Purdue UniversityAgronomy Department11 Sep 2001
Published at the Chat 'n Chew Cafe, 24 Apr 2002
URL: http://www.kingcorn.org/news/articles.02/Idle_Planters-0424.html
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Rainy Days, Soggy Soils, & Idle Planters

R.L. (Bob) Nielsen & Tony Vyn, Agronomy Dept.
Glenn Nice, Botany & Plant Pathology Dept.
Purdue Univ.
West Lafayette, IN 47907-1150
Email address: rnielsen@purdue.edu

While only about 20% of Indiana’s corn crop is typically planted by 30 April (1983-2001 crop reporting data, Indiana Ag. Stats. Service), farmers have been spoiled the last couple of years with excellent weather and soil conditions in late March and early April. Consequently, many farmers throughout the state were already well into planting by this time last year. Not so in 2002. Rain and snow during the past four weeks have delayed the start of corn and soybean planting throughout Indiana.

None of this is news to the regulars down at the Chat ‘n Chew Café, but the frustration level is beginning to build among those who are faced with a significant acreage of corn yet unplanted, let alone that of soybean. While there is plenty of time to begin corn planting within the prime planting window of late April and early May, the risk is mounting that the finish of corn planting may occur in mid-May or later when yield losses to delayed planting increase significantly due to the shortened available growing season and accompanying stress factors. What can growers do to minimize that risk?

By the time the end of April rolls around, growers should concentrate primarily on planting corn and less so on performing related field activities such as tillage and pre-plant fertilizer or herbicide applications. This advice is particularly applicable if the time spent accomplishing these other field activities would otherwise limit the completion of the planting operation in a timely fashion. In particular,

Finally, if you are already wondering whether to switch to earlier maturity hybrids because of the late start of the planting season, the short answer is “Don’t worry yet.” A decision to switch hybrid maturities is not necessary for most Indiana corn growers until planting is delayed to late May or later.

Some Related Online References:

Fertilizing corn can wait, planting crop can't (Purdue Univ.)
Tillage Options for Corn in a Wet Spring (Purdue Univ.)
Burndown Madness (Purdue University)
Postemergence broadleaf control in corn (Univ. of Missouri)
Early season weed control in corn (Univ. of Missouri)
Dealing With Dandelions (Ohio State Univ.)
Burndown Considerations for 2002 (Univ. of Illinois)
New Herbicide Labels (Ohio State Univ.)
Effectiveness of burndown herbicides for winter annual and perennial weed control in corn and soybeans (Michigan State Univ.)
Equipment maintenance: Planters (Iowa State Univ.)
Sprayer Calibration Pays Dividends (Ohio State Univ.)

KingCorn.orgFor other information about corn, take a look at the Corn Growers Guidebook on the World Wide Web at http://www.kingcorn.org

It is the policy of the Purdue Agronomy Department that all persons shall have equal opportunity and access to its programs and facilities without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, or disability. Purdue University is an Affirmative Action employer. This material may be available in alternative formats.
© 2002, Purdue University
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