Agronomy Blog

Southern Illinois and NE Missouri Crop Progress

by Brian Weihmeir | Apr 30, 2018

We are now at the end of one of the coldest April months we have witnessed in quite some time. The cold weather and occasional snow showers across the region have kept guys out of the fields and starting later than normal. Now that we have some heat and sunshine across the region, we are seeing a mad dash to get crops in the ground.

At the start of spring, fields looked clean and free of most winter annuals. This was a major change from last year. Fall burndown applications in most areas seemed to do a good job for growers and be a good investment to start clean. Before planters started rolling across the area, there was a lot of anhydrous ammonia and burndown being applied. The surface was dry for most, but underneath was still too wet to be desired. Once heat was brought into the forecast, subsurface soils started drying out and ground could be worked. Soil temperatures hovered in the upper 40’s to 50’s last week for most of the area. Nighttime temps dropped to low 30’s a few times but would quickly rise.

Portions of eastern Missouri got started a little bit earlier than portions of southern Illinois. With warmer temperatures and drier soils, a lot of planters began to roll toward the 3rd week of April. Where other parts of southern Illinois that stayed wet started toward the end of last week. There is a mix of both corn and soybeans being put into the ground first this year. Growers who were concerned about soil temperatures have started planting soybeans first. This is a major shift in practices for some growers. Others are seeing near perfect soil conditions for planting and are planting corn first. This has made it a challenge for retailers keeping up with spraying.

brian-seeding depth - citedLate April and early May is a tight window of opportunity every year to get crops in the ground. However, this nice weather across the region is going to get a lot of crops in the ground by the end of the week.

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