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Arkansas Corn and Grain Sorghum Weekly Update – March 28, 2014
Author: Arkansas Row Crops

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

Some of the verification producers talked about planting this week, but with the rain and cold in the forecast we decided to wait until next week.  As soon as fields dry up next week, the majority of the fields will go in the ground.  The soil temperature in Lee County on March 26 was still 45 degrees at 10:00.  My recommendation for planting right now is 34,000 seeds per acre and shooting for a final plant stand of 32,000+ plants per acre.

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

Corn planting continues in southeast Arkansas.  Very little of the early planted corn has emerged.  Individual corn grower planting progress ranges from completely finished planting to not started yet.

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

Corn planting began the first of the week here in Prairie County. Approximately 15% of corn acres are planted as of Thursday, March 27, with the majority being near or south of I-40. No grain sorghum has been planted due to soil temperatures and the upcoming forecast. Field work has been very busy with pleasing results of how well the soil is preparing. The deep freezes this winter have appeared to be a great contribution. Rainfall amounts and soil preparation will determine how quickly planting will resume. March has come and gone quickly and producers are feeling the pressure of the calendar as the rain has arrived again.

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

Both corn and rice are being planted at this time in Lawrence County.  In Craighead County some corn was planted ahead of the rain that came on Thursday night. However, with the recent cold temperatures, and rains predicted for the next couple of days many growers have decided to wait until next week to look at planting.  Field work continues at a rapid pace as the soil dries with strong winds. Burndowns are being applied when weather conditions permit. We fully expect next week to be the breakout week as temperatures and dry weather are supposed to occur.

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

Growers in the River Valley were applying preplant fertilizer, pulling beds and waiting to see how much rain we get before planting this week.  Some corn was being no-tilled in Yell County.  The field is non-irrigated.  Weed control may be challenging due to plant stubble from previous crop.

Heat Units

I added the 30 year average heat unit accumulations to the chart this week.  With the cooler weather this week all regions of the state are behind the 30 year average for this same week.  All of eastern Arkansas is about 20 heat units off from the 30 year average since March 9.  Corn in southeast Arkansas that was planted on March 9 is just now receiving enough heat units to emerge (~ 140 – 150).



Region of the state(city)

Heat Units Accumulated March 22–28

30 Year Average Heat Units March   22-28

Total Heat Units Since March 9

30 Year Average 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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