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Arkansas Corn and Grain Sorghum Weekly Update – March 21, 2014
Author: Arkansas Row Crops

Corn and Grain Sorghum Research Verification – Kevin Lawson (Corn & GS Verification Coordinator)

Producers are still waiting to plant verification fields.  I took a soil temp on March 20 at 9:00 a.m. at Grady and the temp was 45 degrees.  That is still below the 50 degrees we need for corn to germinate and well below the 65 for grain sorghum, and with a cool forecast predicted for next week, I’m not sure it is going to get any better.  The 10 day forecast shows highs next week in the 50’s and lows in the mid 30’s.

Southeast Arkansas Update – Wes Kirkpatrick (Desha County) & Kevin Norton (Ashley County)

Corn planting is slowly progressing northward in southeast Arkansas.  We received some rainfall over the weekend that stopped the planting progress temporarily.  By Wednesday or Thursday, several growers were able to get back onto some of the well-drained fields.

Central Arkansas Update – Brent Griffin & Michael Paskewitz (Prairie County)

A majority of the fields are still damp to full wet here in Prairie County. Fields that are floated down will dry quickly and if the wind continues to blow with any heat a few growers will likely begin planting on Friday, March 21. Everything is on go at this time, but soil temperature this morning (March 20) was 42 degrees. Burndown herbicides are going out where no spring tillage has occurred. I am surprised at the number of conventional corn acres that will be planted in the county this year.

Northeast Arkansas Update – Herb Ginn (Lawrence County) & Branon Thiesse (Craighead County)

Some folks had big plans to get in the fields and do some planting at the beginning of the week, but with all the rain we received over the weekend (Craighead County received around 2 inches) water is still standing in many of the fields.  The weather forecast for the next several days does not look promising with cooler temperatures and some rain predicted.  Field activity hopefully will begin late in the week in our sandy areas if no other precipitation occurs. Windy conditions are making it tough for burndowns to be applied, but also should hasten the drying process coupled with warmer temperatures. Hopefully soil temperatures will be on the rise and planting can begin.

River Valley Update – Kevin VanPelt (Conway County) & Hank Chaney (Faulkner County)

Most of the corn fields have been prepared for planting. No corn has been planted to our knowledge.  Fields are still wet but rapidly drying however, the cold soil conditions and weather is keeping most people out of the field but we expect it to change next week.

Heat Units

Heat unit accumulation went down in the central and northeast part of the state this week compared to last week.  Southeast Arkansas stayed about the same as last week, and the river valley was warmer this week.  Temps were so cold on March 17, that no heat units were accumulated that day.

Region of the state


Heat Units Accumulated

March 15 – 21

Total Heat Units Since

March 9

Southeast Arkansas

(McGehee, AR)



Central Arkansas

(Des Arc, AR)



Northeast Arkansas

(Jonesboro, AR)



River Valley

(Morrilton, AR)



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