Friday, April 25, 2008

Kentucky Corn Planting Behind Schedule as Rains Continue to Hinder

Kentucky corn farmers are scrambling to get their corn fields planted this week, as wet weather has continued to hamper the start of the seasonal planting.

"They're in the `go' mode right now," Kenny Perry, agricultural extension agent in Graves County in western Kentucky, said Thursday. "They're excited to finally be getting into the fields."

Across the state, only 11 percent of acreage intended for corn has been planted, that's in contrast to last year's 39 percent and the average of 47 percent over the last five years on the same date. That's according to the most recent report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service's Kentucky field office.

If Kentucky weather can remain dry, the season for corn should be ok, as there is still a couple weeks to plant without experiencing the lower yields expected if a later sowing results in summer heat influencing the pollination of the corn.

The option for Kentucky farmers would be to sow soybeans, but that isn't without risks either, as the 2007 drought has resulted in supply problems for soybean seeds. Most of those problems are connected to varieties offered, more than being able to attain some type of soybean seed.

This is the short window where major decisions have to be made whether to go ahead with corn or switch to soybeans; much of what farmers in other states around the country are facing.

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