Preparing to plant

6 resources as you prepare to plant

And a tribute to America's farmers

Wet conditions have delayed planting in the Mid-South. As you wait, here are some articles, an LSU AgCenter newsletter and a NCGA link that can help you prepare for the new season. And as a bonus, read Ron Smith's tribute to America's farmers.

(1) Farmers who are still weighing a decision on whether to grow cotton in 2015 should plant not for the market but for what their total receipts on the crop might be, says Don Shurley, Georgia Extension cotton marketing specialist, in Plant cotton for the total returns, not cotton futures.

(2) How important is irrigation to your peanut crop? A peanut grower in the Southeast has only a 30 percent chance of getting the amount of rain the crop will need during the season to reach its full potential. Farm Press Editor Hembree Brandon explains why you shouldn’t gamble on rainfall for peanut water needs.

(3) What’s the value of neonicotinoid seed treatments in Louisiana row crops? How can you use resistant varieties to manage nematodes in soybeans? What are the optimal dates for planting soybeans in Louisiana? Answers to these questions and more in the March 2015 Louisiana Crops Newsletter from the LSU AgCenter.

(4) Growing corn? By fine-tuning irrigation to avoid saturated soils and managing fertilizer applications to minimize losses during critical growth stages, producers may be able to offset some of the weather adversities Mother Nature tosses at them and produce maximum yields, says Erick Larson, associate Extension and research professor of plant and soil sciences at Mississippi State University.

(5) Before planting season gets under way, corn growers can get helpful advice from the National Corn Growers Association’s updated version of the “Know Before You Grow” website. The revamped site offers growers new information about planting decisions in light of the release of new seed varieties currently unapproved in some export markets. To avoid harvest surprises, know before you grow.

(6) The new farm bill is certainly a factor in planting decisions this year. One area of confusion for many producers is planting requirements for program payments. Producers are wondering if they need to plant a particular program crop to obtain program payments. The answer to this question depends on which programs or products the producer’s crops are enrolling in. The University of Arkansas’ Bobby Coats and Brad Watkins provide details in Farm bill update: Crop planting requirements.

And finally, this: “What I know about U.S. farmers deals more with emotion than arithmetic. I witness the heart and soul of the U.S. farm,” writes Farm Press Editor Ron Smith in an online blog. “…they endure. They never let the bumper crops cloud their judgment; they never let the disasters deter their dreams. They understand the risk and they accept the challenge.” Read Smith’s Ag Day salute to America’s farmers and ranchers.

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