US - Corn planting in Kansas will soon be in full swing, but dry soils are making for a less than ideal start to the season.
Kansas received just 19 per cent of the amount of moisture it normally receives during March, said Mary Knapp, assistant climatologist with the Kansas Weather Data Library, based at Kansas State University.
From January through March, the state received 42 per cent of normal moisture.
As of April 12, topsoil moisture statewide was rated 56 per cent short to very short, 42 per cent adequate, and 2 per cent surplus, according to a weekly report by the US Department of Agriculture.
Subsoil was rated 65 per cent short to very short, 35 per cent adequate and no surplus.
The lack of moisture in southern Kansas particularly, boosted soil temperatures dramatically in late March and early April, close to 55 degrees F at a 4-inch depth, which is near optimal for planting corn, said Ignacio Ciampitti, crop specialist with K-State Research and Extension.
Optimal soil temperature is critical for uniform emergence and makes a difference for potential yields.
Conversely, northeast Kansas soils have been slower to warm, partly because they are not as dry.
The USDA reported that 14 per cent of the corn was planted in Kansas, ahead of 10 per cent last year, and 8 per cent average.
As of April 12, 1 per cent was emerged, compared with 2 per cent a year ago and 0 per cent average.
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