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Thunder Agronomy Blog

By April 18, 2018No Comments

Thunder Agronomy Blog

With spring right around the corner, growers are chomping at the bit to get out there and start planting.  Here are a couple of the things we should try and remember to make it another successful planting season.

Planting Rates

When calculating seeding rates, make sure to start with what you want as a final plant stand and work back from there.  Consider, seed germination and mortality.  If conditions are tougher (cool, wet), don’t forget to increase that mortality factor.  It is also important to adjust that mortality factor by individual growers and how they handle their seed.  Some growers may be putting the seed through an air drill which will lead to more cracked seed vs a planter because of how it must travel through the system & manifolds.  Dryer seed lots may also be slightly more prone to mechanical damage then higher moisture lots therefore rates should be adjusted accordingly.

Ground Temperature for Planting

For years we have really reinforced the 10 degree Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit) rule.  My opinion is slightly different then that.  Corn and soybeans can suffer from cold stress when imbibing cooler soil water, slowing plant growth and development.  We have seen in the past where growers hold off until that 10 degree Celsius mark, plant and the weather cools off the next day.  This isn’t good.  One main focus is to pay attention to the forecast for the next 2-3 days after planting.  If the soil is getting to 8-10 degrees Celsius and the forecast is for nice, sunny days with warming temps (including nights), go for it and plant.  If the soil is 10 or 11 degrees celsius, but it looks like period of cooler weather is coming, maybe it’s best to hold off.  Remember just because we turn the calendar page to May, doesn’t mean that we need to panic and push to get our long season crops in the ground.  If we are planting our corn in the first week or two of May and our soybeans in mid-May, we are still in great shape.  The faster we can get germination and plant development happening, the better the plants will hold their vigor and maintain FULL yield potential.

David Chappellaz
Manitoba Provincial Agronomist
Thunder Seed