The Hoosier State has seen good drying rates this week; and, in Northern Indiana, a good deal of field work has been done. According to Mary Gums, agronomist with DuPont Pioneer, a lot of early field preparation has been accomplished, “Especially in the north central part of the state and on some of those sandy soil in Northwestern Indiana.” Gums told HAT planters have been rolling in many parts of the north, “We even have some corn that has emerged.”
We have, however, had some frost occur around the state. Gums says the corn will not be hurt by the low temperatures but the wheat might be, “If the wheat is in the boot stage, frost damage is possible.” She added most of the corn still has the growing point underground and would not be impacted by the freeze. Gums says the wheat would have to be exposed to temperatures below 30 degrees for a couple of hours in order for damage to occur, “I don’t think for the most part we got that cold or will get that cold over the next few days.”
For many growers, the first priority is going to be knocking back the weeds that have gotten a good head start with all the moisture we have had. Gums said many fall annuals have established a strong presence if fields this spring, “In a cool wet and late spring, it is vital we put seed into a good seed bed, and that means getting control of these weeds.” She added the weeds will slow soil dry down and warm up.
As for when to plant, Gums says avoid planting just before incoming rain because a cold rain within 24 – 36 hours of planting will lead to seed injury, “Check the forecast; and, if it calls for rain, I would wait.” She said this is the case for this weekend in some Northern Indiana areas and she would recommend that growers hold off on planting until after the rains.