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Arkansas Corn and Grain Sorghum Weekly Update – March 27, 2015
Author: Arkansas Row Crops

Corn and Grain Sorghum Update – Dr Jason Kelley (Wheat and Feed Grains Specialist)

Weather continues to be the big story with wet ground limiting field activity.  Rains Wednesday night/Thursday morning were mainly light in the southern half of the state and limited corn planting was beginning to occur in isolated areas on lighter well drained soils in south Arkansas.  If we could get a week of warm and dry weather we would be able to get corn planting underway.  No grain sorghum has been planted yet and soil temperatures are still plenty cool to be planting grain sorghum.

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

Rain continues to be the issue with verification fields and we still don’t have any fields planted.  If it stopped raining today, we might be able to have a few corn fields planted late next week.  We still have plenty of time to plant both corn and grain sorghum and get 100% relative yield.  The corn verification programs average planting date over the last five years is April 8.  Fields have been planted as late as the middle of May and still done well.  Average planting date for the grain sorghum verification program is April 17 over the last five years.

Southeast Arkansas Update – Wes Kirkpatrick (Desha County)

Most corn fields are too wet to plant. However, there were a few planters running yesterday (Thursday).  We missed the bulk of the forecasted rain, so by Saturday there should be more corn being planted.

Central Arkansas Update – Anthony Whittington (Jefferson County)

No planting again this week, with the rain Wednesday night into Thursday morning everything is at a standstill. There was some aerial activity earlier in the week with either wheat fertilizer or burndowns going out. Soil temperature is currently 58 degrees.

Northeast Arkansas Update – Stewart Runsick (Clay County)

The area around Corning received 1.5 inches of precipitation this week.  Very little field work was done and only a few burndown applications have been made.  No corn is planted yet.  Field conditions were almost right for planting before receiving this round of rain and cold temperatures.  The soil temperature is around 55 degrees. More rainfall is predicted next week.  It is doubtful anything will change in the next 10 days.  Producers were able to get out one application of nitrogen on their wheat this past week and it is looking much better.

River Valley Update – Kevin VanPelt (Conway County)

With a few days of clear weather earlier in the week, producers in the River Valley have been able to get a large part of their remaining corn acres fertilized and burndown applications put out by plane. Even with the wet conditions a few have tried fertilizing with ground rigs, but not without rutting up some fields. With current conditions it’s not likely that any corn will be planted in the next week.

Heat Units

The beginning of the week started out with lower temperatures, but we really warmed up in the middle of the week only to finish again with cool temperatures.  Southeast and Northeast Arkansas were below the 30 year average for heat units this week, while Central was slightly above and the River Valley area accumulated the most heat units this week.

Southeast, AR (McGehee)

Central, AR

(Des Arc)

Northeast, AR (Jonesboro)

River Valley (Morrilton)


30 Year 2015 30 Year 2015 30 Year 2015

30 Year

Mar 21


9.0 5.0 7.0 4.5 6.5 6.0


Mar 22


9.0 4.5 7.5 5.0 6.5 6.0


Mar 23


9.5 11.5 7.5 9.5 7.0 11.5


Mar 24


9.5 11.5 7.5 11.0 7.0 14.5


Mar 25


9.5 14.0 8.0 14.0 7.0 15.5


Mar 26


10.0 8.0 8.0 0.0 7.5 5.5


Mar 27


10.0 3.0 8.0 0.5 7.5 4.5




67 58 54 45 49 64



Twitter – Jason Kelley @AR_Feedgrains, Kevin Lawson @ar_cornverify

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