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Arkansas Corn and Grain Sorghum Weekly Update – April 24, 2015
Author: Arkansas Row Crops

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

Corn planting made a little progress this past week in parts of Northeast Arkansas, but there are still several acres that need to be planted.  The Arkansas Agriculture Statistics Service April 19th crop progress report indicated that 66% of the corn had been planted, compared to 50% last year and 73% planted for the 5-year average.  Even with the delays in planting for many areas, we are still ahead of where we were last year.  Most corn that is up looks good.  I’m starting to get a few calls on some of the larger corn (3-4 leaf) that is starting to show signs of zinc deficiency.  I suspect next week when the corn gets a little larger, we will see more zinc deficiency symptoms show up.  I am also getting calls about purple corn and most of this discoloration is associated with the cool wet conditions we have experienced this week.  Some corn hybrids will show more purpling than others, even when adequate phosphorus fertilizer was applied at planting.   Most of the purpling will go away with some warm temperatures and sunshine.    Grain sorghum planting is estimated to be 27% complete compared to 11% last year and 45% for the 5-year average.   Grain sorghum, much like corn is in need of some warm temperatures.   With the current weather I would delay any atrazine applications until the grain sorghum is actively growing.   Most grain sorghum has only been putting on 1 leaf per week, so growth is not progressing as rapidly as one would think.   I have gotten one call about cutworms eating small grain sorghum, so producers need to be out looking to see what is going on in their fields.

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

The corn verification fields that are planted are growing good.  Sidedress nitrogen and a herbicide application has been recommended in Lincoln County.   The other Clay County field is still too wet to plant, and Pope County could be planted on April 24 if dry enough.  The County Agent and I met with the grain sorghum verification cooperator in Jefferson County on April 22 and assisted him in setting his planter.  Hopefully that field can be planted on April 24 also.

Apr 24 Update

Southeast Arkansas Update – Wes Kirkpatrick (Desha County)

Corn and grain sorghum in areas that were able to dry out over the last week received initial fertilizer and herbicide applications.  Plant growth is slow due to the cool temperatures.  Growth stages range from 1-leaf (V1) to 6-leaf (V6).

Central Arkansas Update – Anthony Whittington (Jefferson County)

The majority of the corn crop has been planted and what has emerged for the most part is looking good. Ground is still well saturated. The grain sorghum verification field should be planted either today (April 23) or on Friday (April 24) if it doesn’t rain.

Northeast Arkansas Update – Stewart Runsick (Clay County)

Corn planting has pretty much come to a halt this week. A round of storms moved through the area over the past weekend with hail and wind damage reported. We received 0.3 inches more rain Tuesday (April 21) evening and Wednesday (April 22) morning. Most of the corn that has been planted has emerged, however cooler temperatures have delayed emergence in some fields. Farmers may be able to get in the field Friday (April 24) but there is a 50% chance of rain with smaller chances every day over the next week.

River Valley Update – Kevin VanPelt (Conway County)

The earlier corn that was planted emerged 10 -14 days ago and stands are looking much better this week. It’s still been wet and some producers are just getting back in the field to finish planting.

Heat Units

This is the first week that the 30 year average heat units were close to or higher than 2015.  The lower heat units have really slowed down corn growth.  The forecast for next week also looks like lower temperatures.

Apr 24 GDD

Twitter – Jason Kelley @AR_Feedgrains, Kevin Lawson @ar_cornverify

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