Proceed With Caution for #Plant18

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By Mark Truster, CCA

Winter doesn’t seem to want to give up this year and is delaying #Plant18 more and more every day.  The Reynolds Farm Equipment Agronomy Team has been monitoring soil temperature closely this month to ensure our farmers can produce a high yield in a timely matter.  Our high temperature of 56.5 degrees came on Saturday, 4/14/18 and then we dropped back down to 40.5 on Tuesday, 4/17/18.  We climbed back to 52.5 on Thursday, 4/19/18 then have fallen back to about 50.5 for the last couple of days.  What is most concerning is the forecast for a low temperature of 32 degrees on Wednesday, 4/25/18 followed by lows in the high 30’s to low 40’s through Sunday, 4/29/18.

Minimum Soil Moisture Temperatures

For corn to emerge evenly we need sustaining, minimum soil moisture temperatures of 55 degrees.  The most critical period is 24 to 48 hours after planting.  We have not had this condition yet this spring, so even though the daytime highs are approaching 70 and your soils are dry enough to work, please be aware that the soil temperature is not yet at an optimum level for corn emergence.  Soybeans, while sensitive to low temperature, are not as susceptible to yield reduction from this cold stress.  Soybean yield is not as population sensitive and while even emergence is our goal, yield will be reduced less when soybeans emerge over an extended time than corn.  

Planting soybeans may be the better choice until our soil temperatures improve. They will soon.

Mark Truster is Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) and serves as the Lead Agronomist with Reynolds Farm Equipment. To contact Mark or to schedule an on-site analysis of your #Plant18 strategy, click the “Contact an Agronomist” button online here.  

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