If someone says they saw a corn planter in the field, they may not be pulling your leg. That's especially true if they were traveling in the Sullivan County area.
Del and Tammi Unger and family were ready to apply some nitrogen and even plant some corn on sandy ground by the end of last week. If the weather held, they were going to plant some of their ground that dries out quickly.
The Ungers run 24 pivots, so they have quite a bit of sandy ground. It dries out faster than many other soils in other parts of the state. It also dried out last summer, and it was hard to maintain a good crop, even where the soil was irrigated. The subsoil just couldn't hold enough moisture for them to catch up, and it didn't rain until September, the Ungers note.
Most soils wouldn't be warm enough to plant corn yet, based upon the temperatures lately. However, since sandy soils dry out, they also warm up faster.
Part of the reason for getting some corn in the ground where the soil is ready is to have new corn next fall for early delivery, they note. Based on market actions recently, and the wide spread between new corn and old-crop 2012 corn, it's possible that there could be a strong price for corn delivered early in the harvest season.
This week may go a long way in telling how quickly the rest of the state can get planters rolling. Warm, clear weather will be needed where soils are heavier before most will think about planting corn.
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