|Corn planting ahead of average schedule |
|Posted: Friday, April 13, 2012 12:00 pm |
|Tennessee corn farmers took full advantage of the six days suitable for fieldwork to make great planting progress last week. Sub-normal precipitation, coupled with warmer than normal temperatures, allowed growers to end the week at 46 percent planted. |
This pace is two weeks ahead of the five-year average and one of the most rapid starts on record.
“Corn producers have covered tremendous acres this week in planting their crop. Area agribusiness personnel have stretched manpower, machines and crop supplies to keep up with demand,” Weakley County Ag Extension agent Jeff Lannom noted.
“Excellent weather conditions and warmer than normal temperatures have corn emerging in less than one week. Wheat is heading and pollinating with some stripe rust and cereal leaf beetles detected and sprayed for,” Lannom added.
The Tennessee wheat crop is in good-to-excellent condition and is developing at a rate two weeks earlier than usual, according to a report issued by the USDA.
The main farm work, other than planting last week, was fertilizer and pesticide applications. Pastures reportedly looked exceptionally good.
There were six days suitable for fieldwork across the state last week.
Topsoil moisture levels were rated 12 percent short, 80 percent adequate and 6 percent surplus. Temperatures were well above normal last week across Tennessee.
Rainfall amounts averaged below normal across West Tennessee and the Cumberland Plateau and above normal over the remainder of the state.
In crop progress, the USDA offered the following reports:
• Apples (budding and beyond) – 88 percent this week; 76 percent last week; 73 percent this time last year; five-year average is 79 percent.
• Apples (blooming or beyond) – 62 percent this week; 47 percent last week; 34 percent last week; 34 percent this time last year; five-year average is 33 percent.
• Corn (planted) – 46 percent this week; 15 percent last week; 9 percent in 2011; five-year average is 15 percent.
• Winter wheat (jointed) – 85 percent this week; 65 percent last week; 59 percent in 2011; five-year average is 51 percent.
• Winter wheat (top-dressed) – 94 percent this week; 83 percent last week; 90 percent in 2011; five-year average is 87 percent.
The highest temperature reported last week was 88 degrees, while the lowest temperature last week was 40 degrees, making the average temperature the first week of April at 66 degrees.
Since Jan. 1, the rain total is 11.19 inches, a little more than 3.5 inches below normal.