April 11th is the earliest planting date for corn under federal crop insurance with replant payments intact.
As Iowa State University Extension points out, the advantage to planting early is clear; a good stand can outpace weed competition and even result in higher payments during harvest with earlier delivery. But it comes with a price: if the crop needs to be replanted, say in the event of a freeze mid-May, the eight-bushel per acre replant payment on corn is forfeited.
Producers across the state will carefully weigh their options as the month progresses, and State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says, April 11th may come and go without reaching ideal corn-planting conditions, soil temperatures around the state are peaking in the low 40s.
"Right now, soil temperatures roughly seven to eight degrees cooler than what we usually expect this time of the year. And given what the forecast is, that's probably still going to be the case for the first half of the month in the beginning of April." Hillaker says, "There is a bit of a warm up expected starting this weekend that maybe will continue into next week, but still generally looking for temperatures to be below what's the seasonal normal. So any warm up we get, probably will be rather brief."
The first date to plant soybeans within the replant payment is April 21st, and the window is open until June 15th.