Agronomist looks at the positives

If there is a silver lining to this wet spring, it’s that we have not had to worry about it being too dry.

“We’ve been worrying more about having snorkels on each corn and soybean seed,” agronomist Marion Shier joked.

Shier, who works for United Soils of Fairbury, acknowledges it can be hard to maintain restraint during the on and off windows of opportunity for planting corn and soybeans. In a normal year, most – if not all – of the corn is planted by now along with a good chunk of soybeans. The continued wet weather combined with poor soil conditions has not been favorable for fieldwork.

“Air temperatures have also been somewhat of a challenge,” Shier said.

There is a strong likelihood of severe yield penalties on both corn and soybeans this fall with the current planting delays. When dealing with wet ground and marginal at best soil conditions, good seed to soil contact is critical. Growers should make sure the slot where seed is put into the trench is closed.

“As it dries out, it will probably open back up and we don’t want to have a seed that has started germinating run out of moisture.”

Shier believes the key is to minimize sidewall compaction while maintaining good firming around the seed. Also, use good stewardship, make sure you are aware of the various challenges and do the best job possible to ensure the best stand out in the field.

Shier can be reached in his United Soils office at 815-692-2626.

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