Volunteer Corn Up on March 28 in Freeman, SD
It’s barely the 1st of April and the weather as of the last several weeks has things looking more like early May at the very least. Soil temps are well above normal for this time of year and seed bed conditions are looking good. Corn planted now will rapidly begin the germination process as long as adequate moisture is present. That’s a good thing. However, let’s list a few risks associated with the possibility of extremely early planting dates this year………. The average last freeze in Omaha, NE is around April 20th based off of historical data. As you move north and west that date creeps later on the average. As mentioned earlier, corn planted now has the potential to germinate, emerge, and begin leaf develop quickly if this weather pattern holds. There would be the possibility of a significant killing freeze to corn with the growing point near the soil surface if a late April freeze would occur. Worth noting is also the situation with seed supply this year after a more than challenging production year last summer. If replant seed is needed on many acres it will be very difficult to supply the same hybrid that was originally planted. Very tight seed supplies on popular products would force another choice not to mention replacement seed policies for replant will not be honored unless dates are past the insurance coverage dates for the geography in question. We have always been in favor of early planting dates for increased yield potential. However, this year is shaping up to be almost a little crazy in terms of “early”. A few fields along the Interstate 80 corridor went in the ground this past week before the calendar even made it out of March! As always, spreading risk makes the most sense in many aspects of production agriculture. With today’s planting equipment, many growers have the ability to plant an incredible amount of acres in only a few days. Hopefully, this blog post will be nothing more than crying wolf and we end up with early planting dates, good emergence, and no freeze. However, we will have to be willing to accept the possible risk if all of our corn goes in the ground in a condensed time frame way ahead of normal. Maybe this year we will have the chance to slow down and spread things out a little??