Flooding, Cold Temperatures May Cause Slight Delays for Spring Planting

Cold and wet weather so far this year may delay spring planting a little, according to Purdue Extension Agriculture & Natural Resources Educator Phil Woolery. “It’s certainly slowing things down,” he says. “There hasn’t been much field work done. Some things that have been going on would be some field fertilization when the fields were dry enough, spreading some fertilizer that way. Other than that, there hasn’t been a whole lot of work done.”

When it comes to the recent flooding, Woolery says the biggest impact will be on mint production. “If some of these fields were under water for a long period of time, a couple weeks, that might’ve killed the mint plants, being under water that long. So that would be the main impact at this point,” he explains. “Some other minor things with things washing into farmers’ fields and a little erosion, that way, would be the other impacts.”

He explains that while mint can be planted in colder weather, most other planting will have to wait. “I think I saw somewhere we’re like 20 degrees below normal right now. The soil temperatures need to warm up before they start thinking about planting. Soil temperatures need to be, for corn planting, at least 50 degrees for corn to germinate and have good growth there. So I think we’re kind of a ways before planting season starts, then.:

Woolery says this year’s planting may be a bit behind last year’s schedule, when warmer temperatures allowed corn and soybeans to be planted around the middle of April.