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Arkansas Corn and Grain Sorghum Weekly Update – May 22, 2015
Author: Arkansas Row Crops

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

Corn producers have been struggling to get sidedress nitrogen and herbicides applied because of continued wet weather.  This is especially noticeable in Central and Northeast Arkansas.  Rains have put a halt on just about all field operations over the past few days.  Thursday morning as I drove down the road it was 56 degrees, far from a normal late May morning.  The good side of all of the rain and cool weather is there has not been a need to irrigate yet.  Early planted corn in South Arkansas is at V10 or larger, so many will be trying to apply pre-tassel nitrogen applications over the next week or so, while late planted corn is only at the V3-V4 growth stage.

Grain sorghum planting is estimated to be 85% complete compared to 80% last year and 86% for the 5-year average.  The wet weather we are currently experiencing may cause some producers to switch from grain sorghum to soybeans, especially if planting is delayed into June.  Concerns about yield potential from later planting and sugarcane aphid potential is weighing on minds about whether to plant grain sorghum or switch to soybeans.  Rains have delayed fertilizer and herbicide applications, especially in Central and Northeast Arkansas.  Overall where grain sorghum was put in fields with good drainage the crop looks good, in fields with poor drainage, the wet weather has taken a toll on stands and growth.   Glyphosate drift is still a problem in several fields.

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

The corn verification fields that received sidedress nitrogen last week really took off.  The Lincoln and St Francis County fields really look good.  Both fields will need irrigation next week if we miss this weekend’s rains. Lonoke, Pope and Clay – Yount are late planted fields that are growing fast.  All the late fields need herbicide and sidedress nitrogen but the rain isn’t helping us.  Hopefully a window will open soon to get all this done.  Clay – Woolverton and Lee County are still not looking good.  Rains just keep coming at the wrong times for these fields.  Both fields need some dry weather and warm sun.

Wet ground kept the producer in Prairie County from planting grain sorghum and he decided to switch to soybeans.  So a grain sorghum verification field was picked up in Lawrence County.  The field looks good and needs sidedress nitrogen and herbicide in between rains.  Jefferson County is in the same shape, rains aren’t allowing the producer to get in to spray and apply nitrogen.  Both producers are setting on go as soon as it dries up.

May 22 corn update

May 22 gs update

Southeast Arkansas Update – Wes Kirkpatrick (Desha County)

Corn and grain sorghum in southeast Arkansas is growing fast after recent rainfall has activated nitrogen fertilizer. Pre-tassel nitrogen applications will likely begin on some acres early next week.

Central Arkansas Update – Anthony Whittington (Jefferson County)

Fertilizers and herbicides were going out early in the week until the nearly 2 inch rain we received mid-week. Corn and grain sorghum looks good for the most part in the county with some replants reported. A few growers are still trying to get the last bit of their crops in the ground.

Northeast Arkansas Update – Stewart Runsick (Clay County)

Rain, clouds and cooler temperatures has been the story this week. Corn and grain sorghum fields need some heat units. Growth and development has been delayed as well as nitrogen and herbicide applications. Producers are trying to figure out the best approach to apply nitrogen and herbicides and will likely resort to aerial applications. There are still more grain sorghum acres to be planted.

River Valley Update – Kevin VanPelt (Conway County)

Corn has really grown in fields with good drainage, but there are several acres that will be lost due to flood water.

Heat Units

Heat units were progressing nicely until May 21.  Heat units went from the 20’s down to single digits in most areas of the state.  This is the second week in a row that a couple of days in the week had low heat units.  Fields in Southeast, AR planted around March 30 have accumulated over 1,000 heat units which should be getting close to V12 which is proper timing for pre-tassel nitrogen.

May 22 gdd

Twitter – Jason Kelley @AR_Feedgrains, Kevin Lawson @ar_cornverify

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