"I haven't seen a planting season this nice in years…maybe ever,” says Gordon Vail, Syngenta herbicide technical manager. "The whole U.S. is in serious farming mode right now and the farmers are really making progress.”
Vail says he spoke with producers in Minnesota, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Louisiana and Michigan this week and every one sited fantastic planting conditions. Warm, dry weather conditions across much of the Corn Belt is creating a perfect planting scenario, he says. That's a big difference from the last two years.
With 19 percent of the U.S. corn crop now planted, progress is ten points ahead of the 5-year average and 14 points above the slow, wet 2009 planting season, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Monday afternoon.
USDA's April 18 survey shows that between April 11 and 18, the planting progressed rapidly in several states. Tennessee saw a 44 point increase in acreage planted, while North Carolina corn plantings increased by 39 points. This was followed by 33 percent of the corn in Illinois and 31 percent in Missouri.
"The biggest question I'm getting right now is on weed control in the south and a lot of post-herbicides, with more producers looking at earlier applications to get their weeds down so they can maximize yields,” Vail says.
Vail says most producers are controlling weeds, but not early enough. "There are probably another 15 to 20 bushels they are losing because not getting that weed control on early,” Vail says.