Challenging planting season for Nebraska farmers

Published: Jun. 2, 2017 at 12:00 PM CDT
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In May, Nebraska saw plenty of rain, cool temperatures and even snow in some areas.

This recent weather is creating challenges for area farmers during an important time of the year—planting season.

Roger Elmore, a professor with the University of Nebraska—Lincoln says this season has been filled with delays with planting, along with concerns about stand and emergence with corn and soybeans.

“We saw a lot of issues with emergence that reduces stand,” said Elmore. “These caused more plant-to-plant variability. As soon as you get neighboring plants of different sizes out in the same field, one starts competing with the other. That could reduce yield and probably will.”

Some farmers have also seen deformities in corn seedlings as they emerge that have resulted in uneven spacing, plant growth and some plants that will not survive.

Elmore says some plants have leafed out underground. If those plants do survive, they would turn to ‘weeds’ and compete with the other plants.

Other issues farmers are seeing from a lack of sun and heat is purple and yellow corn.

“The heat that we’ve been having is a blessing because these things will disappear and the corn will go on and be fine in a week or so.”

Despite these challenges, Elmore says Nebraska farmers are doing well compare to other parts of the country.

“If you look at Nebraska and compare it at other states, we’re doing pretty well really, but we were behind normal both in corn and soybean planting.”

Most corn and probably soybeans are planted. But, if there is still corn to plant for the first time or to replant, farmers should try to finish that up before by June 15th.

Soybeans can be planted through the end of the month; however, yields of both crops are dramatically reduced in June relative to earlier planting dates.

For more information on planting season, click