Even with sluggish planting, crops have emerged and look healthy in states like Missouri.
A month or two ago, corn and soybean planting progress was not all that encouraging. Cool and wet conditions dominated the weather forecasts and many planters stayed parked.
Fast forward to the start of June and much has changed. As of May 29, USDA reports 86% of the U.S. corn crop is in the ground, which compares to a five-year average of 95% planted by this date.
Soybean planting is also behind, at 51% complete. But, the last few weeks have showed great progress.
Several states, such as Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, the Dakotas and Michigan are significantly behind in planting, but many states are also on track.
In states like Missouri, the planting season was sluggish in April and early May, but has greatly turned around.
Charlie Kerr, who farms with his father and uncle in Chilicothe, Mo., says this is the first time in at least three years where they have finished planting by the end of May.
They have replanted some acres, but overall, Kerr is happy with the stands of corn and soybeans and says they aren’t behind in development.
Wet conditions early in the season caused some uneven corn emergence. But farmer Charlie Kerr says he’s only had to replant a small portion of acres.
Dealing with the Rain
Around mid-April Fred and Janet Wennihan thought planting season was going to go pretty smooth. But, after successfully planting one day, they were rained out for two weeks.
Luckily they were able to return to the field and finished planting their corn and soybean acres about two weeks ago.
“It may not be the most perfect corn stand,” he says. “But, it doesn’t look too bad.”
Janet says with all the planting delays and flooding this spring has brought, she feels very blessed about the condition of their crops.
Eric Schoff pulls this planter out of the shed. With good weather conditions and no breakdowns, he hopes to finish planting in a few days.
Eric and Mark Schoff, who farm near Hamilton, Mo., haven’t had the extreme amounts of precipitation that have been seen in other areas, but the rains have been persistent.
The regular rains have been the reason they aren’t quite done with soybean planting yet. “Depending on the amount of heat we get, we could finish up pretty soon,” Eric says.
The Schoffs say they have seen some advantages to late planting. By waiting to plant their crops, the soil and air temperatures were able to reach better corn-growing conditions. Some of their corn crops look just as good as the fields that were planted a month ahead of theirs.
Slow, Slow Emergence
Whitney Wiegel, University of Missouri Extension agricultural business specialist, says farmers in his area of west-central Missouri have been impressed with the durability of their seed this year. “It turned cold and wet and the seed just stayed in the ground,” he says. “It was slow to emerge, but it didn’t rot.”
Brad Bray, who farms near Cameron, Mo., says his corn is not as tall as it should be at this stage, but looks healthy and uniform.
A slow-growing crop is also what Brad Bray, a farmer near Cameron, Mo., has on his hands. He was able to plant early, but like many of the crops in his area, the seed didn’t shoot up for nearly three weeks.
“Due to the cool weather, the corn is shorter than it should be at this stage,” Bray says.
Some of his corn did have to be replanted. But, he said since he wasn’t crunched for time, he’s happy now to have a much stronger stand.
Just 50 more acres of soybeans stand in between Bray and his planting finish line this year. “We’re not completely out of the woods yet,” he says.
For More Information
After 3 p.m. today, look for the June 6 USDA Crop Progress and Condition Ratings.
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