Wall of Water Delays Progress

June 6, 2010 07:00 PM

By Greg Vincent
AgWeb Editor 

Reports from Crop Comments across the Midwest are a lot alike. Planting began with a bang in April, then a wall of water seemed to hit the Midwest and brought much of it to a halt. Now many farmers are talking about replant.
Between April 22 and May 18, one Wayne County, Iowa, farmer received 14 inches of rain. At that point he didn't expect it to dry out for another 10 days, if they didn't get rain. Which they did. "Will be a lot of replanting here, although the soils that have some slope to them have corn emerging that has been planted for four weeks.”
In north-central Missouri, one farmer says on June 7 that they were off to a great start, just like the farmer to his north in Iowa. But that came to a stop, starting with the anhydrous shortage that prevailed in many parts of the country. "Barely finished corn before the rains came. Little to no field work for about five weeks. Finally got some beans planted. Will they come up? Got a big rain early this week, then another big one (with hail) last night. ‘Ya gotta be tough,' we keep telling ourselves.”
On June 4, a farmer from Huntington County, Ind., checked in. He had 60% of his corn and one bean field planted by April 22. For the next five weeks he didn't turn a wheel, but still, things look pretty good. "Finished corn on May 27-28 and planted and drilled about 450 acres of beans from May 28 to June 2 while dodging showers and storms,” he says. "Early corn and beans look pretty good with some drowned-out spots and thin spots. Started anhydrous last night (June 3rd).” 
That Huntington County, Ind., rain was already causing one farmer to question whether a switch from corn to soybeans would be necessary on May 25. "Still have 135 acres of corn to plant??? Might be planted to soybeans, unless we can find enough rice seed. Very trying but need to keep persevering. Take your time!!”
Most farmers had nothing but time as they waited for things to dry out. In Richland County, Ill., one crop scout burnt some time driving the farm roads to see how others were fairing. In short, the crop looked OK, but the wet fields there were a major concern to him. "The last wheel we turned was April 23rd and it's raining now on May 20th. Took a 100-mile loop last week, could count all the wheat fields on one hand. All headed out. Lot of corn was planted in April, some will be replanted. Like everyone else, we need sun and heat.”
To the west wet weather delayed corn planting, as well. But now, they could use a rain, says a Cherry County, Neb., farmer. "Lots of days of high winds and we are now really dry,” he says. "It is too dry to dig a post hole on the hard ground.”

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You can e-mail Greg Vincent at gvincent@farmjournal.com 

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