A Cold, Wet Spring Leaves Farmers Scrambling to Make Insurance Deadline

NORTHEAST MISSISSIPPI (WCBI) – We’ve finally seen warm weather and clear skies, and it’s a sight for sore eyes for our farmers and the corn crop.

Corn has one of the longest growing seasons, and the weather we’ve had in March and April has prevented much of that corn from being planted.

“It’s just been a wet, cold spring,” said Calhoun County farmer and District 5 Supervisor, Tony Morgan.

Now that it’s warmed up, farmers are taking to the fields to get their corn planted as fast as possible.

If they don’t get it planted in time, they might miss the deadline for their crop insurance.

“Farmers have a deadline associated with insurance, crop insurance, for planting different crops that they grow,” said MSU Extension Corn Specialist, Dr. Erick Larson.

For the northern counties in our area, the cutoff is May 10th, but Larson tells us counties to the south have missed it.

It was April 25th.

“That’s dates when historically yields will begin to decline after that time period and productivity may suffer,” said Larson.

Larson says the corn at MSU’s North Farm was planted on April 13, two weeks before the deadline, but because of the weather we’ve had this year the corn is not as big as he’d like it to be.

“This year we’ve had extremely wet, rainy, and cool growing conditions since March when we like to begin planting corn and extending through the month of April,” said Larson.

In Calhoun County, Morgan, plants corn along with other crops but says he won’t be planting as much corn as he normally does.

“I did get probably 3/4 of the corn I wanted to plant. I done started planting beans,” said Morgan. “I didn’t want to take a risk on planting a bunch of late corn, have it dry in July and August when it’s trying to make.”

“The corn acreage will probably decline somewhat because of the farmers weren’t able to plant their intentions that they wanted to because of the environmental conditions,” said Larson.

Morgan did say he’s already planted some corn, but situations like this are what farmings all about, working around the weather.

“Weather plays a part of everything we do. You know, we’re just gamblers,” he said with a laugh.

For those who missed the April 25th date, there’s about a two week extension on that insurance coverage, but you’ll only get partial coverage.

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