Arkansas Corn, Sorghum: Weather Continues to Hinder Field Operations

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

    Wet weather continues to be the biggest issue for corn.  Many have and are still struggling getting herbicides and sidedress nitrogen applied.  The earliest planted corn in far south Arkansas could be tasseling next week and the other extreme is that I had a few calls this week from producers contemplating planting more corn to cover contracts.  Corn is now rapidly growing and when it does stop raining I’m afraid we are going to go from too wet to dry very quickly.  I’ve seen several fields with irrigation equipment ready to go, but many don’t.

    Grain sorghum planting is estimated to be 89% complete compared to 89% last year and 93% for the 5-year average.  There still is some talk of planting a little more grain sorghum if the weather will turn around in the next week or so, but will likely be limited acres.  Grain sorghum has responded to the warm weather this week, especially on early planted fields.

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

    The majority of the corn verification fields have received sidedress nitrogen.  Most of the herbicide has been applied but a few fields are having trouble getting fields sprayed between high winds and rain.  Even though there has been sufficient rain lately, irrigation is not that far away.  The Extension irrigation scheduler is calling for irrigations on the more advanced fields (Lincoln, St Francis and Lee) starting early next week if we miss the rains that are predicted.  St Francis County is ready for a pre-tassel application of nitrogen, and Lee will need one next week.

    The two grain sorghum verification fields are still having trouble getting out sidedress nitrogen and herbicide due to wet conditions.  Both fields were stressed by cooler temperatures on May 21 and 22.  Both fields turned purple for a little bit, but warmer weather has them growing again.

    May 29 corn update

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    May 29 gs update

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    Southeast Arkansas Update – Wes Kirkpatrick (Desha County)

    As soon as the ground dries out some, there will be pre-tassel nitrogen applications on several corn acres.  Overall, the corn and grain sorghum looks pretty good.  More sunny days would help it all look a little better, but we have more rain forecasted through the weekend.

    Central Arkansas Update – Anthony Whittington (Jefferson County)

    With a little dry up from the last rain some producers were able to get sidedress nitrogen and herbicides applied. For the most part both crops (corn & grain sorghum) look good across the county with wide variation of grow stages from V3-V4, and up to V10 in some areas.

    Northeast Arkansas Update – Stewart Runsick (Clay County)

    The same weather pattern continues as we continue to receive enough rain to limit field work. Many corn fields are turning yellow in areas and need some nitrogen. Some applications of herbicide and fertilizer have gone out by air. Others are just putting out a little nitrogen trying to buy some time until it dries up. Most of the corn is V6 or bigger.  We need a week of dry weather to get finished up.

    River Valley Update – Kevin VanPelt (Conway County)

    As the river crests for the third time in 3 weeks, heavy rains are moving in again with several more days of thunderstorms in the forecast. The impact of the flooding has really become evident this week in the corn. Needless to say, the fields that have had water on them for going on three weeks are a total loss. Other fields that were under water two or three days at a time or that have stayed saturated are severely stunted. Fields that have not been affected by the flooding have benefitted from the few days of sunshine this week and showing good progress.

    Heat Units

    Heat units this week mirrored the 30 year average.  This week was more consistent than the last two weeks.

    May 29 gdd

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