As many areas across the Corn Belt experienced temporary relief from spring’s unrelenting rain, farmers are using a combination of cutting-edge technology and old-fashioned hard work to make up for planting delays.
In states such as Iowa, corn plantings increased by 61 percent in just one week. During this busy time, Field Notes growers Sam Hancock and DeVonna Zeug took time to discuss current planting progress on their farms, the ramifications of a late planting and how they plan on moving forward.
“We finally got a good run that allowed us to work in the fields last week,” said Hancock, a Kentucky farmer. “We hope to finish corn planting today and tomorrow, but it has definitely been a hectic spring. We are about a month behind on everything.”
Zeug sounded more optimistic about progress thus far in her area.
“Planting in our region is actually going better than expected,” said Zeug, a grower from Minnesota. “We had over an inch of rain last weekend, but we were able to get into the fields and get a lot of work done by mid-week.”
Both farmers acknowledged planting delays impact the 2012 crop by influencing planting decisions and decreasing yields.
Many farmers faced with major delays, such as those in Hancock’s area, are revising earlier planting plans and dedicating acreage initially designated for corn to soy as it requires a shorter growing season.
The growers note that inclement weather and a shortened period of growth conditions may decrease yields, but they also agreed that the extent of these impacts will be minimal should optimal growing conditions prevail throughout the summer.