Weather delays crop planting

Weather delays crop planting

From AP, staff reports
Farmers are largely at the mercy of the weather and this spring’s offerings are setting everything behind.
Obion County University of Tennessee Extension Service office director Tim Smith said the wet weather, coupled with cool temperatures, have set farm crops back at least a month.
Smith said roughly half the corn has been planted. He said if farmers can’t get their crop in the ground by May 20 many of them will wait and plant soybeans instead.
“We’ve had this before in 2011, but this year is worse,” he said, adding there is a big difference between this year and last, even in the way things are blooming. “Everything is about a month getting out.”
Smith said the low-lying areas next to the Obion River are flooded, but farmers who plant those fields are aware of the risk
He said Obion County will definitely have less acreage in corn this year.
The current weather conditions are also hard on strawberries and other fruits, as well as wheat. Smith said wheat needs sun and hot weather and the cool temperatures and water are slowing growth.
Cotton planting is also expected to be delayed.
“Everything has been set back a month,” he said.
Heavy rains that have drenched the soil have also delayed corn planting in western Kentucky.
Doug Wilson is recently retired as the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension agent for McCracken and Graves counties. He told The Paducah Sun that less than 5 percent of crops have been planted there.
Wilson said that for every day corn planting is delayed past May 15, farmers lose one bushel, per acre, per day. Crop insurance also increases in cost.
Tom Miller, the Ballard County extension agent, said he believes about 5 percent of corn is planted in that county.
But Miller remains positive about the possibilities of this year’s yield. He believes 90 percent of corn in Ballard County could be planted following a dry week.

Published in The Messenger 5.6.13

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