The wettest April on record and historic flooding have kept the majority of Kentucky producers out of fields, delaying planting across the state and prompting producers to consider switching some areas from corn to soybeans.

According to the Kentucky Weekly Crop and Weather Report, 17 percent of the state’s corn crop was planted as of May 1. This is a great deal behind 2010, which had 82 percent of planting completed at this time, and less than the five-year average of 59 percent.

While many of the rivers are projected to crest soon, producers will need to let fields dry out at least a week before planting, with fields along rivers and in creek bottoms likely requiring two weeks.

With the current weather situation, it appears many of the state’s producers could just be starting to plant between May 20-27.

“We will see acres being switched to soybeans, but we don’t know how many that will be yet,” said Chad Lee, Extension grain crops specialist with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture.

Corn is historically planted in Kentucky by May 10-15 to reach optimum yield potential with southwestern portions of the state reaching their planting dates first. Corn planted after those dates has an average yield loss of about 1 percent per day.

Central Kentucky on-farm data suggests that producers can plant as late as May 20 without seeing any significant yield losses.