Producer Page: Spring 2017
- Created: Monday, 01 May 2017 10:55
- Written by Mark
Ccccold corn--- Typical Minnesota weather….working in a Tshirt over the weekend and seeing snow showers a few days later. The big topic for farmers this past week has been the decision to plant or not. Soil conditions for most were pretty good but the forecast was not. Agronomic research has provided us with some guidance regarding this tough call. Imbibitional chilling injury is the primary concern in these conditions. Imbibition is the name for the process where the corn seed absorbs water so it can germinate. So if soils are below 50 degrees and the corn gets a drink of cold water it can damage cell membranes and lead to poor emergence and “cork-screwing” of the coleoptile (the first seedling leaves trying to emerge). The critical time factor seems to be the first 24-36 hours after planting. So if the forecast is for colder temps and rain, most agronomists will recommend stopping the planter 1-2 days prior to the rain event. Extended periods of cold soils can lead to injury of any planted seed (not telling you anything you didn’t already know). Today’s seed is very high quality, so hopefully with a little help from Mother Nature, the planted acres thus far will do fine, but scouting for emergence issues will be recommended.
Depth Do’s & Don’ts--- This can be a matter of opinion, but most agronomists will contend that you need your corn to be planted at a 2 inch depth. Planting shallower can lead to more uneven stands due to inconsistent germination zone moisture and also it hurts the development of the nodal root system which reduces the uptake of water and nutrients and can lead to lodging issues. Soybeans on the other hand are recommended to be planted at 1.5 inches(as long as there is adequate moisture). Planting deeper than that may lead to uneven emergence as plants struggle to come up and enter the early growing season with reduced vigor and lower energy reserves.