We can’t seem to catch a long enough break from rain for fields to be ideal for planting in Evansville, Wisconsin. We currently are experiencing the wettest 12-months on record in southern Wisconsin. This past week we have had a few short stretches where we were able to get in the field, even if the conditions weren’t optimal. For the corn that’s not in the ground you need to start thinking about lowering the maturity. If the corn seed is a 104-day or higher maturity on June 1st, we recommend changing maturities. Especially if the field is not yet planted, it’s most likely already a wet field. With the weather patterns we have been experiencing, it’s hard to say when you will be able to get on that ground. For the corn that was planted “early” in late April we are finding low stand counts. For example, 28,000 plants when planting population was set at 34,000. We are seeing low corn stand counts because we went through a long span with soil temperatures under 50 degrees and staying wet throughout that span causing the seed to emerge slowly and sit in the ground for 3 weeks. Soybeans don’t get a break when it comes to cool wet planting conditions either. If you are interested in doing stand counts yourself measure out a 1/1000th of your field in 30-inch rows that would be 17’ 5”, 20-inch rows 36’ 2”, 15-inch rows 34’ 10” count the number of plants in that row and then multiply by 1,000.
The last week was like much of the spring we have been having so far, cloudy rainy days with few days of heat and sun. The lack of sun has us behind in our GDU’s on average and compared to last year. Last year an outlier with around 400 GDU by this time last, while the average is around 290. Today we are sitting around 250 GDU’s, so about 20% less than average. This is starting to show up in the corn and wheat crop that has been slow out of the ground. Hopefully, the weather starts to turn around and we start to get some heat to help out the crop. Along with the lack of sun we have had above average moisture. This moisture is a part of the disease triangle, a host and disease being the other two parts. With a wet spring we could see vomotoxin and other wheat diseases start to show up soon. It might be a good call depending on the stand to think about a foliar fungicide treatment to protect the crop that you have out in the field today. A foliar micronutrient might also be a good compliment with that Funigicide. If you are interested more on if a fungicide is right for you, reach out to your local Landmark agronomist.
It’s been wet and cool. Soil temps are warming now, and corn and bean fields planted should have plenty of moisture to produce good stands at emergence.
Our area is reporting about 30-40% corn acres planted. Dr. Lauer of UW Agronomy Department has a good website to look over for delayed planting decisions. Generally, in our area of southern Wisconsin, a couple of dates can be considered. For substituting earlier hybrids, figure last week of May or June 1-5 to switch to earlier hybrids. June 10 is the usual date to consider another crop besides corn. A lot depends on what the corn use will be. Emergency feed needs might include late planted corn for chopping. Switching to early hybrids has a cost in terms of production potential. About 1.9 bu/a difference for every RM day is rule of thumb (i.e., if a 100-day hybrid produces 119 bu/a, switching to 90-day hybrid would make 100 bu/a.) Click on link for a good site to read for late planting tips.
The most important task is getting the seed into the soil right now. We can adjust chemical spray programs and broadcast fertilizer later as needed. Waterhemp has emerged (photo below), so we will need to spray as soon as weather permits. Please, stay in touch with your agronomist to report field conditions suitable for spraying.
Insect development should take off now that temperatures are steadily warmer. Best recommendation for corn hybrids is to use Bt genetics, since late corn is most vulnerable to corn borer pressure.
Disease pressure can increase with extra moisture and cool temperatures, so, for top production always use fungicide and foliar fertilizer products this season. Every farming task has been complicated by the excessive wet weather, so stay positive and remember all the things you love about farming, and be ready to act when the weather permits.
Check out this video to help clarify the crop insurance options that growers are facing with this wet, delayed planting spring.