Rain Makes Grain...Or Pain

April 28, 2010 07:00 PM
AgWeb Editor
This spring's planting progress is far ahead of schedule. While many farmers last year were itching to get into the field, many Midwest growers are already finished with corn and have moved on to beans. But now the question becomes for many growers is if we've gotten too wet.
"We've had a little bit of a dip down in growing degree units the past seven to nine days,” says Mike Kavanaugh, Agrigold Seeds Agronomy Manager. "We were accumulating about 10-11 GDD's a day, so we're taking about 10-11 days for corn to emerge.”
Kavanaugh says if the water shuts off now, growers should be OK. If the rain continues to fall, there could be reason for concern if it's too heavy, particularly where planting depth is concerned. With the dry weather in much of the Midwest, the optimum seed depth this year was between 1-2 inches, says Kavanaugh. 
"The one's we worry about are those fields that were planted one to two days before all this cool weather and temperatures hit. Right now, they're probably just fine. The nail in the coffin would certainly be if we got a bunch more rain towards the end of the week and we have a lot cooler temperatures for those seeds to sit in.”

According to QT Weather Meteorologist Allen Motew's Wednesday morning forecast, (now available in AgWeb Weather) rain should impact much of the Midwest this weekend, starting today. He expects strong storms in Western Iowa, Eastern Nebraska and Northeast Kansas and rains that may produce rains between 0.5 to 2 inches.

Rain is then expected to spread across most of the major row crop-producing regions of the United States. The precipitation will be followed by a bout fo cooler air moving into the region on Sunday. On Monday morning, frost is possible in areas of Iowa, Minnesota, the Dakotas, Nebraska and Colorado, with an expanded cold belt through Wednesday. However, Motew does not believe temperatures will dip far enough to damage crop.
If this happens, Kavanaugh says replant becomes a real possibility. It will take a week to 10 days to know if that is necessary. But some aren't waiting and their fate is already known according to several posts in Crop Comments this week. Central Missouri was pounded with 5-6 inches of rainfal over the past week and they are planning to replant. One grower in Southeast Iowa was finished by April 13 this year. For the most part his crop has emerged, but some acres will require another go due to wash outs.
In some areas, seed supply could become an issue due to the rapid planting progress this year. If this is a concern, John Kermicle, Agrigold brand manager says to get in touch with your sales representative to weigh your options.  (For more information on seed supply disruptions, click here.)

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