Cold ground not ready for farmers yet

WABASH VALLEY, Ind. (WTHI) – “We like to have the soil up to around 55 degree range…right now obviously the soil temperatures is pretty cold”, Said Ed Shew, Local Farmer.

Pretty cold is right. The ground has just had a hard time warming up with the cold weather and now that might slow down that time of the year for farmers to start planting for the season.

“We’re starting to get equipment ready and you’re going to want to be ready when those conditions are right”, said Shew.

Shew grows corn and soy beans and says we’re approaching that time frame to plant which results in a lucrative return if Mother Nature plays her hand right.

“We try to get started around April 15th and finish up by May 10th. That time period gives you 98 to 100 percent yield, if you start earlier or later you start to lose that. We have a 3-4 week window”, said Shew.

That’s a quick closing window when you have a lot of work to do and Shew says forcing those seeds into the ground early before the soil is ready can really hurt that yield.

“There is always that potential that the cold ground will cause that germination to be lower, and instead of a 35k population on corn the seed sits there and rots and you will only end up with 25k, that will kill your potential yield”, said Shew.

So the next option according to Shew is to wait it out for the ground to warm up, “I’ve planted a lot of late June corn and early July soy beans at the latest.” But planting that late in the calendar doesn’t cultivate the yield that the land can potentially produce.

According to the Purdue Corn Extension Agricultural Specialist the last couple of years, we’ve ranged from some of the earliest plantings on record state-wide to some of the latest plantings on record. And they did not really predict good yields or bad yields.

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