Agronomist says later planting is not a yield concern yet

An agronomist says farmers should not worry about this year’s later planting dates impacting yields yet.

Farmers are planting two to three weeks behind last year, but Bob Berkovich with Pioneer in Wisconsin tells Brownfield the number of growing degree units or GDUs is not far behind the average, and he says the forecast looks good. “The National Weather Service, they actually think that there’s a greater chance for above-average temperatures this summer than below-average temperatures, meaning they’re thinking it’s going to be warmer, and of course, that’s going to lead to faster GDU development and faster crop development.”

Berkovich says some farmers are tempted to plant too shallow because of the cool, wet, and late start but he advises against that because it affects plant uniformity. “The difference between an inch-and-a-half planting depth and a two-inch planting depth on emergence time is usually only several hours. It’s much less than a day, so we don’t really gain a whole lot from an emergence time frame.”

And, he says planting at the right depth helps develop the stronger root structure the plants need for nutrient uptake and to prevent wind damage.

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