Midwest crop progress begins to vary, depending on rain patterns

Midwest crop progress begins to vary, depending on rain patterns

Corn Illustrated: Some states and some areas within states move ahead of others.

Iowa had a dry week and a large percentage of the corn to be planted there went into the ground. Corn in parts of Illinois has been in the ground for more than three weeks and is up and growing. A sizable amount of corn was planted in Indiana this past week. However, patterns began to emerge.

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For example, rains were much more numerous and rain more plentiful in northern Indiana than southern Indiana. As a result, with planting continuing in southern counties while people watched soils dry out in the north, percentage of corn planted picked up in southern Indiana, while perhaps slowing down in northern Indiana.

Coming soon, green fields! Expect to see fields of green corn across the Corn Belt soon, based on the amount of corn planted in some major corn growing areas.

By now a large percentage of the corn to be planted is planted in many areas of the Corn Belt. Those who received considerable rain last week may still have corn to plant.


May 18 USDA Crop Progress Report: U.S. corn planting at 85%


The other factor was warmer than normal weather. It not only helped dry the ground out, but also warmed up soil temperatures. Corn planted during the past two weeks emerged quickly, sometimes in fewer than seven days.

For early May that's a bit unusual in the central Corn Belt. Higher than normal temperatures translating into higher than normal soil temperatures for a period of several days helped not only get conditions right for planting, but boosted the germination and emergence rate once corn was in the ground.

Even corn in one no-till field in central Indiana was ready to spike when we dug in rows only five days after planting. There was no cover crop, but the field was sprayed to burn down weeds.

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Traditional thinking was no-till emerges slower because residue makes for slower surface warm up. However, the job of spreading residue behind the combine last fall appeared to be excellent, and that's really where planning for the next crop begins in no-till.

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