When it comes to the weather, it has been a year like no other in recent memory in Otter Tail County. This is especially true for spring planting and getting the fields seeded.
Justin Stock, who farms south of Fergus Falls, says it is definitely one of the latest starts he can remember. “The Fergus Falls area and south to around Wendell were pretty fortunate that we missed a lot of big rains and were able to get everything in before this last big storm that we had,” said Stock.
Stock raises corn and soybeans with the main farm just south of Fergus Falls, with other parcels north of Rothsay, to northeast of Ashby.
“I would say the corn looks good, there are some concerns about ponding with this latest rain, but so far it’s looking good with all things considered,” said Stock.
The University of Minnesota states in a report indicating that in fields that have had ponding, some applied nitrogen (N) fertilizer will be lost to denitrification. Growers may need to consider a supplemental N sidedress application in these situations. Some producers planted corn and now have flooded fields. As a result, there are a few things producers should keep an eye on. First, digging up seeds and seedlings and looking for healthy tissue. They urge producers to check fields for soil crusting. If a crust is present and hard enough to restrict emergence, rotary hoeing may be beneficial.
“While there’s no yield penalty for most of May, yield potential does start to tick down the last week of May and into early June,” said Dr. Seth Naeve, University of Minnesota Extension soybean agronomist. Even with late planting, Naeve states we could see very good yields, depending on late summer and early fall weather. As of May 25, yield potential for soybeans was still about 90%.
The soybeans are similar to the corn, Stock indicates. “I would say obviously with a later start, soybeans thrive on a lot of sunlight. Getting out of the ground and growing is a big part. When you get it in a bit earlier you have more sunlight for the crop to capture to get out of the ground more quickly, with all things said we’re fairly positive,” Stock added.
Naeve said If growers plant varieties in a conservative maturity group, there’s no need to change varieties through mid-June. For growers that push long season varieties, they may want to consider changing to an earlier group. However, there’s no urgency to make any changes until June 10.
The cool, wet spring has led to significant planting delays in parts of the state. Others are dealing with flooding after planting.
According to the extension service corn planting has progressed, but it, too, has seen delays in areas. Based on UM planting date trials, corn planted by May 25 has a yield potential of 94-96%, according to Dr. Jeff Coulter, University of Minnesota Extension corn agronomist. That potential drops to 91-93% for corn planted between May 26 and 30. “The greatest impact on corn yield, though, will be the soil moisture and weather during the critical period from 12 days before to 14 days after tasseling,” he states.
The latest recommended planting dates for corn grain are June 10 in southern Minnesota and June 5 in central and northern Minnesota. Corn grown for silage can be planted until about June 20 in the southern part of the state and June 12 in central and northern Minnesota.
Planting depth and optimum planting population recommendations do not change with delayed planting.