Late planting changes everything in the South

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

A few people in Mississippi who were either very brave or very lucky were able to get corn planted about the usual time this year. Many of them have been disappointed with stands that have required replanting or spot planting, but there are a few fields around the area that look as good as they might have in a “normal” year, whatever that is.

I actually thought that corn planting was finished, but I’ve had two calls today about that subject.  hese later plantings should still be fine, but it just seems strange that we are planting corn this late. It will be interesting to see how these various plantings influence harvest dates, but we know corn is driven by heat units (DD50). My guess is that there will still be less than 3 weeks difference in harvest dates among most of the corn that has been planted this year, with another week thrown in to cover the few very early and very late plantings.

Weather changes lots of things connected with crops. I was able to see a good example of this a few days ago when I was called to look at a field where insects had really made a mess of what had been a good stand of corn. At first, we were a little perplexed about what might have happened, given the severity of the damage. I had never seen a situation in which almost every plant in a field had been damaged by insects, but here it was.

The corn plants had about four leaves, and showed symptoms that could have been typical for herbicide injury, nutrient deficiency, or insects. The rows of holes in the leaves that are commonly associated with stinkbug injury were present, and there was root feeding that could have been blamed on sugarcane beetle, but none of these things were the cause. The culprit turned out to be southern corn rootworm. However, there were no rootworms in this field since most of them had matured into adult beetles and flown. This is the same beetle we refer to as the twelve-spotted cucumber beetle, but we usually forget that it is the adult stage of the southern corn rootworm.

The sugarcane beetle that has been the most common early season insect in our corn fields in recent years was also present, but at such a low level as to be insignificant. This example shows how differences in environment can influence the way pests develop. The same principle can be applied to many other pest management situations as well as affecting growth, soil reactions, and ultimately yields of all crops. All of the effects may not be negative since cooler weather can actually boost yields in some cases, especially for corn and soybeans.

Plantings of soybeans and cotton, also coming later than usual, can also be expected to have different issues with regard to pests, diseases, moisture, and fertility. The later spring we have experienced this year may also signal the possibility for an early fall, but that cannot be predicted well enough to say for sure, at least not yet. If I were a betting man (as some might say), I would bet that this autumn will arrive a little earlier than usual this year, probably not early enough to cause a big problem for harvesting, but enough to cause us to need a coat before it’s done.

Our climate is changing, as we have been being told for the last few years, but the alarmist prognosticators who warned of rising sea levels and extinction of the polar bear will be surprised by the shorter summers and colder winters we may see within the next few years.

Agriculture and climate are like Extension work, never boring. If you happen not to like what is happen today, just hold on and it will change.

Prev 1 2 Next All

Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...

Comments (0) Leave a comment 

e-Mail (required)


characters left

Portable Conveyors

Convey-all portable conveyors are designed to handle your crops gently and efficiently. We offer an extensive line of high capacity ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form