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Science

Early planting has chilling effect

Harmon
Harmon

AMBOY, Ind. — It’s been a pleasant start to planting for many farmers in northwest Indiana, according to Jason Harmon, technical agronomist at DeKalb Asgrow.

“Early on, we were having some of the best soil conditions that we’ve seen in a couple of years,” Harmon said. “A lot of farmers took advantage of that. It was nice to get the crops in early.

“The only thing that hasn’t cooperated is the temperature. A lot of the farmers who planted earlier are seeing the corn stay in the ground longer than they would hope. It’s taking its time to get out.”

There may be cases in which farmers will have to replant due to chilling effects or other weather-related problems, but only time will tell.

As farmers finish up planting, Harmon recommended they take notes of field conditions.

“Whether it’s a field with weed pressure, what fields have responded well to tillage, or different aspects of things they’ve tried,” he said. “Just try to document that and use that futuristically, either for the rest of this year or next year.

“Let’s make sure we’re monitoring the fields. Once the corn gets up, we can go out and see if seeding depth was accurate and uniform. Maybe there are some adjustments we can make to finish out planting or have ready for next year.”

Farmers should also be ready to put down herbicides and monitor for insect and disease problems.

“In my neck of the woods, water hemp is one of the most challenging weeds,” Harmon said. “It needs that moisture to germinate, but it also needs heat. We look to the later part of May as to when those may start germinating.”

At the end of the day, it’s about focusing on what can be controlled.

“We’re going to have some weather events come about that we have no control over,” Harmon said.

“It’s all about trying to control the controllable. Get out there when you can to apply things in an adequate manner and then let Mother Nature do what she does.”

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