Missouri corn planting has been off to a slow start this year.
The most recent USDA crop progress report shows only 20 percent of the state’s corn crop has been planted, compared to 44 percent last year at this time. Early planting sets the stage for good yields, but Missouri’s April showers have created wet conditions which has caused delays. USDA reports that Missouri farmers expect to plant 3.3 million acres of corn in 2015, the lowest amount since 2010.
University of Missouri Agronomy Professor Bill Wiebold said delayed planting in the southeast region has significantly lowered the state’s average.
“Corn planting begins first in the southern part of Missouri, especially the southeast, the Bootheel,” said Wiebold. “That area has been amazingly wet, maybe as much as 8 to 10 inches of rain in April.”
Wiebold said those numbers can change fast if the weather stays favorable.
“We can plant 50 to 75 percent of our corn crop within about 10 days and so once the weather turns, which it has, soils dry out, which is has, we’ve got the capacity to plant a lot of acres in this state relatively quickly,” said Wiebold.
Wiebold said Missourians should not be concerned if farmers can get a lot of corn planted in the next week.
“On average we haven’t lost much yield potential, in fact we may not have lost any yield potential because of delayed planting,” said Wiebold. “Now, if wet weather had continued for maybe two weeks longer, then we’d have some concerns.”
Wiebold said yield drops as much as 20 percent when corn is not planted by the end of May.