May 17, 2016
Again, it’s raining… lightly this time ( half-inch so far). It’s enough to stop us from planting and spraying. It is beginning to feel ‘urgent’ about getting the soybean crop planted. We’re almost halfway done with that, but we are discovering some acres that will need re-planted because it has been too cold and too wet on some spots in some fields. As of today, the replant can be measured in dozens of acres, not hundreds. This is not yet as bad as 2013, when flooding made necessary the replanting of over 900 acres of soybeans. Let’s not repeat that experience!
We were able to spray and plant yesterday. John made good progress with the JD 4730 sprayer, as he was doing a first-pass post-emerge on several soybean fields. The preplant burndown had been applied 4-5 weeks earlier, and the application of some Roundup with Warrant as a residual needed to be made. He reports that the corn will soon need the same post-emerge application.
I ran the air drill to plant soybeans at the Steen and VanVleet farms. It wasn’t the best conditions, but it was doable. With the coming rain, the soybeans were placed in the soil as shallowly as I dared. At Steen I was planting into last year’s cornstalks; at VanVleet it was soybean stubble. VanVleet went in a little better because the soil surface was drier there.
One of our main concerns about the planted crops has been the chilly weather. A few spots of soybeans just cannot survive the wet conditions, and the cold decreases their chance to survive… (let alone thrive!). Next week the days are predicted to get up into the 80s, and that will help the crop development. Soybeans are hard to get started, so when you see a good ‘stand’ of them come up and get going, it is a great relief!
We will move ahead with planting (and whatever replant is necessary) as the soil conditions allow. After consulting the Weather Channel’s 15-day forecast, it will not be a surprise if some of that planting will extend into June. The potential soybean yield may diminish as the planting dates get later. Even so, favorable weather in July and August can make for a pleasant result.
Better weather is surely coming, and we’ll be ready when it arrives.