By Chuck Capps, Corn and Grain Sorghum Research Verification Program Coordinator
We will have planting dates scattered from March 20thin Desha County to this coming Saturday April 21stif we get enough drying before more rain this weekend. Prairie County Corn Verification Field has survived the freeze pretty well and was greening up with warmer weather this week. Stand count was excellent at 33,800 plants per acre. Desha County Field was a little further along and sustained a little more yellowing from the freeze. Stand count was good there as well at 30,500 plants per acre. It is looking much better this week as well. Clay County Field was planted on April 11th, Jackson County was planted on April 10th, and Jefferson County was planted April 19th. Mississippi, Chicot, and Arkansas County Fields did not get quite dry enough before the rains this past Friday. Plans are for them to be planted late this week ahead of the rain Saturday night.
River Valley Update– Kevin VanPelt (Conway County)
Some of the early-planted corn in the River Valley will have to be replanted due the late freezes and with soil temperatures reaching 70 degrees this week everyone is running hard, so the corn planting should be finished by the end of this week.
Central Update– Brett Gordon (Woodruff County)
The remaining corn acreage will likely be planted this week as fields dry out from recent rainfall. Rainfall totals from last weekend ranged from 2-3 inches in Woodruff County. The early planted corn that experienced freeze damage has been putting out new growth and should recover. Wind has been a major factor with applying herbicides.
South Update– Kevin Norton (Ashley County)
Corn is recovering nicely from frost damage. We have a few replants, then we’ll be finished planting corn.
North East Update – Stewart Runsick (Clay County)
The earliest planted corn is emerging. Much of the corn needs a few more days of warm weather. It has been cool and wet the past week. Rainfall last week was near 3.5 inches and delayed planting. A few more fields have been planted. I would estimate 50% of the corn has been planted. Producers should be able finish planting this week before the next rain Sunday.
Grain Sorghum County Update– Robert Goodson (Phillips County)
With lower prices and issues with sugarcane aphids, grain sorghum acre numbers were at a very low number in 2017 with 2018 appearing to follow suit. Acre estimates in Phillips County will be less than 500 this year. We have not heard of any counties that plan to significantly increase acres over 2017. One high point in this crop is there are several varieties that has sugarcane aphid tolerance. While this alone will not increase acres of this crop, it will present an advantage to growers choosing to grow this crop. Grain sorghum will be planted on rotation acres or acres where deer damage does not provide an opportunity to grow soybeans.