A lot of fieldwork and planting are taking place across the state this week. Growers are, however, facing some serious challenges to the 2020 planting season. If there was ever a year for seed treatments, this is the year, said Ben Jacob with Pioneer. “You can count on about 3 weeks of protection from a good seed treatment,” he stated. “With 90+ heat units expected over the next 10 days, crops planted this week should be emerged in the next 14 days. That will still provide some underground protection from the seed treatment.”
Jacob said seeds that were planted last week during the cold spell may be in trouble. He feels most seed treatments may have expired by the time these crops get out of the ground. The USDA estimated that 4% of Indiana corn had been planted as of Sunday.
Another challenge growers are facing is dealing with the prevent plant acres from the 2019 growing season. It has been estimated that upwards of 10% of Indiana cropland did not get planted last year. Jacob said, if you have prevent plant acres, you have some choices to make, “If you planted a cover crop and had good growth, you are OK to plant whatever you want in 2020. If the field was left fallow, I would recommend only planting soybeans on that land.”
Social distancing has posed some challenges for agronomists to meet with farmers this spring, but Jacobs says many virtual visits with growers have been accomplished, “A lot of those conversations have been long and in-depth since growers did not have any other place to go or any other distractions.” He said this was a positive, since it allowed him to get to know more about a grower’s operation.