Agronomy Talk

W. IOWA - PAT HOLLOWAY, CCA

Early Corn Planting to Maximize Yields

Published on Saturday, April 1, 2017

Over the past few decades, we have continued to see a trend toward earlier corn planting to maximize yields. While there is a yield benefit, early planting comes with the additional risk of unpredictable weather. 

It seems like almost every year we have a warmer period in April when corn planting proceeds at full speed. This is then accompanied by a sudden change in weather where we have a cold spell with rain. The resulting soil environment that occurs can result in the newly planted seed taking up cold water. This can result in imbibitional chilling injury which can cause seed death or reduced vigor. So this year, when you are out there planting, keep an eye on the forecast. If there is a long period of cold wet weather ahead, it is wise to stop planting at least 24 hours before the cold wet spell begins. This can be very hard to do when conditions are ideal and you know you can get another good day's planting in, but it may save you the trouble of having to replant or live with a field that has a reduced stand.

 

 

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Author: Pat Holloway

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