As flooding rains and cool conditions continue to delay field preparation and planting across the Mid-South, it’s more important than ever that farmers make the right choices this growing season.
Dr. Jarrod Hardke, a rice agronomist with the University of Arkansas, said that even if they had a clear-sky forecast, growers would still be pressed for time.
“Assuming it ever stops raining, you’re looking at seven to 10 days of dry weather before you can get a tractor out in a field,” Hardke said. “Seventy percent of rice acres in this state are rotated with soybeans, and the vast majority of those soybean fields haven’t been worked in any manner.”
And recent rains aren’t the only concern. Hardke said that because of the wet conditions last harvest season, many fields were’t conditioned before winter.
“We’re not talking about standard tillage,” Hardke said. “This will require excessive tillage.”
Rice isn’t the only crop being affected by rain and flooding. Corn planting should already be well underway in the Mid-South, and a short planting window means growers cannot afford mistakes. According to Jay MaHaffey, Director of the Scott Learning Center, accuracy is vital because yield potential is established at planting.
“There are several things that are done at planting that can’t be un-done later. Hybrid choice, seed treatment, planting depth, planting uniformity, good seed-to-soil contact, and properly sealing up the beds are all super important in a short planting window.”
While farmers may be kept out of the field by wet conditions, they can still be working to make sure their planting equipment is in top condition. Jessie Hurt with Quality Farm Supply said their company had been shipping a lot of disc blades and cultivation equipment, and that planter part sales are really picking up.
“Many of our customers are working to make sure their planters and drills are ready when field conditions permit. Wear items and planter accessory orders are increasing, and once farmers start planting, we’ll be there to keep them rolling. We ship orders received before 2pm on the same day, and that goes a long way to building trust that Quality Farm Supply can be counted on to help them get seed in the ground.”
This article is brought to you by Quality Farm Supply. The go-to source for the get-go farmer!
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