AGRIBUSINESS: ISU Specialist Says “Don’t Plant Corn”

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Dr. Roger Elmore, ISU Corn Specialist says farmers have to control their urge to plant in the warm soils this week as the situation will change on Thursday.

According to Elmore:  "Certainly some corn lies firmly imbedded in fairly warm Iowa soil as I write this on Monday morning, 29 April. After a long bout of cold wet weather, soil temperatures warmed up above 50⁰ F over the entire state with cooler temperatures in EC and SE Iowa and up to 60⁰ F in Lyon County in NW IA.  Soil moisture conditions in some fields are probably conducive for planting.  And…it is April 29th!"

Elmore says farmers should look back at recent conditions…and then ahead for this week. Last week’s Growing Degree Day (GDD) accumulations across Iowa lagged well behind normal, 56%. The SC and SE Cropping Districts (CD) fell furthest behind with each at 47% of normal; the NW CD was at 71% of normal GDD accumulation for last week.

Although we’ve experienced some good drying conditions the last few days, it’s not going to last. Rain is forecast for most of the week. And it is not going to stay warm either. Temperatures, after teasing us for a few days, will plummet by midweek. Central Iowa forecast temperatures for the week drop into the mid 30’s Wednesday through at least Saturday. If that happens, forecast GDD accumulations will barely reach half the normal 60 GDD for the next 7 days in central Iowa!  Soil temperatures will nosedive.

Optimum corn planting dates