The story this month is squarely focused on moisture. Temperatures across the region are reaching into the 90’s with sporadic isolated storms hitting here and there. Crops are now showing moisture stress. The corn crop is past pollination and approaching dough stage on earliest plantings. We could really use another rain to help fill corn out, but it’s looking to be at least an average crop. Soybeans are setting pods, with full-season beans at R3-R5. We have not seen many pest outbreaks in beans yet. We are on the lookout for spider mites with the hot dry conditions. Cool-season grasses are going dormant in the hot dry weather.—Ben Beale, St. Mary’s Co.

July 2021

Western Maryland

The barley harvest is complete and the yield reports are very favorable. The combines moved t the wheat fields and that harvest is now underway with the balers following close behind. Early reports of wheat yields are also favorable. Corn and early beans looking good after a little battle with Mr. Slug and his friends. The recent heat has been good for the crops and allows for a favorable harvest, rains and cooler temperatures are forecast to be on the horizon. —Jeff Semler, Washington Co.

Northern Maryland

Crops looks very good across Northern Maryland, and we just received some timely rains that the corn and soybeans will appreciate and should make for good double-crop planting/germination conditions. Wheat harvest is progressing with reports of average to very good yields and heavy test weights. Most all corn has been top dressed with the second shot of N. Earliest planted corn will be tasseling in a couple of weeks and early planted group III soybeans are very close to R1. There has been spots of some severe slug damage on early planted soybean fields. A lot of hay was put up over the past few weeks with the good drying weather.—Andy Kness, Harford Co.

Upper & Mid Shore

The heavier soils on the upper part of the shore are holding up well. However, the mid-shore is getting dry, and hoping for July 4th rains! Wheat harvest is almost complete with yields being average and above. The dry/cool/long grain fill period proved good for wheat yields again. Scab was low to nonexistent. Corn is beginning to tassel/silk and looks good. Early planted Group 3 soybeans are blooming and look good. So far, there has been plenty of moisture for germination of double-crop beans. There have been many acres of 2,4-D and Dicamba beans sprayed with minimal off-site movement issues.—Jim Lewis, Caroline Co.

Lower Shore

Corn growth has taken off in the last couple of weeks. On average it’s about 4-5 feet tall. Sidedress N has been applied or is currently being applied to late-planted corn. Full-season soybean has been planted and on average is at the V4 stage, and 7-10” tall. For the most part, crops are looking good, although corn is showing some signs of water stress in sandier areas. Wheat harvest began around June 20th and is ongoing. Wheat yields are reported as average.—Sarah Hirsh, Somerset Co.

Southern Maryland

As I write this, temperatures across the region are reaching into the upper 90’s and rain has been hard to come by. Crops are moisture stressed, with earlier corn just beginning to tassel. Critical rains are expected today and tomorrow, so hopefully, by the time this is read, all crops will have received some much-needed moisture. The barley harvest is mostly complete and wheat harvest is well on the way. Yields have been good to very good given the wet fall. Some wheat is taking its time drying down. Soybeans are in good condition. Very early planted beans have made good strides. Beans planted the first or second week of May are a bit behind compared to most years. Spider mites are plentiful in vegetable crops and will begin to show up in bean fields soon, especially if the hot, dry weather continues. The second cutting of hay is being made now. We need more rain so keep cutting.—Ben Beale, St. Mary’s Co.

June 2021

Washington County

Corn and beans are all in the ground for the most part and the first cutting hay is in the barn. We received some welcome rain and cooler temperatures but it looks like the heat is coming back. That's good for the corn as long as the rain showers continue. Wheat and barley are in full head and ripening nicely. Some alfalfa second cutting has been harvested and the rest will be soon.—Jeff Semler, Washington Co.

Northern Maryland

For the most part, all corn and nearly all full-season soybeans are in the ground and coming along nicely. Earliest planted soybeans are around V4, earliest corn is close to V6 and sidedress nitrogen is starting along with post-emerge herbicides. Barley is ripening and wheat is looking good so far—still a bit too early to notice any head scab symptoms but the weather has been dry so scab should be fairly low this year. We received some very much-needed rain over Memorial Day. Prior to the rain, it was perfect hay weather, and first cutting of alfalfa has been made. Triticale yields were reported to be very strong.—Andy Kness, Harford Co.

Upper & Mid Shore

We were getting dry before the Memorial Day weekend rain. Corn and beans are both off to a great start. Post-emergent herbicide applications are under full swing. Corn is being sidedressed. Barley harvest will start Monday. Wheat still looks good with scab levels very low. Lots of high-quality hay was made before last weeks’ rains.—Jim Lewis, Caroline Co.

Lower Shore

Wheat has flowered and is drying down. Cover crops have been terminated, although some were saved for wheat harvest due to favorable spring growth. Corn has been planted, and is generally around VE to V3 stage. I’d estimate half of soybean acreage has been planted. The earliest planted beans are around V2. We had a couple of weeks of very dry weather, which caused some growers to pause planting. Over Memorial Day weekend, it rained 2-3”, which was much needed to recharge the soil profile. Herbicide-resistant weeds, such as common ragweed, marestail, and Palmer amaranth, are starting to emerge. Now is the time to spray these seedlings to stay ahead on control.—Sarah Hirsh, Somerset Co.

