From drought to drenched, corn farmers face more hardships

It has been a slow season for the Heartlandâ??s corn crop this year. A cold start to spring plus copious amounts of rainfall have held back many farmers from planting.

â??Cool wet soils are good conditions for disease to hit that seedling corn and can cause it to rot at this point in time. We can also see some crusting take place if we get some wet conditions and then it dries out quickly will form a hard layer over where that seed might try to emerge and it will have a poor time emerging,â?? said Kelly Nelson Agronomist for MU Greenley Research Center.

Optimal soil temperatures for corn growth are in the mid 50s or higher. This yearâ??s weather pattern has allowed for some soils to allow seed growth, but not nearly as much as years past. There is still plenty of time for high yields this year, but Mother Nature needs to start cooperating soon.

â??We're still early for high yielding corn. A lot of the conditions are still going to depend upon what we are going to see in July and August when it comes to rainfall. The planting date is one component of high yielding corn and contributor to corn yield. It isn't everything. So yeah, we can delay things and still come out with great yield potential,â?? he said.

So at this point in time for farmers, it is a waiting game. You can only do so much work before the conditions are prime for planting.

With forecast earlier this week suggesting that we were going to see much warmer temperatures and drier conditions, some farmers actually tilled their land to hopefully evaporate some of the soil moisture that we had received which was rich in water content. Unfortunately with new forecasts showing that we are going to see colder temperatures once again below the 50 degree mark and much more rainfall, some of the work farmers have done may have gone in vain.