Let's Play the 'Planting Waiting Game'!

Temperatures still cool most everywhere in the Corn Belt but on sandy soils.

Published on: Apr 8, 2013
<p> The calendar has rolled into the second week of April. On many farms in the Corn Belt that means it's time to think about planting corn. A few might even want to start the soybean planter or drill. The only problem is the weather. A much colder than normal March across the Corn Belt has kept soils on the cool side. In some areas, soils are also a bit wet.</p> <p> Many agronomists suggest not planting corn until the spoil temperature reaches 55 degrees at planting depth, with good weather that should lead to further warming in the forecast. One farmer with sandy soils said it was 49 degrees on April 1, and he intended to plant some of his irrigated fields in a few days, assuming temperatures continued to rise as predicted. However, he is likely the exception, not the rule.</p> <p> Last year, early planted corn took it on the chin in many areas where drought set in and hammered corn trying to pollinate in late June. Most areas received rain in early August that finally brought relief, although it was too late to help fields that simply didn't pollinate.</p> <p> The bottom line, agronomists say, is that trying to outguess the weather is a stout task, to say the least. Some recent data shows that there isn't that much difference in when the average high temperature is reached from mid-June through mid-July anyway, if you're trying to plant to beat the summer heat. Last year certainly bore that out, although it was anything but a normal year.</p> <p> For the moment, wheels aren't turning in the Corn Belt. Weathermen indicate it would be good to be prepared to go on those days when conditions are right, because frequent rain events, some with considerable rain, could be the norm across most of the Corn Belt throughout the spring into early summer.</p>
Be ready! Get your planter ready, but don’t go until you think conditions are right, experts say. Ty Brown, Frankfort, Ind., agrees.
Be ready! Get your planter ready, but don’t go until you think conditions are right, experts say. Ty Brown, Frankfort, Ind., agrees.