Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Weather Could Affect Spring 08 Planting

The weather in the midwest has been colder this year than in the past few years and as we head to spring, it could impact early planting.

A prolonged period of snow and ice, coupled with last Sunday's rain and warmer temperatures, is flooding Eastern Iowa farm fields and potentially delaying the start of spring planting.

Elwynn Taylor, Iowa State University Extension climatologist, says the amount of moisture in Iowa's soil is likely to cause some delays.

"Everything is on the wet side throughout the Corn Belt from Kansas to Ohio," Taylor said Wednesday. "More than 80 percent of all (field) tiles that have been inspected since Jan. 1 are running, meaning there's excess water and the soil is frozen solid essentially everywhere.

"Anywhere that farmers have snow melt is going to cause flooding, to some extent. Rainfall of more than 2 inches in four days will delay planting for at least a week."

Taylor said farmers will delay planting as long as they can, but some corn growers will shift to soybeans if the soil does not dry out in time to plant a good crop.

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