USDA Announces Regional Hubs to Help Agriculture, Forestry Mitigate the Impacts of a Changing Climate
These wet soggy conditions aren't unusual for this time of year but are causing some to be anxious about getting seed in the ground. According to an article by Jeff Caldwell, Multimedia Editor for Agriculture.com and Successful Farming magazine: if things do get too late and your planting nerves start to rattle, Thomison recommends the following steps to adjust to a later planting start:
- Avoid tillage and planting in wet soils. "Yield reductions resulting from "mudding the seed in" are usually much greater than those resulting from a slight planting delay," Thomison says. "Yields may be reduced somewhat this year due to delayed planting, but effects of soil compaction can reduce yield for years to come."
- Consider preplant nutrient alternatives. "Although application of anhydrous N is usually recommended prior to April 15 in order to minimize potential injury to emerging corn, anhydrous N may be applied as close as a week before planting (unless hot, dry weather is predicted). In late-planting seasons associated with wet, cool soil conditions, growers should consider side-dressing anhydrous N (or UAN liquid solutions) and applying a minimum of 30 pounds/N broadcast or banded to stimulate early seedling growth. This latter approach will allow greater time for planting," Thomison says. "Similarly, application of P and K is only necessary with the starter if a soil test reveals that the soil is below the critical level."
- Trim field trip times for tillage and field preparations. "The above work will provide minimal benefits if it results in further planting delays. No-till offers the best option for planting on time this year," he adds. "Field seedbed preparation should be limited to leveling ruts that may have been left by the previous year’s harvest - disk or field cultivate very lightly to level. Most newer planters provide relatively good seed placement in 'trashy' or crusted seedbeds."
- Don't jump to switch hybrids . . . yet. "Don't worry about switching hybrid maturities unless planting is delayed to late May. If planting is possible before May 20, plant full-season hybrids first to allow them to exploit the growing season more fully," Thomison says. "Research in Ohio and other Corn Belt states generally indicates that late plantings of earlier maturity hybrids are less susceptible to yield losses than late plantings of the later maturing, full-season hybrids."
- Don't back off seed populations. "Use the optimal seeding rates for the yield potential of each field. Recommended seeding rates for early planting dates are often 10% higher than the desired harvest population because of the potential for greater seedling mortality," he says. "However, soil temperatures are usually warmer in late-planted fields, and as a result germination and emergence should be more rapid and uniform. So, as planting is delayed, seeding rates may be lowered in anticipation of a higher percentage of seedlings emerging."