Slow Soil Drying Likely file photo.

Even though warmer weather is here, one local cropping expert says many fields are warming up more slowly than farmers would like.

Dupont Pioneer agronomist Morris Sagriff says intensive rain last fall, combined with wet soil conditions at harvest, caused some soil compaction and that will slow warming.

“It essentially doesn’t allow the air space to be the same,” he says. “You’ve got air that’s squeezed out and we know that transfer of heat from the sun in the spring, moves through the air pore.”

He says it is tempting to begin planting before soil is fully ready, but research shows soils in better condition typically have better yields even if they are planted a little later.