Early Spring Weather Gave Planting a Jumpstart

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3 Key Takeaways From This Article:

- Early spring brought manageable weather for growers this year.
- USDA showed corn and soybean planting ahead of the five-year average in May.
- Corteva Market Development Specialists reported strong planting starts from six different states.

Early spring 2020 brought welcome weather to much of the Midwest after growers struggled with wet, cold conditions for two years running. Thanks to more mild temperatures and average rainfall, farmers got a jump on corn and soybean planting.

According to the USDA’s May 18th weekly report, corn was at 80% planted, up from 44% at the same time last year. And soybeans were also up at 53% planted over 16% at the same time in 2019.

Four market development specialists with Corteva Agriscience weighed in from their territories in late April.

In Illinois, Market Development Specialist Mike Koenigs said growers in his state was able to start working in the fields in late March.

“We’ve had a great run on spring fertilization. We’ve had a strong run on spring burndowns, and we are off to some really strong planting. We’re doing really good. We needed it. We’ve had some miserable springs for the last several years, so this is great,” Koenigs said.

Minnesota & Wisconsin
Jeff Moon is the market development specialist for Minnesota and Wisconsin. He reported “outstanding” spring planting weather in the southern half of both states.

“Corn is going in the ground quickly, and some soybeans have been planted as well. It’s shaping up to be a good year to evaluate early planted soybeans,” said Moon, going on to note the conditions were the best they’d been in three to five years.

North Dakota & South Dakota
“Southern South Dakota, western South Dakota and western North Dakota have been drier than last year, and planting is going well. Most planting has begun in earnest over the last two weeks,” explained Bridgette Readel, Market Development Specialist for the Dakotas.

Readel said weeds like kochia, marestail and Palmer amaranth will be causing headaches this season. She recommended controlling them with a program approach of a preemergence herbicide followed by a post.

This recommendation is particularly important for kochia, which is hard to control before it emerges and very hard to control after it reaches 4 inches tall.

Jason Gibson, Market Development Specialist for Nebraska, echoed the program approach recommendation for his area. That advice includes a burndown.

"It helps the crop establish a more uniform stand and early-season vigor than if we let those winter annual weeds get out of control," Gibson explained, saying this is key for controlling Palmer amaranth and waterhemp.

Now What?
NOAA’s three-month outlook for June, July and August predicts average to slightly above-average temperatures across the Corn Belt, with the possibility of above-average precipitation.

So, now is the time to take advantage of the dry days to do any postemergence herbicide applications, as well as scout for weed escapes and any necessary resprays for your customers. Visit Soybean Herbicides Portfolio page on Corteva.us to learn more about strong weed control solutions for your customers.

Hopefully your growers are off to a good start this spring and will have a strong finish in fall.