Southern Maryland

The region experienced a dry spell in the last month but rains returned over the last couple of weeks. Corn growth continues to be behind most years with many variable fields. Most corn fields are exhibiting some yellowing chlorotic growth. I expect plants to green up soon with return of moisture and warmer growing conditions. We have had some issues with pre herbicide activity most likely due to limited moisture to activate herbicide into the germination zone. Side-dress N applications have begun this week on corn. Full season soybean planting is wrapping up. Barley will be ready to come off any day. Wheat fields are beginning to yellow. Unfortunately, we continue to see increasing levels of ryegrass in wheat. This has been a tough year for killing ryegrass prior to planting corn and soybeans. Cooler weather and tank mixes may be limiting herbicide activity as well as some potential herbicide resistance. There was a lot of nice dry hay during the dry spell.—Ben Beale, St. Mary’s Co.

May 2021

Western Maryland

The weather here has been a little dry. Soil moisture levels are adequate but more rain would be welcome once the corn is planted. Triticale harvest is rushing to a conclusion to make way for manure tankers followed closely by the corn planter. Full season soybeans are also being planted and the first of the alfalfa is being mowed. Wheat is looking good and barley is in full head. Hopefully, May will bring more showers than April did. —Jeff Semler, Washington Co.

Northern Maryland

Corn and full-season soybean planting has been in full swing for about two weeks now. The weather and soil conditions have been great. We were starting to get slightly dry but some timely showers this week brought some needed moisture. Corn and soybeans that have emerged look very good. Barley is heading out, triticale has been cut, and wheat varieties are between boot and heading. Right now head blight risk is low in our region, but that can change quickly so don’t fall asleep on it!—Andy Kness, Harford Co.

 

Upper & Mid Shore

Barley is in stage 10.1 - 10.5 and looks good. Wheat is in stage 10 - 10.1 and also looks good. Corn and soybean planting is moving along rapid and smooth. Soil conditions have been ideal since planting started. Early planted corn and beans are germinating and emerging without too many issues. We are off to a good start. There have been a few acres of hay cut and baled. Most of the rest will be cut in the next few dry days. —Jim Lewis, Caroline Co.

 

Lower Shore

Wheat is in boot stage or starting to head. Cover crops have been mostly terminated. Growers are spreading poultry manure and some lime. There has been more tillage than normal this spring, as wet conditions during harvest last fall caused ruts in fields. 10-20% of corn acreage has been planted. Weather has been relatively favorable these last couple of weeks for planting, although scattered rains have prevented some fields from drying out. A few farmers have started planting soybean, with much more acreage anticipated for next week.—Sarah Hirsh, Somerset Co.

Southern Marland

The region has experienced good planting conditions over the last couple of weeks. Corn planting progress is still a bit behind schedule with cooler soils limiting the number of early-planted acres. We have earlier planted soybeans this year as well. Germination and plant stands for both crops look good. Recent rains have made for ideal conditions for slugs. Farmers are keeping a careful eye out especially in no-till fields with heavy crop residue. Wheat is at the late boot to early heading stage. Farmers will be evaluating the need for a head scab fungicide in the next week. Insect and disease pressure has been light so far. Forage crops look great this spring. Alfalfa weevil were active very early this year and many fields required treatment. Pyrethroid resistance in alfalfa weevil is common in our area. First cutting of cool season grasses is underway. Tobacco transplants are ready to go to the field this week.—Ben Beale, St. Mary’s Co.

April 2021

Western Maryland

March is usually a month of somewhat turbulent, and this year was no exception. We have had high temperatures in the 70's and the 40's with several nights in the 20's. We have been blessed with moisture that has almost like clockwork followed by a day or two of high winds. In short, soil moisture is good, but soil temperatures are still low, so everyone with a corn planter is getting itchy. Wheat, triticale, and other grains have been fertilized, and weed control has also been applied. Manure pits are being emptied, and poultry litter is being spread in anticipation of corn planting. Rising fertilizer prices are presenting challenges this spring as well. Yet in agriculture, we are internal optimists, yields will always be high, and prices will always be good. Happy Spring, everyone. —Jeff Semler, Washington Co.

Northern Maryland

Prior to a few storms over the past couple of weeks, the region has been on the dry side. With the recent rains, we are now leaning on the wet side. Temperature fluctuations this winter led to some very stressed-looking wheat, but plants have recovered nicely now that nitrogen applications have been made and wheat should be jointing in the next week or so if temperatures warm. Lime, litter, and fertilizer applications continue where the ground is fit; although there has been some availability issues with lime. As long as the weather cooperates, planting should begin in 2-3 weeks.—Andy Kness, Harford Co.

Upper & Mid Shore

The first application of nitrogen went on small grains a couple of weeks ago. Wheat and barley are growing well with the recent warm weather. Lime, manure, and potash applicators have been in high gear on the few dry days in between the many wet days. A few of last fall/winters harvest ruts have been worked out, but many still remain.  It’s starting off to look like a long spring as the wet weather continues! —Jim Lewis, Caroline Co.

Lower Shore

Winter wheat is looking good. Growers have been applying manure and working the land in some fields. Only about 10% of cover crops have been terminated as of now. I have not seen any early-season corn planted yet. Fields are quite wet due to recent rains, with another 1+ inch of rain forecasted for this week.—Sarah Hirsh, Somerset Co.

Southern Maryland

Farmers are busy preparing for planting and the upcoming growing season. The region had a few good weeks of conditions for fieldwork until the rain set in recently. Everyone is busy spreading litter/manure, applying herbicides, and completing field operations before planting commences in the next couple of weeks. Small grain crops are only in fair condition with many fields with sparse areas due to wet conditions in the fall. There have been some issues with sourcing crop inputs. Hayfields are greening up now. —Ben Beale, St. Mary’s Co.

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Agronomy News is a statewide newsletter for farmers, consultants, researchers, and educators interested in grain and row crop forage production systems. This newsletter is published once a month during the growing season and will include topics pertinent to agronomic crop production. Subscribers will receive an email with the latest edition.

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