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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Global Warming Alert--Cold Spring Delays Planting

"For the first time since written weather history began in Arkansas (1819), snow has fallen in the month of May. This snow has set records for the latest snowfall and latest measurable snowfall in the state." --from the   May 4, 2013, Magnolia Reporter. And this from Maryville, Missouri:

An already delayed corn planting season took another hit this week as a freak spring storm laden with wet snow muddied fields — some of them freshly planted — and sent temperatures plunging across northwest Missouri.
 
The bad weather is especially frustrating because it followed a brief window of sunshine that ushered in optimum planting conditions and allowed many area farmers to get seeds in the ground between Saturday and mid-week. 
Estimates vary, but producers and agriculture observers said Thursday that between 25 and 40 percent of northwest Missouri's corn is probably in the ground, with the numbers growing higher west of Maryville along the bluff hills and river bottoms of Atchison and Holt counties. 
"There's kind of a story both ways," said Wayne Flanary, University of Missouri Extension agronomy specialist for the Northwest Region. 
One the one hand, Flanary said, rain and cold — and now snow — has kept farmers out of their fields long past the normal planting season, which should be wrapping up just about now. On the other hand, there is still plenty of time to get a crop in if dry, springlike conditions return. 
Thanks to advances in technology and mechanization, it only takes about a week to plant Missouri's entire corn crop, and yield projections decline only slightly in northwest Missouri between May 5 and May 10. 
There's still some rain in the forecast, but predictions call for considerably better weather next week, which means that the bulk of the corn crop could be in before May 20, after which the odds on a decent crop begin to lengthen considerably.
Problems with corn production could drive up the price of fuel, given the stupid requirements for using ethanol.

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