The Hoosier State has seen good drying rates this week; and, in Northern Indiana, a good deal of field work has been done. According to Mary Gums, agronomist with DuPont Pioneer, a lot of early field preparation has been accomplished, “Especially in the north central part of the state and on some of those sandy soil in Northwestern Indiana.” Gums told HAT planters have been rolling in many parts of the north, “We even have some corn that has emerged.”
We have, however, had some frost occur around the state. Gums says the corn will not be hurt by the low temperatures but the wheat might be, “If the wheat is in the boot stage, frost damage is possible.” She added most of the corn still has the growing point underground and would not be impacted by the freeze. Gums says the wheat would have to be exposed to temperatures below 30 degrees for a couple of hours in order for damage to occur, “I don’t think for the most part we got that cold or will get that cold over the next few days.”
Hoosier Ag Today Chief Meteorologist Ryan Martin says we have one more night of cold weather, “As for this morning’s lows, I look for them to be a couple degrees cooler than 24 hours ago over the north, mostly due to no clouds. Today will be the last bitter cold morning. Temps Saturday during the rain will be low (high temps in the 40s north, low to mid 50s south), but overnight lows stay up because of clouds. Next week will be cool, but should be about 5-7 degrees warmer than this week.”
For many growers, the first priority is going to be knocking back the weeds that have gotten a good head start with all the moisture we have had. Gums said many fall annuals have established a strong presence if fields this spring, “In a cool wet and late spring, it is vital we put seed into a good seed bed, and that means getting control of these weeds.” She added the weeds will slow soil dry down and warm up.
As for when to plant, Gums says avoid planting just before incoming rain because a cold rain within 24 – 36 hours of planting will lead to seed injury, “Check the forecast; and, if it calls for rain, I would wait.” She said this is the case for this weekend in some Northern Indiana areas and she would recommend that growers hold off on planting until after the rains.
More agronomy information can be found on the agronomy page.