Colder temperatures and the effects they have on local farmers
"It's not by choice. We'd like to have all our corn done and through before the first of March, but temperatures of just halted us for now," says Calhoun County Corn famer Jimmy Hays.
CALHOUN COUNTY, Texas – Jimmy Hays is a farmer in Calhoun County who grows corn and says that he likes to have all his corn seed planted by March 1, but with these colder temperatures it looks like his crops will get off to a little bit of a late start, with the corn seed growth that’s already been planted, coming to a halt.
“So when these cold temperatures hit it (corn seed) stopped growing, it has not moved in 3 days,” says Hays.
Hays says that corn seed doesn’t germinate under 50 degrees, and with the ground temperatures sitting around 46 and 47 degrees, his crops have stopped, and the sooner these seeds get out of the ground the better the crop yields are so it’s somewhat of a delicate race between timing the crops right and adjusting to the weather.
“This looked like this last Tuesday before this cold weather hit. It has not changed much in the last 72 hours and that’s not good,” says Hays.
Although the seeds can be pretty hearty that doesn’t mean they can take whatever is thrown at them.
“We don’t like to plant real close to cold and wet. Those are the two things together that are not good. Very detrimental having both of them,” says Hays.
Hays has been farming since he was in high school so he’s no stranger to having to work with mother nature.
“We can’t lock everything into concrete. Mother nature will throw you a curveball and you’ll have to adjust,” says Hays.
As for advice to other farmers, Hays says there are just so many variables, from soil type, the actual crop that is being planted, and methods used so there really isn’t a catch-all solution. We did ask Hays about whether or not he uses the Farmer’s Almanac to help with his decision-making, saying that he doesn’t follow it too closely but that hasn’t stopped him from checking it out every now and then.
“I buy it every year. I don’t plan on anything off it, but I buy it every year and just see what it says, sometimes they’re right sometimes they’re wrong,” says Hays.
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