Planting in my Eastern South Dakota and Southwestern Minnesota has been going in very well. Eighty percent of the acres are planted, which is about double the 5-year average of 43%. Forty percent of the crop has emerged, which is ahead of the 5-year of 6%. Soybean acres are 30% planted, which is way ahead of the 5-year average of 7%. In spite of all the planting progress that has been made, some farmers near me will replant as heavy rains and hail packed their ground like cement. Click here for corn replant considerations and tips.
Farmers tried to finish planting corn, but rains slowed planting progress in many areas throughout the region. Heavy rains and hail covered several counties in the East Central part from Mitchell to Flandreau, causing local flooding and some soil erosion on bare fields. Where I live in Salem, golf ball-sized hail fell twice last week. Two, 40-minute downpours delivered more than 1.75” on Tuesday and 3” on Saturday. Rainfalls totally 7.5” for the week, and I was waiting to see if Noah’s Ark was nearby! Despite the rainfall, several areas still have slightly below-average subsoil moistures. Other areas are well above-average at this point.
Soil temperatures rebounded well across the region with most areas reaching around 60 degrees. Crops continue to look good. Corn is 60% planted with over 10% emerged. Soybean planting started up early last week with 10% planted.
April 10th is the beginning planting date for crop insurance to go into full effect in South Dakota. A lot of fertilizer was applied throughout the winter and early spring. Farmers, who are testing the soils with their spring tillage equipment, are finding out the deep tillage and chisel plowed fields are not establishing an ideal seed bed. A rain later this week is forecasted, and we’re hoping we get some much needed moisture.
I strongly suggest though waiting as the ideal planting date historically is April 20 through May 5. Most farmers I know can complete their corn acres in 5 to 7 days. Something to consider: there is not a lot of extra (GOOD) corn on inventory, so make the first planting count! Stay safe this planting season.