The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Features

May 30, 2013

Rain Delay: Farmers waiting, hoping for good growing conditions

DEWITT — Clinton County farmers’ race against May 25 is over.

That is the date when the corn seed needs to be in the ground in order to fully develop into a bin-busting harvest.

Planting that seed was delayed this year by frequent rains and cold soil temperatures. Even after the tractors and planters began to roll, there was concern that the plants would develop abnormalities — corkscrew or swelling and then failing to germinate — because of shifting soil temperatures.

Now ISU field agronomist Virgil Schmitt reports that most of the early planted corn appears to be emerging well, “but I am hearing scattered reports of stands that are less than hoped for.

“And although farmers made tremendous planting progress last week, there still is some corn to be planted. As a general rule, if planting is delayed beyond May 25, the farmer should select a hybrid that matures five days earlier than an adapted full season hybrid for the area.”

However, seed corn salesman Art Hofer reported none of his customers had changed to the earlier maturing hybrids.

DeWitt-area farmer Joe Dierickx said he finished planting corn and soybeans May 24.

“Some of the corn that was planted before the cold rain has shown poor emergence and a decreased stand. I did replant of couple of wet holes, which amounted to about 3 acres, so that was minimal damage.

“We are all tired and are enjoying the rain and rest. It will be nice if it keeps raining every so often.”

And that’s what it did over the weekend— in spots. Official area weather observer Jim Blaess reported this week that there was no new rain in Camanche, where he has his station. But Dierickx said there was 3/10ths of rain in his gauge and Dustin Johnson, up in the northeast corner of the county, said his area received 7/10ths of an inch.

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