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Was April 20-22 Wrong Time to Plant?

Was April 20-22 Wrong Time to Plant?
20-20 hindsight at it again!

If you could ever hone your weather skills enough that you could tell the two day period every spring that would be the wrong time to plant, you could probably go fishing the rest of the year. Farmers would be willing to pay enough for that bit of wisdom that you would be well compensated. The problem, of course, is that no one knows when that two- day period is until the planting season is over.

May 7-9 has been a tough stretch for planting in at least two of the past four seasons. Perhaps it will turn out that way again, although rains prevented planting in some areas during that time. Early reports from southern and central Indiana indicate that this time it may have been corn planted April 20 to 22 before a major rain set in that might be cause for concern.

One seed dealer who had walked fields said some would make it, but it was touch and go as to whether some might have to be replanted. Also, some might have spots in the field that would need to be replanted, if not the whole field.

The difficulty didn't appear to be the amount of rain or extensive length of a wet, cool spell. Instead, soils were cool although planting conditions moisture-wise were the best in three years during that April 20 to 22 stretch. However, wet, cool soils don't make great places for corn to germinate. When the rains came and cool weather for even a couple days, those areas fell behind. Reports are corn is sprouted there, but its still too early to tell where final stands may wind up.

Soybeans were also planted during the same period. Some of those fields have popped up. However, the jury is still out on soybeans planted during those two to three days as well. It will be interesting to note if once the smoke clears, it's possible to tell if treated soybeans emerged better than untreated soybeans under such tough conditions.

What does this mean for future planting deicisons? It's still a take-your-chances game. The only difference now is that the cleaner is at May 10, no April 20. While still not late, it's one major rain from being beyond prime planting time for both corn and soybeans. That can tend to influence those borderline decisions of whether you plant or wait until the weather clears up.

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