Farmers in the eastern half of the U. S. Midwest were struggling to finish their corn and soybean planting last week, even though they faced reduced yields for crops seeded this late in the year.
Rainy weather in areas east of the Mississippi River caused delays to corn seeding throughout the spring. Many growers in eastern states still had some corn they needed to plant, even though the ideal schedule calls for farmers to have the bulk of their crop seeded by the middle of May.
The late start to planting has many farmers concerned that crops will still be in a vulnerable state when scorching temperatures arrive in the eastern Corn Belt during July.
“It is going to make the weather later in the year more important,” Brian Lambert of the University of Illinois Extension in McLean County said June 1. “The weather we would have liked to see in June, we need to see now in July.”
“We are where we would typically have been three weeks ago in a normal year,” Lambert said.
While farmers in the eastern part of the region were still scrambling to finish, growers in states west of the Mississippi River were monitoring emergence of their corn and soybean crops.
Most farmers in states such as Iowa, which is typically the top corn and soybean producing state, finished both corn and soybean planting a few weeks earlier. Growers in those areas were busy spraying herbicide to control weeds in their fields.
Unlike their counterparts in the East, western farmers were actually hoping for some moisture to charge development of their crops.
“A little concern now is that it is a little on the dry side,” Paul Kassel, crop field specialist with Iowa State University extension, said June 1. “It has been a week since it has rained in some areas. It is not a huge problem. It is looking good so far this year.”
The delays in the east caused many farmers to consider switching some acreage they had intended for corn to soybeans.