Planting across southern and South Central Minnesota made significant progress in the past 10 days. Corn planting advanced to an estimated 70 percent complete; soybean planting has progressed to 23 percent complete. A couple days with warm sunshine last week advanced corn to an estimated 8% emerged. Although great planting progress has been made, much of Minnesota remains below the 5-year planting progress average. Recent rains have brought field work to a halt throughout most of the state.
South Central Minnesota missed the snow that was forecasted last week and received only a few scattered showers instead. The last two days of warm sun has planters on the move. The areas around Renville, Bird Island and Willmar have been planting corn since May 3, whereas the Redwood Falls / New Ulm area was finally able to start on Monday. Areas in southwest and southeast Minnesota are still too wet for fieldwork. Our first Latham® super strip corn plot in Minnesota was planted yesterday afternoon southeast of Sleepy Eye.
Here we go again with our crazy weather patterns, causing major swings in planting dates! Only a few guys have planted corn on lighter ground, and it sounds like it will be a few more days before any field works takes place. The greater New Ulm area, through the metro area, is expecting 4 to 6 inches by Thursday morning.
Most farmers like to get their corn off to an early start, but early planting is not a requirement for high yields. In 2011, several Minnesota corn fields were planted after May 20 with great results. Our 2011 corn show plot at the Larry Litzau Farm was planted May 27 with a harvest date of Oct. 19; his plot averaged 176 bushels per acre with the top at 195 bu/A.
Continue to work your crop plan and plant full-season hybrids. To maximize economic return, the University of Minnesota Extension says should stick with their planned seed choices until May 20 or 25. Click here for more information related to planting dates and yield.