What is in this article?:
- Crops overcoming wet, nervous planting season
- Weed resistance, irrigation
- Crops several weeks late due to Delta rains.
- "On a scale of one to 10, we’re at an eight. It’s not a disaster by any means." -- Robert Goodson, Phillips County Extension agent.
ROBERT GOODSON, PHILLIPS County Extension agent, checks a wheat field in Marvell, Ark.
Robert Goodson has just finished checking on a couple of soybean verification fields outside Turkey Scratch, Arkansas.
“So far, so good,” says the Phillips County Extension agent as a stiff, late-May breeze riffles his shirt. “The soybeans are at V-2/V-3. We’ve got another verification field in rice that was just planted last week.”
As in much of the Delta, planting season has often been a rainy, nervous affair for many producers in Phillips County.
“Right now, we’re probably around 75 percent finished planting soybeans and a bit late. The corn was planted later than normal because it’s been so wet here. We still have producers trying to plant rice.
“Everything is late, actually -– probably at least a couple of weeks. But things have turned around and on a scale of one to 10, we’re at an eight. It’s not a disaster by any means.
“Earlier in the planting season some folks were very worried about getting corn in. And the window is definitely closing for corn planting. There are only a handful of days left to get seed in the ground.”
The corn that has been planted looks fine, says Goodson. “The corn acreage in the county is way down from the 60,000 we had (in 2013). We’ll probably have half of that this year so it’s still a substantial crop.”
All other crops are showing good stands. “There have been very few replants other than where there’s been some herbicide drift.”
Area gins will be unhappy that the dropped corn acres will not be going to cotton. “Cotton will likely be our smallest crop at around 4,000 acres. Soybeans and rice are what has really picked up. I think the price of rice is pushing producers to really consider it.”
More rain and cool temperatures the week of May 12 “slowed the crops down. It especially affected the rice, which just isn’t growing off as fast as it should. But let’s look at the positive: it’s nice to have the moisture.”
How did the wheat come through all the rain?
“Wheat really dislikes a wet foot and that may mean yield loss in some fields. Overall, I’d say the crop is average or a touch better. I’d estimate the wheat crop at 50 to 55 bushels per acre.”
Currently at dough stage, Goodson expects the wheat crop will be ready for harvest in about three weeks.