Soggy Fields Have Already Impacted Future Yields

Posted at: 05/22/2013 7:09 PM
By: Dan Conradt

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- We added to our growing May rainfall total on Wednesday, and it could mean another delay in spring planting.

Planting was finished unusually early in 2012.  But 2013 is bringing an unusual delay.

In soil that drains well and in some tiled fields, work could resume in the next couple of days – if we stay dry.

"We were out in the fields the other day and the tile lines are spaced 80 feet and you could tell the difference just by walking and you could even see the wetness difference," said Cody Fox at the Mower County Soil and Water Conservation District.

“It could be a week for a lot of it, and probably if it wouldn't rain for ten days and be warm we'd get most of it in the ground," said Kirk Phelps at the Mower County FSA office.

But we're already at the point where we'll see yield reductions on the other end of the season.

"A bushel a day after the middle of May is pretty close to what we lose on average," Kirk Phelps told us.

And that means it's decision time for farmers.

"Sometime around the first week of June a lot of people will be making the decision whether to go with more soybeans," Kirk Phelps told us.

Or a shorter-season corn variety. "You take some yield reduction normally with a shorter season variety, but it probably will be dryer at harvest than a full-season variety planted now would be," Phelps said.

And as for the estimated 30 to 40 percent of Mower county corn already in the ground:

"Some of it will have washed away of course over the weekend, but probably not very much. probably most of that will come out alright," Kirk Phelps said.

“We're going to be planting a little bit late, but i think the genetics of the crops right now are so good hopefully we'll end up alright and everybody will be smiling come fall," added the SWCDs Cody Fox.