Soggy Spring Stalls Planting

When the calendar turns to April, farm work normally is in high gear. But soggy fields are staying soggy, leaving grain producers with little opportunity to get any work accomplished.

For example, Kentucky reports that its growers are well behind on their spring work.

"There’s no corn in the ground here at all," says Rankin Powell, Union County extension agent for agriculture and natural resources with the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service. "Over the past 10 years, we would generally have a good bit of corn in the ground by now and all our anhydrous ammonia. We’ve only put out about 10 percent of the anhydrous."

Union County is the state’s top corn producing county, and Powell says growers there generally begin planting corn in late March with the goal of having their 85,000 to 90,000 acres planted by April 15. Many of the Ohio River bottom fields were just beginning to see water recede before last week’s rainfall again raised water levels and continued flooding these fields.

So what’s to blame for these soggy conditions? Blame it on a weather maker called La Nina, said Tom Priddy, UK agricultural meteorologist. La Niña is cooler-than-normal sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean that impact global weather patterns. This weather maker brings wet winters, and that’s been the case this year. Some forecasts are calling for it to hang around into the spring and summer. But here’s the kicker. La Nina tends to turn off the water spigot in summer months.

The cool, wet weather conditions may result in stand establishment and soil compaction concerns for many Hoosier farmers, says a Purdue University expert.

"With these wet conditions, either on ground needing spring tillage or on no-till ground, farmers may be left with the decision of getting seed into the ground at the risk of soil compaction," says Corey Gerber, director of the Purdue Crop Diagnostic Training and Research Center.

"When compaction issues are combined with cool temperatures, the seed will tend not to germinate as quickly as we would like," Gerber says. "This is when diseases and insects like wireworm and seedcorn maggot readily attack the seed, potentially resulting in uneven stand establishment and lower plant populations than originally desired."

If this occurs, producers may need to think about replanting and that’s a tough decision to make, Gerber adds.

"When considering whether to replant or not, a producer needs to take into account the extent of damage, the original plant population, the original planting date, expected replanting date, expected replanting costs, the expected market price, and the expected yield," Gerber says.

The 2008 "Purdue Extension Corn and Soybean Field Guide" provides guidance and tools that can help make some of these tough decisions a bit simpler for farmers. The pocketbook sized in-field reference is still available for purchase and will provide applicable information for row crop producers, crop specialists, and educators throughout the Corn Belt.

The field guide includes photos for easier identification of insects, weeds, plant diseases, herbicide injuries and nutrient deficiencies. The pesticide tables, which include herbicides, insecticides and fungicides, have been updated for 2008, and a few minor adjustments have been made to the fertility section.

The field guide is $6, and can be ordered from the Purdue Education Store at https://secure.agriculture.purdue.edu/store/item.asp?itemID=18540 or
(888) EXT-INFO. A form for mail orders can be downloaded at http://www.agry.purdue.edu/dtc/guide.html.

