The wet weather and calendar increase the urge to get back into the fields earlier.

Getting into the field "one day too soon" can result in sidewall compaction and/or surface compaction that will put the corn crop further behind all season.

Most fields in Kentucky have multiple soil types and some slope. In these fields, the soils will dry out at different paces. A producer could plant a field and 60 percent is suitable while the remaining 40 percent is too wet. These fields are the most challenging.

In addition, all the equipment may be in one area and one field may be borderline wet while the others are in good shape. Most producers are going to plant the wet field and move to the next location.

Since many producers are going to get into some fields a little too wet, consider some following options (note: none of these are as ideal as waiting for better soil conditions, but we are being realistic):

1.) Back off the down pressure on the springs or air bags. Wet soils don't take as much down force to get the corn at the proper depth. Backing off the down pressure will lighten the pressure on the sidewall as well. The seeding depth needs to remain at about 1.5 to 2 inches deep for most soils. Anything shallower than that could cause rooting and lodging problems later.

2.) Consider using a spike-tooth closer. Spike-tooth closers will crumble the sidewall and reduce compaction, some. I have been to fields where the divets from the closers were visible 5 weeks later — and the corn was stunted. If the spike-tooth closer is making divets, then the field is way too wet to plant!

3) Reduce the closing wheel pressure. The closing wheels provide some pressure to close the seed furrow. This is necessary to insure good soil-to-seed contact. But, in wet fields, less closing wheel pressure is needed.

4.) Be sure that your tractor and implement tires are properly inflated. Tires at the wrong pressure can lead to more compaction and reduce fuel efficiency.

5.) Try reducing any extra weight on the planter. If you have fertilizer tanks or boxes on the planter, you might want to keep them empty in these wet fields.