Planters started to roll last week, and early progress is good. According to the USDA weekly crop update, 11% of Indiana corn has been planted, which is still behind the rest of the Corn Belt but a big jump from a week ago. As the month of April began, Indiana had fields covered in snow, yet, as we wrap up the month, corn planting is underway. Ryan Piel, agronomist with DuPont Pioneer, says the soil has warmed up and is working well and most weed control programs are underway, “There has been very good dry down of the soil; and, in some areas, close to 20% of the corn has been planted. The dry and warm weather last week also let many weed control programs get started.”
He stressed that getting corn started with good soil moisture will help with quick emergence and germination, “Good even emergence is vital. I like to see all the corn in a field come up within 12 to 14 hours of each other.” He added that getting the crop planted correctly and in a timely manner is the one thing the farmer can control, but, after that, mother nature has most of the say.
Piel added this spring has been good for getting cover crops burned down and fields ready to plant, “Knocking back the cover crops has gone well and that is something I always worry about.” He urged growers to not rush at planting but to take time and get it right.