Leave a Reply

Featured Stories
Eric SfiligojMonsanto Hears The WHO
March 27, 2015
Another challenge to the safety of glyphosate, and the responses from supporters and opponents, calls to mind a classic Dr. Seuss story. Read More
Spreaders17 Fertilizer Spreaders For 2015
March 25, 2015
Manufacturers shoot for versatility and accuracy in this year's crop of fertilizer spreaders. Read More
Crop InputsWorld Health Organization Report Contradicts Scientific Findings On Glyphosate
March 23, 2015
A new report from the World Health Organization has classified glyphosate with a “2A” rating as a probable carcinogen, a Read More
HerbicidesMARCH MADNESS: Industry Rallies Around Glyphosate Safety Amid Troubling Report
March 20, 2015
A newly published report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies the herbicide glyphosate as a "2A-rated possible carcinogen" and the ag industry responds by circling the wagons. Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100BRANDT Commemorates National Ag Day
March 20, 2015
The Illinois agriculture community gathered at BRANDT global headquarters on March 18 to celebrate National Ag Day behind this year's theme Sustaining Future Generations. Read More
Wheat Growers, North Central Farmers Elevator Pursue Merger
CropLife 100Wheat Growers, North Central Farmers Elevator Pursue Merger
March 3, 2015
Two CropLife 100 retailers — South Dakota Wheat Growers (ranked No. 11) and North Central Farmers Elevator (No. 19) — have entered into a Letter of Intent to unify the two companies into a newly named cooperative. Read More
Growmark Group
CropLife 100GROWMARK In 2015: Back, To The Future
March 2, 2015
The nation’s third largest ag retail organization is simultaneously moving forward while remembering its past. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Expands Sanders Brand In The South
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle has acquired Hopkins Seed and Chemical in Qulin, MO, which expands the company's Sanders brand to nine Southern states. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Launches New Providence Agriculture Location In Indiana
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings — ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100 — has established a new retail location in New Castle, IN, which will operate as part of Pinnacle's Providence Agriculture brand. Read More
Carl Casale of CHS
CropLife 100Cooperative CHS Returns $518 Million To Owners
February 23, 2015
The 2015 cash return to owners is based on CHS net income of $1.1 billion, the company's second highest on record. Read More
Latest News
Industry NewsH.J. Baker Creates, Fills New Pacific Northwest Sales P…
March 30, 2015
H.J. Baker announced today that Gary Bingham has joined the company’s Crop Performance Division to further deepen its sales portfolio Read More
Algal blooms
StewardshipStudy: Algae From Clogged Waterways Could Be Used As Bi…
March 30, 2015
Water-borne algal blooms from farm fertilizer runoff can destroy aquatic life and clog rivers and lakes, but scientists are reporting Read More
Young corn plants
Stewardship4R Nutrient Stewardship Summit Coming To DC
March 30, 2015
The annual 4R Nutrient Stewardship Summit will be held on May 12 in Washington DC. The summit will include a full Read More
FungicidesSyngenta Suing Willowood Over Azoxystrobin Fungicide
March 27, 2015
Syngenta announced today that it has sued agrochemical maker Willowood, LLC., for patent and copyright infringement, as well as unfair Read More
ManagementRetail Week: The Future Of Mycogen Seeds; The 4Rs At Na…
March 27, 2015
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Matt Hopkins discuss recent trips, including a look at the future of Mycogen Seeds at Dow Read More
Eric SfiligojMonsanto Hears The WHO
March 27, 2015
Another challenge to the safety of glyphosate, and the responses from supporters and opponents, calls to mind a classic Dr. Seuss story. Read More
Industry NewsMonty’s Plant Food Expands Sales Team
March 27, 2015
Monty’s Plant Food Company, a leader in natural soil enhancement and  plant fertility products, has hired Andrew Bullock as a Read More
Crop InputsSyngenta Louisiana Plant Poised For 2015 Production
March 26, 2015
As the 2015 planting season gets underway, growers across the country will need crop protection products to combat pests and Read More
Lake Erie Nutrient Stewardship
LegislationOhio Lawmakers Finalize Phosphorus Restrictions
March 25, 2015
State lawmakers on Wednesday finalized new rules designed to curb toxic algal blooms on Lake Erie, calling the regulations a major step forward in addressing the problem. Read More
Spreaders17 Fertilizer Spreaders For 2015
March 25, 2015
Manufacturers shoot for versatility and accuracy in this year's crop of fertilizer spreaders. Read More
Industry NewsMonty’s Hires Mid-South Product Consultant
March 25, 2015
Monty's Plant Food Co. has hired Matt Woodring as a Product Consultant for portions of Central Kentucky and Tennessee.    Read More
StewardshipMapShots Integrates With DriftWatch
March 23, 2015
Growers and agricultural providers using AgStudio FARM and AgStudio PRO can now view vital information about specialty crops and apiaries through a recent integration with the DriftWatch Specialty Crop Site Registry from FieldWatch, Inc. Read More
Crop InputsWorld Health Organization Report Contradicts Scientific…
March 23, 2015
A new report from the World Health Organization has classified glyphosate with a “2A” rating as a probable carcinogen, a Read More
Eric SfiligojSeed Treatment Stays Necessary
March 20, 2015
Grower-customers looking to scale back spending in 2015 won’t consider seed treatment, say experts. Read More
HerbicidesMARCH MADNESS: Industry Rallies Around Glyphosate Safet…
March 20, 2015
A newly published report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies the herbicide glyphosate as a "2A-rated possible carcinogen" and the ag industry responds by circling the wagons. Read More
ManagementRetail Week: Precision survey, a technology acquisition…
March 20, 2015
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sflilgoj discuss recent travel, the upcoming precision adoption survey, and an unusual sighting at a Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Commemorates National Ag Day
March 20, 2015
The Illinois agriculture community gathered at BRANDT global headquarters on March 18 to celebrate National Ag Day behind this year's theme Sustaining Future Generations. Read More
Crop InputsBioSafe Launching TerraGrow Soil Inoculant
March 20, 2015
TerraGrow is a blend of beneficial bacterial and fungal spores and nutrients carefully designed to promote healthier soil and crops. Read More