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Wet fields delaying corn planting

Wet fields delaying corn planting

The 2019 planting season is still in its early stages, a USDA report shows

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Farmers are eager to plant their 2019 corn crop, but Mother Nature has other ideas for producers in some states.

American producers have only planted 3 percent of this year’s corn, the USDA’s Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin said on April 16. That figure is on par with last year’s average.

On a state level, Texas farmers are the furthest ahead with 57 percent of their corn acres planted.

Producers in North Carolina, who are about 16 percent finished with corn planting, are dealing with start-and-stop weather conditions, said Stewart Turner, a grower from Yanceyville, N.C.

“We can’t get a good start because it’s so wet,” he told “Every time we seem to get dry enough to do some work, we get another inch or so of rain.”

Because it’s still early in the planting season, catching up on the delayed acres won’t be an issue. It just means putting in a little bit of overtime, Turner said.

“We can catch up in a week,” he said. “But we’re normally two weeks further along than we are. For us to make up the time, we’re going to have to work some longer hours whenever it does dry up. We just need a week of good weather to get us on that path.”

Farmers continue to plant the 2019 spring wheat crop.

Only 2 percent of the spring wheat is in the ground, the USDA says. That figure is down 1 percent from last year.

On a state level, farmers in Idaho and Washington are the furthest along, planting 18 and 17 percent of their respective spring wheat acres.

The 2018 winter wheat crop is also progressing.

About 6 percent of U.S. winter wheat has headed, the USDA says. That number is down 2 percent from last year.

Winter wheat in Texas is 27 percent headed, which is the highest among the 18 documented states. At least part of the crop has headed in Arkansas, California, Illinois, North Carolina and Oklahoma, the USDA said.

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