Cold soil and crops

KIMT News 3 – Area farmers have the dry conditions they need to get this year’s crops in and they didn’t waste any time.

But was the soil ready?

AG experts with the ISU Extension Office say that 84% of the corn crops in the state are planted, but only 28% of those seeds have emerged.

“I think everybody’s scared of the same thing happening this year as last year, so there’s maybe been a few times where they may have forced planting a little bit.” according to local farmer, Dave Boehnke.

Everyone remembers last year’s stressful growing season. So this year, many farmers rushed into the fields. After our harsh winter, it is taking more time for the soil to warm up, and seeds don’t fair well in the cold.

“So far it’s been a challenging year for a lot of people here in North Central Iowa. Like you said earlier, the cool, wet conditions have definitely had an impact on farmers ability to be able to get their corn and soybeans planted for the 2014 growing season, and then obviously the concerns out there on how does that corn look that has been planted. How does that look and how is that progressing,” says Seed Specialist Brandon Walter.

He says, while it’s taking a little longer, the crops still look promising.

“You know, really what I’ve seen out in the area so far this year is simply that the corn that was planted in these cooler conditions, it’s just taking a little longer to grow and develop and emerge and so, really, everything still looks pretty healthy and I think we’re still on track for a nice year,” Walter adds.

One local farmer says the seeds themselves have come a long way.

“Just in the last few years there’s been some new products for fungal disease, soil borne diseases so, I think the crops are looking good, what’s in,” says Boehnke.

“We do extensive research and testing on different hybrids that are planted in North Central Iowa and we actually put them under stressful conditions to make sure that they actually handle cool, wet conditions,” adds Walter.

The good news is, the seeds won’t have to withstand the cool conditions much longer. Local agronomists tell us the soil is finally reaching that ideal 50 degrees.

John Sjolinder with the Cerro Gordo ISU Extension Office says those who planted early this year should be okay, but check to make sure seeds aren’t mushy or swollen as that indicates rotting.

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