The wetter weather has been welcome for areas trying to pull out of the drought, but when combined with cooler temperatures, the wet weather has slowed the planting season. Iowa State University Extension Climatologist, Elwynn Taylor, says need to be at or above 50 degrees for a sustained period of time to help with seed development.
He says records have proven as the spring progresses, it normally becomes wetter, which may be another factor in determining when farmers will be able to plant this year’s corn crop. Taylor says looking back at records, this past winter and colder than normal spring reminds him of a similar year.
“Nineteen-forty-seven didn’t turn out to be a real great year, it was too wet in the spring, much like we seem to be on the road to be. And then in the later summer — well middle of the summer — as we got into the first of August, things went hot, things went dry and the crop didn’t have real great roots,” Taylor says.
He says the shallow rooted crop had problems when the temperatures turned. “When things got hot in August and dry, it ended up with a below trend line yield,” Taylor says. Taylor says Iowa farmers have had three straight years of below trend-line yields, and he believes the odds are in favor for a fourth year for below trend-line yields.
The U.S.D.A. will issue a new crop report later today to update the planting progress
By Dennis Morrice, KLEM, Le Mars