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Cool, wet weather slowing crops

CHENOA – After experiencing several cold nights and excessive rains last weekend, most farmers will tell you it would be much better if we had more seasonal temperatures and moderate rainfall which dried quickly.

The impact of this weather is really slowing growth of all crops – in particular corn which really shuts down when temperatures drop below 50. Corn does not grow at lower temperatures.

“Look with your rose-colored glasses on,” explains Dale Atkins of Atkins Seed Service. “You should not be expecting plants to come up fast.”

According to Atkins, the plants actually shut down for 12 to 18 hours after they experience such cold temperatures. You cannot expect a day’s growth if you are only getting a few hours of growth daily.

Atkins is just glad there are treated soybeans out there since they seem to tolerate the cool, wet soils better than untreated seeds. Atkins Seed Service has a treatment this year which provides protection against sudden death syndrome, or SDS. This is signaled by the bronzing of the bean leaves.

Possibilities of replant exist this year with ponding in fields from the heavy Mother’s Day rains and recent frost. Atkins said corn is tolerant of frost as new leaves will come out and the plant should be alright. He is more concerned about newly-emerged soybeans.

“Some of those were in the most vulnerable stage.”

When the first soybean leaflets emerge, that stem is the growing point. If that freezes, it is going to limit the potential for the plant to mature properly. This is a worst-case scenario. It is best to wait a week from when the frost occurs to evaluate a field for damage.


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