Tips and Tricks for a Wet Spring

Posted by Jonah Weaver on

Image shows large puddles that are pond sized in fields.

It’s no secret that the spring 2019 has been a bit rainy. Most of the state of Indiana has been continually impacted by consistent rainfall, and has severely hindered the planting possibilities for most of Indiana’s farmers. As most Hoosiers have been able to also notice, the wet spring weather has not only slowed this spring for farmers, but in many locations throughout the state, has kept any planting from being done at all.

In a typical year, the USDA says that Indiana would have approximately 73% of its corn planted by May 19. Last year, in 2018, Indiana has a whopping 86% of its corn planted, and this year, in 2019, only 14% of Indiana’s corn has been planted! The top 18 states of corn production all seem to be suffering a bit, as the average is 80%, 2018 was 78%, however as of May 19, 2019 only 49% of the United States corn has been planted.

At Reynolds, we are fortunate enough to have an agronomy team that has been able to help us, and our customers along this wet, and rainy spring. Adam Peercy, a Reynolds Agronomist, tells us that he has a few things going through his mind at this point in the season, seeing fields as water logged as they are.

“The scary thing is guys are going to get desperate to get a crop out as soon as they know they might not get stuck and the conditions will still not be conducive for planting” – Peercy says

Tips & Tricks for a Wet Spring

Adam says that a few simple tips and tricks could really help the farmers as they hit their fields for long, and hard hours [hopefully] very soon!

  • The planter needs to be light on its feet
  • Seeding depth and the consistency of seeding depth will be huge
  • Proper Row Cleaner settings (not too aggressive in order to keep the dryer soil on top and not pull up the wet dirt clods)
  • Optimal Closing Wheel Settings (not too deep causing sidewall compactions, but still enough that the seed trench is getting closed for the proper seed to soil contact)
  • Ensure the Closing Wheels are centered directly behind the openers
  • Downforce will be huge! (use the least amount of downforce possible, while also maintaining 95% ground contact)
Image shows ruts a foot deep in a field.

Tillage & Ruts

Adam also says that a huge factor this spring will be tillage! With as long and wet as last harvest was, many folks didn’t get all their tillage wishes completed, and may also have some ruts they hope to cover up before running the planter through the fields. Many fields have also been overtaken by weeds with the amount of water they have received recently. Peercy wants to remind farmers to “Be careful not to do more harm than good. In these wet conditions it can cause a lot of wall compaction and smearing which can result in a bad environment for root development if it turns off dry.”

Overall, this spring has been off to a much slower and soggier start that we would’ve hoped for, but that being said, as conditions continue to dry up, and more farmers head to their fields, Reynolds would like to wish everyone a safe and successful planting season. If you need anything from Reynolds this season, please let us know!

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