Farm Talk

June 5, 2012

Area crops way ahead of schedule


Parsons, Kansas — Weather always plays an important role in agriculture. This year, however, it has given area producers and specialists a chance to witness things for a first time.

According to Doug Shoup, K-State Extension southeast area agronomist, producers were calling over a week ago claiming they had corn tasseling.

“I received a message from a producer on May 26 in Montgomery County with a report of tasseled corn,” he says.

After digging through some of his notes Shoup found that the “first tasseled corn” reports he had in years past were made around June 10.

“This spring, much like last winter, has been unseasonably warm putting early planted corn about two weeks ahead of schedule,” he explains.

According to the specialist, it takes approximately 1,150 Growing Degree Days for a mid-season maturity corn hybrid to get to tassel emergence.

Using the Southeast Area Research Center in Parsons weather data, the total accumulation of Growing Degree Days from March 19 (some of the earlier planted corn) to May 31 were approximately 1,200.

“When looking at that data, for the early planted corn, the tasseled growth stage is well on schedule with what Mother Nature has given us this spring,” he says.

Weather also played an important role in this year’s wheat crop.

­“As far as the wheat crop goes, we are still well ahead of schedule,” he explains. “After visiting with several seasoned producers nearly all of them commented on the fact they don’t ever remember harvesting wheat in May, much less having over half their wheat harvested before the month of June.”

When it comes to wheat yields, Shoup said hard red winter wheat yields have been well above average.

“Most yields are ranging in the 50 to 60 bushel per acre range but some fields have hit the 70’s and 80’s,” he says. “The soft wheat is also doing well, with yields ranging from 50-70 bushel per acre and a few fields averaging in the 80’s and 90’s.”

In addition to good yields Shoup says test weights on most fields have been above average.£