Planting ahead of schedule in Tennessee, Kentucky

Planting ahead of schedule in Tennessee, Kentucky
From AP, staff reports
Farmers in West Tennessee and Kentucky are ahead of schedule with their planting, thanks to the warmer-than-normal temperatures.
Tim Smith, Obion County office director of the University of Tennessee Extension Service, told The Messenger if the weather holds like forecasters say, then most of the producers, about 95 percent, will be finished planting corn by week’s end.
Smith said producers are usually about 50-60 percent finished by this time in normal years.
“We are about three weeks ahead of schedule,” he said, adding some farmers are also planning to get a jump start on their bean planting as well.
In Kentucky, farmers had planted 32 percent of their planned corn crop by early last week, according to the Kentucky Field Office of the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. The five-year average is 7 percent.
Henderson County, Ky., Extension agent Mike Smith told The Gleaner that even if temperatures plunge to the 30s, it wouldn’t hurt most crops.
He says corn wouldn’t be damaged by a cold snap, while it would take 30-degree temperatures to harm wheat and 26-degree temperatures to damage peaches.
“Everything’s two to three weeks early,” Smith said. “The wheat is heading out and flowering — it’s just unbelievable. I’ve never seen a wheat crop this far ahead” of normal.
“It’s definitely another one for the record book,” he said.
He says with the early planting and strong corn prices, he expects a large harvest. “I suspect … we’ll have one of the largest corn crops in a decade or two,” he said. Published in The Messenger 4.17.12

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