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A few dry days last week allowed farmers to get a lot of corn planted.
It will take another dry week for most area farmers to plant the rest of their corn, said Matt Adams, an extension agent for agricultural and natural resources with the Hardin County office.
Many farmers likely planted 40 to 50 percent of their corn last week. Some also began planting soybeans then, he said.
“Everyone kind of got out and hit it hard,” he said. “We’re in a whole lot better shape right now than we were two weeks ago. It’s relieved a lot of stress.”
Corn planting should be completed by this time of year, but the crop will be OK as long as farmers get some dry days soon, Adams said.
Farmers try to plant corn early to make sure the crop matures before the hottest, driest part of summer and to avoid the risk of early frosts damaging crops, he said.
Larry Thomas, who farms near Elizabethtown, said corn planting has begun earlier over the years. He remembers finishing planting as late as Derby Day, but he finished planting in April last year.
Early planting is possible because hybrid seed is more tolerant of spring planting, he said.
It’s necessary because farms are larger than they used to be, leaving more planting each spring, Thomas said.
Thomas said he planted corn and soybeans last week, but it will take a couple more dry days to finish planting the corn.
“We needed a few more dry days,” he said.
Thomas said he needs to hurry because his hay is ready to cut and the rest of the soybeans still need to be planted.
Studies show corn crops planted after May 15 start to decrease in yield, which translates to a loss of profit for farmers, Thomas said.
This season also carried an extra expense from having to reseed some areas where heavy rains caused seeds to rot or die, he said.
“Corn, when you plant it, likes the rain, but it does not like a week’s worth of rain,” he said.
Adams said farmers can get a small percentage of coverage from crop insurance if they can show they made an effort to plant all of their acres before May 31 and weren’t able to. Usually, it’s worth more to farmers to continue planting in June instead.
June planting shouldn’t be an issue if there is a dry week this month, he said.
Thomas said every growing season has its challenges.
“We can still have a good year,” he said. “That’s the thing with farming. You never know what you’re going to get.”
Amber Coulter can be reached at (270) 505-1746 or email@example.com.