Emergence will be a strong topic in this year’s planting season. Having uniform emergence is like having a ticket to higher yielding crops. Even a delay of 1 plant out of 6 by two leaf stages can cause yield reductions of up to 4%. The awareness is there, but understanding how to score uniform emergence is cause for conversation. There are many factors that cause uneven emergence. Today we will focus on how soil temperature plays its part.
Corn should be planted when soil temperatures are 50°F and soybeans are 54°F, respectively. Root and shoot growths are directly correlated with the soil temperature. Temperatures below 50°F could cause seed rotting and poor emergence. Because of the cold water intake, there is a greater risk for rupture of its cell membrane. If you want the best chance at uniform emergence and yield potential, don’t rush planting in unfavorable conditions.
Below are some tips from R.L. Nielsen with the Purdue University Department of Agronomy:
• Dark colored soils will typically warm more quickly than light colored soils
• Uneven residue cover (surface trash) in reduced tillage systems causes significantly lower soil temperatures
• Uneven seeding depth exposes deeper planted seeds to slightly cooler seed zones
• Consider row-cleaning attachments for the planter to move aside surface trash
Be on the lookout for soil temperature updates from Novus Ag when planting season begins. We will be your first to know guide on when the timing’s right for planting.