Kyle Riesberg, Case IH Crop Production Sales Specialist who covers virtually all of Kansas (all but two Kansas Case IH dealers are in his territory), files the following planting report. Kyle grew up on a corn and soybean farm in western Iowa and started with Case IH in January 2008 as a Planter Product Specialist.
Read his report below and let us know if planting has started in your area. We want to hear from you!
Guys are getting started planting—WHEN conditions will allow. We’ve been getting rain every fourth day and temperatures have been bouncing all over the place, so the soil just won’t dry out. Less than 10 percent of growers have gotten started. Some guys are trying to plant between rains, which is a small window to try to hit. A few guys are jumping right in, even if they shouldn’t be. However, most are still prepping.
The USDA report earlier this week showed only 7 percent of Kansas corn has been planted. That’s up 2 percent from the previous week. Only 1 percent has emerged, and that’s in the I-35 corridor south of Wichita, only 50-60 miles from Oklahoma.
As of right now, corn is the only crop that’s been put in the ground. No beans, milo or cotton yet.
There’s a cold front expected this week. Most farmers in northwest Kansas are waiting to see what it does, because they’re calling for freezing temperatures two nights, and there’s a chance of snow. It’s supposed to be a slow warm up after that weather passes.
Even though everyone’s delayed, nobody’s getting too antsy yet, running 24 hours a day or anything. Some folks say that May 9 or May 15 is the “deadline” for planting corn, so until we get closer to those dates, everyone’s just trying to wait it out.
In Kansas, the biggest reason to plant as early as possible is to beat the late-summer heat in July and August. We want the corn plant to hit pollination before the heat sets in. Corn can handle hot days, but it likes to “sleep” at night when it’s cool. If it stays hot at night, then the plant has to work all the time, and that causes yields to drop.
One thing growers will battle this year, especially if they’re doing no-till, is that some of the wheat straw last year was the thickest that’s been seen in 15 years. No one really knows why, but we saw it even during harvest. If you’re doing tillage, seeding or planting, you’re going to have to deal with that.
For those few guys who have planted, the Case IH Early Riser® planter has made a big difference. The planter’s ability to carve a narrower trench with less chance of sidewall compaction has allowed guys to get into the field a day or two earlier. That’s vital when you’re working with such narrow windows like we are right now. The opening disks and recessed gauge wheels allow us to give the seed a better growing environment. This agronomic design principle is what we hang our hat on.