Weather wise, the last 6 months has been just about as different from the previous 6 months before that as anyone could imagine. We went from being extremely hot and dry to extremely cool and wet, getting precipitation in about every form there is. Bob French tells us how this is affecting local farmers in this week’s From The Ground Up.
"It’s created a lot of uncertainty in the minds of the growers. Normally, by February 15th, 20th, maybe as late as March 1st guys will be putting corn in the ground. They would have all their fertilizer down, all the pre-emerge chemicals, and this year a lot of that hasn’t been done yet."
Chris Hargrove is a crop specialist with Winfield Solutions.
"For most guys it would probably take a week to 10 days of good drying weather before they could start, in some fields probably as much as 2 weeks."
And the clock is ticking on the planting window for corn
"To get crop insurance on corn it’s got to be in the ground by April 15th, so that’s probably on the back of their minds of, that’s kind of the deadline they have. They’re trying to get the crop up and going and hopefully get pollination before the 100 degree temperatures hit. There’s been some years that we had 100 degree temperatures the last few days of May, and corn trying to pollinate those days had real issues."
As is true most years, most farmers go into a new year optimistic that things will fall into place.
"Last year we started the season with no underground moisture, in fact, at some point the guys ran out of moisture to even get a crop germinated, so those fears are out of their minds, and they’ve got the moisture, it’s cooler. I think most guys that have been in the business for a while probably have in their mind that it’s cool and wet, it’s probably going to continue that way through the summer, so we just got to be patient and get the crop planted and hope the weather pattern stays that way, and if so, then the later planting won’t be such an issue."
Stay tuned. Soon planting decisions will move forward or be revised, and farmers will begin the dice roll in a new growing season. I’m Bob French, looking at Brazos Valley agriculture, From The Ground Up.