Rain Puts Damper on Corn Planting

| April 9, 2013
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Recent rains and cool soil temperatures have left most area farmers struggling to get into the fields but there is plenty of time left in the planting season before the delays could affect crop yields.  Click to hear KMZU’s Chelsea Wade talk with Missouri Corn Growers President Rob Korff:

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Image courtesy of www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov

“There’s not a cause for concern quite yet,” Korff said.  “The ground temperature did just get warm enough for germination of the seeds.  It all depends on when the crop comes out of the ground and the number of heat units we have on corn to get us to maturity before fall.  I don’t think we are late yet.  According to the calendar, I always want to start planting corn on April 1st and be done by the 15th.  This year it will probably be around the 15th before we start planting, but that’s not too late.”

Although the recent moisture is helping to ease the grip of the worst U.S. drought in decades, Korff said producers could find themselves on the other side of the spectrum with flooding.  “There is a lot of snow up north.  I saw a report the other day in one of the Dakotas that said they were filling sandbags.  When you live in the bottoms of Carroll County, there’s always a threat of flooding.  I hope that’s not the case this year.  In 2011 we had flooding and in 2012 we had a drought.  It would be nice to have one year without either extreme,” Korff said.  Click to read the Army Corps of Engineers runoff predictions.

A significant storm is expected to hit the region Tuesday night.  Forecasters have predicted precipitation amounts between 2 and 4 inches, with locally higher amounts possible, which could further stall planting.

As of April 2nd, the U.S. Drought Monitor indicates most of the KMZU listening area is considered “abnormally dry.”  A new report is expected to be released on Thursday.

Information from the USDA’s National Agriculture Statistics Service – Crop Progress and Condition Report (Week Ending Apr. 7th)

Image courtesy of www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov

Agricultural Summary

Drier conditions across the State have allowed for tillage and planting progress. Fertilizer was applied to wheat, pastures and ground to be planted to corn. There were 4.1 days suitable for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture supply was 1 percent very short, 9 percent short, 74 percent adequate, and 16 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supply was 13 percent very short, 29 percent short, 55 percent adequate and 3 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture in the northern 3 districts was rated 57 percent or more short to very short. Spring tillage was 25 percent, compared to 61 percent last year, and the 5 year average (normal) of 30 percent.

Field Crops Report

Corn planting progressed to 4 percent complete, 4 days behind normal. All districts reporting corn planted with the southeast district 20 percent planted. Rice planting was 2 percent complete, 6 days behind normal. Sorghum planting was reported in the northwest and south-central districts. Winter wheat condition was rated 1 percent poor, 26 percent fair, 63 percent good, and 10 percent excellent.

Pasture & Livestock

Pasture condition were 16 percent very poor, 30 percent poor, 43 percent fair, and 11 percent good. Pastures are greening up but warmer weather is needed for pasture growth. Supply of hay and other roughages was 28 percent very short, 40 percent short and 32 percent adequate. Stock water supplies were 5 percent very short, 14 percent short, 71 percent adequate, and 10 percent surplus.

Weather Summary

Temperatures were average to 5 degrees below average. Average nightly low temperatures ranged from 30 to 42 degrees. Precipitation averaged 0.06 of an inch statewide.

For additional information click to view the USDA’s Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin (PDF).

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