Weather causes farmers to delay planting corn

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – The cool and wet start to spring may be forcing farmers to plant corn late in the season. Warmer temperatures and drier conditions in next week’s forecast will give farmers an opportunity to plant their crops.

Purdue Corn Extension Specialist Bob Nielsen said the bulk of the corn crop is typically planted the last week of April through the middle of May.

“With that in mind, we’re maybe only a week behind the usual pace and that’s one of the reasons why we’re really not too concerned at this point,” Nielsen explained.

Nielsen said farmers and researchers are waiting for the prime time to plant corn.

“(We’re) double-checking, making last minute checks on equipment, last minute checks on plans and simply doing everything that’s necessary. So, that when the opportunity does open up, you’re ready to hit the fields and start running,” said Nielsen.

Indiana State associate climatologist Ken Scheeringa said May’s average high temperature in Lafayette is around 72 degrees and the average rainfall is 4.75 inches.

News 18′s Chief Meteorologist Chad Evans said the weather next week looks favorable for farmers.

“The soils are going to warm up very nicely. We’ve got the first 80s of the season on the way and also it appears that rainfall is going to run below normal at least initially into next week,” said Evans.

Nielsen said so far about eight percent of the corn has been planted statewide. He is expecting more to be planted in the next week.

“I suspect, yet this weekend and end of next week, we’re going to see many more folks begin to hit the fields and begin planting because I think the weather is finally going to shape up for us,” said Nielsen.

He said having a late planting season does not necessarily determine less yield at the end of the year. Nielsen said this summer’s weather also affects the total yields.

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