The cold, rainy weather has put the planting season well behind normal across the state, but a veteran north Iowa farmer says patience is part of the profession. Floyd County farmer, Mark Kuhn, says times have changed the business of farming, and that may put more on the line for some.

Kuhn says farmers are farming a lot more acres now and it takes some time even with big equipment to get things planted. He says inputs cost a lot more now too and you want to get the most value you can. But Kuhn says it’s not time to panic, there is still plenty of window left to plant, and they’ve been through this before. The May 10th deadline means is when agronomist say corn needs to be planted to give corn the time to mature without losing yield.

Kuhn says the loss is something like a bushel a day up through May 20th and then a couple of bushels a day after that. So he says producers would think about switching varieties at that time, but Kuhn says it’s way too early to think about it. Kuhn says the soil temperature is a big factor in planting.

Kuhn says it needs to be 50 degrees in the soil for the corn to germinate, and the temperature right now at four inches is 48 degrees. He says it was below that a few days ago and even colder and was closer to freezing when it snowed. Kuhn says any corn that was planted is swelling up in the ground and not growing. Kuhn farmed for decades with his father, and his dad was always happy to get planting by his birthday on May second.

Kuhn says some years his dad was in the field and some years he wasn’t. He remembers one year where they were planting on May second and his dad was driving the tractor with one hand and shielding the snow from his face with the other hand. The planted awhile and then quit. Iowa State keeps track of the soil temperatures in counties across the state and posts them on their website at: www.extension.iastate.edu.

By Chris Berg,KCHA, Charles City