Missouri corn growers get early start this year

Linda Geist
Senior Information Specialist
University of Missouri Cooperative Media Group

April 19, 2016

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Missouri farmers learned from last year's planting season.

They are ahead of all other states in the nation for corn planting, according to the USDA Crop Progress Report. With rain predicted for the next two weeks, that's a hopeful sign for the 2016 crop, says University of Missouri Extension agronomist Bill Wiebold.

Wiebold says that 2016 planting is far ahead of the five-year average for Missouri, with 58 percent of the Missouri corn crop in the ground.

Farmers remember being in the bull's-eye of wet weather in 2015, when only 15 percent of the corn crop had been planted by the end of April, Wiebold says.

"Missouri corn growers jumped on it this year and took advantage of the good planting conditions," says Greg Luce, MU Extension corn specialist.

MU Extension climatologist Pat Guinan says the April 12 map from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows abnormally dry conditions for much of the state and moderate drought in a few west-central counties. If notable rain events don't occur soon, the lack of precipitation in April could become a liability for growers, he says.

Year-to-date precipitation departure from normal throughout the state is some of the highest in the country. Missouri is currently into its fourth consecutive month of below-normal precipitation, Guinan says.

Photo available for this release:

Drought conditions and precipitation departure from normal (in inches).

Drought conditions and precipitation departure from normal (in inches).
Photo credit: Midwestern Regional Climate Center

Source: William Wiebold, 573-673-4128 (cell); 573-882-0621; Pat Guinan, 573-882-5908; Greg Luce, 573-884-2384