Cool Weather Impacts Corn Planting

Morning Temps Near Freezing, Roads May Be Slick

It’s been a cool spring across northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio. Until recently, the cool weather kept farmers from planting. A look at next week’s forecast shows that farmers may still have some tough choices ahead.

According to Indiana’s weekly crop report, only 1 percent of Indiana’s corn crop had been planted by last Sunday. Based on a five-year average, we should typically see about 14 percent planted by the same date.

The optimum window for corn planting typically falls between April 20 and May 10, though sometimes a week later further north. With the weather outlook for next week indicating another stretch of cool and wet weather, some experts say planting corn now is a moderate risk. The minimum temperature for corn development is right around 50-degrees. Part of the risk in planting corn when it’s cold is that it may not germinate quickly enough, making it vulnerable to pests. That didn’t stop Rex Coomer from planting his corn today. He says the soil is a little cooler than ideal, but working the ground will help sunlight penetrate and warm up the soil.

According to Coomer:

Mother Nature pretty much determines when the ground conditions are right. When it’s fit to plant, I usually don’t worry about soil temperatures too much and we go ahead and plant. Typically I’ve had corn in the ground almost a month before it came up due to cold or wet soils. At this point, I’m not just too worried yet.

Experts say those looking to plant thousands of acres of corn should go ahead and start planting while those with smaller acreage may want to wait another week to let soils warm.

Most agree that this delay should not have an impact on corn prices.

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