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U of A System Division of Agriculture
Download MS Word version
(Newsrooms – with downloadable image of planting https://flic.kr/p/24wEz9S)
LITTLE ROCK – Warm, dry weather had benefits for some Arkansas farmers; with 94 percent
of corn and 95 percent or rice rated fair to excellent condition, according to the
National Agricultural Statistics Service.
The weekly crop report listed many Arkansas crops as being in fair to good condition,
with more than half of corn, rice and wheat rated as good to excellent.
Rain was reported as moderate with the majority being in northeastern Arkansas and
a state average of 1.84 inches.
Winter wheat, corn, grain sorghum
Winter wheat harvest started on a limited acreage this week in southern Arkansas. Preliminary results indicate good grain quality and average yields despite a tough
growing season highlighted by too much rainfall during winter and spring months. Most of the wheat in the state is still a week or two from being ready to harvest,
but producers will anxious to get wheat harvested so that double crop soybean can
be planted timely. Warm dry weather is needed for harvest to progress much this coming week.
Jason Kelley, wheat and feed grains extension agronomist for the University of Arkansas
System Division of Agriculture said last week was a week of replanting for corn producers.
“Corn producers were able to finish up the last corn replanting last week,” Kelley
said. “Several acers had to be replanted this year due to poor stands caused by heavy
rains in April.”
Grain sorghum had a productive week with planting up 20 percent from the previous
week, and emergence up nearly 30 percent.
“Grain sorghum planting was estimated to be about 90 percent complete,” Kelley said.
“It should be finished this week with good planting conditions.”
Eighty-seven percent of Arkansas peanuts were planted with 48 percent emerged.
Travis Faske, associate professor and extension plant pathologist for the University
of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said performance for Arkansas peanuts
was a result of the weather.
“I would say it was all weather-related,” he said, “and it has been somewhat of a
roller coaster start to the 2018 cropping season.”
Faske said what started as a good month, turned unfortunate for many peanut growers.
“May started out with warm, drier field conditions that favored peanuts,” he said,
“however, hot, dry, windy conditions dried out soil moisture in some areas that slowed
or stopped some peanut farmers.”
But thinking big picture, peanut crops in Arkansas seem to be doing well.
“Overall, what has been planted is in good shape and we have a good start for the
2018 peanut crop,” Faske said. “If we can get the remaining crop planted before June
that would be ideal, so all eyes are on the weather forecast as we enter the final
weeks of May.”
Soybeans were 81 percent planted, well up from the previous week’s 62 percent. Sixty-one
percent of the crop had emerged.
Jeremy Ross, extension soybean agronomist for the University of Arkansas System Division
of Agriculture, said planting has been the focus for many soybean producers, but lack
of rainfall has been problematic.
“Since planting for most other row crops is almost completed, producers have been
concentrating on getting the soybean crop planted,” he said. “With above average temperatures
and spotty rainfall last week, soil moisture in many fields was quickly lost. Some
producers were planting into dry seed beds, while others were waiting for a rain before
Growers may have planted earlier than past years, but the dry conditions could cause
a drop in yield.
“We are well ahead of the five-year average on planting progress and soybean emergence.
Most of this is due to the dry conditions we have had so far this season, unlike a
typical May for Arkansas,” he said. “My main concern is soybean emergence in areas
where there was very little moisture at planting and no rainfall to add more moisture
to the field.”
This lack of moisture has also led to herbicide and weed problems.
“The other concern is the lack of moisture in some fields has not activated residual
herbicides,” he said, “and we’re getting reports of heavier than normal weed emergence
due to herbicides not being activated.”
Ross said these dry temperatures are not indicative of a high-yielding growing season
“All our data indicated that soybeans planted prior to mid-May will yield more than
later planted soybeans,” he said, “but if we continue to have an unseasonably hot,
dry weather pattern, yield may be reduced due to unfavorable conditions later in the
Rice planting was nearly complete at 96 percent, with 85 percent emerged. The planting
rate was up from 90 percent five-year average. Eighty-one percent of the crop was
in good or fair condition with 14 percent rated excellent.
Jarrod Hardke, extension rice agronomist for the University of Arkansas System Division
of Agriculture, said rice in Arkansas is looking good so far.
“It’s important to note that 71 percent of the crop is rated good to excellent,” Hardke
said. “We have the abnormally warm weather to thank for that, which followed a record-cold
month of April.”
Hardke said rice is powering through the unusual weather and coming out on top.
“These conditions haven’t been perfect,” he said, “but rice has responded to it very
well recently. Scattered rains over the past week, combined with growers flushing
fields that needed it, certainly contributed to the positive feeling about the crop
For more information on current crop conditions contact your county agent or visit
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen
agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption
of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative
Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work
within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas
System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension
and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex,
gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital
or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and
is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
By Sarah Cato
The Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Mary HightowerDir. of Communication ServicesU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service(501) email@example.com