“We are seeing some uneven stands where emergence varied across fields. In places, emergence has been considerably later. A number of things might explain this. Wet and cold weather could affect germination where maybe soils weren’t quite warm enough or seeds were deeper in spots.
“We’re coming into that time when the first herbicide will go out after the initial residual material. Because the ground is still really wet, a lot of these treatments will have to go out by air, and that will really pressure aerial applications. The forecast calls for a 100% chance of rain on Thursday.
“All that said, we don’t have any significant complaints in southwest Louisiana. In the Midsouth – including north Louisiana – rains have drastically delayed planting and crop development. Down here, we’re still trying to plant that last 10% of the acres. By comparison, that’s not a bad situation.
“I did hear my first report today (4/23) about potential herbicide drift damage. I also get a call about leaf miners. I’ve never heard of leaf miners coming in so early. It’s just in one location north of Eunice.”
Gary Bradshaw, Independent Agronomist, Bradshaw Agricultural Consulting, Richmond, Texas
“The wet weather kind of broke in mid-March after 6 months of rain. We were able to get in, work the ground and pretty much plant the majority of acres that I will consult on this year. All that happened in the last 2 weeks of March.
“Just a few fields were on the tail end of it and the last of those was planted a week ago (from 4/23).
“Once it did quit raining, we had to plant into dry soils or marginal moisture in places, and we did have to flush to finally get everything up. As things sometimes turn out, it rained right after flushing, which delayed emergence and raised some concerns. But those stands actually look pretty good now.
“We had a good rain about a week ago, with another chance in the forecast for tomorrow. So, we’ve had a small window in the last couple of days and have been in a rush to get things done ahead of this next rain.
“The earliest rice is starting to tiller and we’ll take our 2 earliest fields to flood over the next couple of days. If it rains, we’ll hold that water and take it to flood. If it doesn’t rain, we’ll begin pumping it up.”
David Hydrick, Hydrick’s Crop Consulting, Inc., Jonesboro, Arkansas
“Rice planting isn’t too far along, maybe 30% of what we expect to have. A number of my growers haven’t been able to start and only 3 or 4 of my clients have actually planted any at all.
“We need dry weather. With all the rain, not all of what we’ve planted has been sprayed. Grass is coming up and we don’t have anything out, so we’re trying to overlay preemergence materials as best we can.
“Cotton planting has started, maybe a little more went in today (4/23) and probably 15% has been planted so far. Maybe 80% of the corn has been planted. On the positive side, I don’t think we’ll have much replanting in corn. We did not get all the chemicals out, so growers are trying to catch up on that.
“With all the rain, soils compacted and we’re dealing with thick crusts in places. We’re in one of those periods where we need rain to loosen things up and bring along emergence but not so much rain that it delays further planting and spraying. Overall, I’d take dry weather over rain. A half-inch right now is all we’d want.