Keep in mind that it's still early yet. It's easy to think that Iowa is running late on planting—when you compare this spring to what happened last year when it was so warm in April. The ideal corn planting window is April 20 to May 5 in Iowa. "So we still have time," notes Fawcett. "A lot of farmers have big planters and enough help that they can get their corn acreage planted in 3 to 5 days. If you can do that, there's no sense in trying to push things along before soil conditions are right, no reason to try to get everything planted on April 20. We have plenty of time yet."
How long can seed sit in the ground waiting for soil to warm up to germinate?
How long will that seed wait in the ground? If you plant corn early, say during the first half of April, how long should you expect that seed to be good? "That's part of the problem of putting it in too early," says Fawcett. "You can expect poorer stands and a lower plant population surviving when you do that because the seed will imbibe the water that is in the soil. And if you don't hit that 50 degree soil temperature soon, you will have some seed starting to rot. Also, it increases the chances of having other things happen, like fungal diseases moving in and damping-off occurring. It just puts more stress on the crop when you plant corn when the soil temperature is too cool."
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