Farm Talk

Area Farm & Ranch News

May 16, 2013

April showers bring even more May flowers

Parsons, Kansas — What US city has the most days of precipitation (rain or snow) in a year? My first guess was Seattle, Washington because of its well-earned reputation. As a fan of what my wife likes to call worthless trivia, I was disappointed to find out that I was wrong. It’s actually Rochester, New York with 167 days a year with precipitation (Seattle comes in with 149).

Why do I bring this up? Corn planting is very behind schedule due to the amount of rainy days we have been having. Kraig Roozeboom, Cropping Systems Agronomist, and Ignacio Ciampitti, Cropping Systems Specialist recently reported on the effects of delayed corn planting.

They tested three maturities (100-, 108-, and 112-day) over two years at three locations (Belleville, Manhattan, and Hutchinson) with three distinct environments: a low stress environment, with favorable rainfall amounts throughout the growing season, an early stress environment, with cool temperatures and wet conditions early in the season, and a high stress environment, with favorable conditions early with hot and dry conditions in mid-summer.

Under low stress conditions, they found that yields were reduced by less than 20 percent if planted before mid-June. Yield results were not statistically different for any planting date before May 20 and the yield response was similar for hybrids of all maturities. Producers here in southeast Kansas should remember the locations where this study was conducted and should shift the timeframe at least a couple of weeks back.

In the early stress environment, yields were improved by delaying planting until late June. Once again, this was similar across the maturities. They did point out that the location had favorable conditions (temperature and moisture) throughout July and early August.

In the high stress environment, yields dropped by about 1 percent per day of planting delay, and the hybrid did show an effect in this environment. As expected, the short season hybrids had better yields when planted before late May. However, all hybrids had a yield reduction of more than 50 percent when planting was delayed until early to mid-June.

Hopefully producers will be able to get in the field as soon as possible. I think we can rest assured that we won’t have as main rainy days as Rochester, NY, but hopefully we can distribute some of this moisture to the middle of the summer.

Don’t forget about the Spring Crops Field Day being held at the Parsons Field of the Southeast Agricultural Research Center on May 22. Registration and breakfast start at 7:30 with the program starting at 8:30. Items on the agenda include a tour of the wheat variety plots, drought tolerant corn hybrids, managing wheat aphids, and the grain market outlook.

If you have questions or would like more information, please call me at the office (620) 724-8233, or e-mail me at, or visit the Wildcat Extension District Website at www.wil £

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