Authors: Ignacio Ciampitti, Mary Knapp

For the week starting on May 23, temperatures were 6 to 8 degrees below normal across the state. Only 50 percent of the days during this week were suitable for fieldwork, and even less than that for several areas that receive large quantities of rain. Muddy fields are common now in many areas of the state.

Figure 1. Precipitation summary for the 2-week period of May 13-26 (upper panel) and the overnight rains on May 27 (lower panel) across Kansas. Source: K-State Weather Data Library


Corn planting status across the entire state is 90% as of May 22 (Fig 2, upper panel), with more than 60 % of all corn emerged (Fig 2, lower panel). The crop reporting districts of Northwest and West Central are the ones where the most progress is still needed on planting corn.

Figure 2. Corn planting (upper panel) and emergence (lower panel) progress based on USDA/NASS report of May 22, 2016.


Soybean planting status across the entire state is 21% as of May 22 (Fig. 3), with only 7% of all the crop emerged. As related to the most recent 5-year average as reported by USDA-NASS, soybean planting progress is roughly 20% behind average. Overall, most of the Crop Reporting Districts need to make progress on planting, which will potentially occur close to the end of next week (June 1-4).

Figure 3. Soybean planting progress based on USDA/NASS (May 22, 2016).


Sorghum planting across the entire state is 6% completed as of May 22 (Fig. 4), with primary planting progress done in Southeast and South Central districts. As related to the most recent 5-year average reported by USDA-NASS, sorghum planting progress is 10% behind average. Still, sorghum producers have time to plant the crop and get the maximum yield potential for each specific environment. As related to optimal management practices, check the Agronomy eUpdate No. 570 article (“Sorghum Management considerations”) posted in the May 13, 2016 issue. That article highlights early June as the optimal planting date, depending on the locations across the state and the timing of dry/hot conditions around flowering.

Figure 4. Sorghum planting progress based on USDA/NASS (May 22, 2016).

Short-term weather outlook

The short-term 6-10 day weather outlook (Figure 5, left panel) reflects above-normal precipitation. In the 8-14 day weather outlook this changes to a “normal” probability of precipitation for the central and northern parts of the state.

Figure 5. Weather outlooks, 6-10 day (top panel) and 8-14 day (bottom panel). Source: NOAA.

Considering the weather outlook for the coming week, farmers could have a chance to get back to normal planting operations by the end of next week. Rapid soybean and sorghum planting progress are expected to occur in the following weeks, making up for the slow start.

The main concerns from now on are related to the effects of standing water and saturated soils, early-season production problems, management considerations, additional nitrogen (N) needs, and herbicide applications. For further details on these topics check the following Agronomy eUpdate articles:









Ignacio Ciampitti, Crop Production and Cropping Systems Specialist

Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library