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Agronomy Update

Corn Emergence and GDUs

Published on Friday, May 13, 2016

Given the cool, wet conditions we have been experiencing, I wanted to take the opportunity to send a timely update. Now is a great time to evaluate fields we have already planted. Chances are, some of your fields are up while others are taking a bit longer.

So, when will your corn come up?

Corn emerges once 90 to 120 growing degree units (GDU) have accumulated. You have probably heard of growing degree units or growing degree days (GDD). You may even know the basics of how this measurement of thermal time is used in corn production.

But, how many GDDs have accumulated in your area since you planted?

Now you can click here to access a USDA funded website that tracks GDD information for you and more. Enter your zip code to localize the data then click on “create GDD graph” and you will be up and running. I like the data tab at this site in particular because you can select the date you planted as “GDD start” and it will calculate the accumulated GDDs and project an emergence date. Bottom line on emergence is if over 120 GDDs have accumulated and corn isn’t spiking, it is time to do some digging.

This is a great tool to help evaluate current crop growth as well as a way to use historical data to make projections during the current crop year. I suggest saving this as a favorite on your device.

If you have a FARMsever™ account, GDDs for your fields can easily be accessed from the Field Focus page by clicking on “Weather Chart”. Please reach out to your area Precision Farming Advisor, Wes Mackie, with any FARMsever questions.















FARMsever™ is a trademark of Beck's Superior Hybrids, Inc.  

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Greg Shepherd

Greg Shepherd

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