Is it better to plant into cold soils realizing the seed is going to sit there until the soil warms up? Or should corn be planted when soil temperatures are warmer and approaching 10°C?
Planting into cold soils. Early planting is a component of successful corn production in Manitoba, to maximize yield, obtain high quality and low percent kernel moisture at harvest (which will decrease drying costs), and to ensure the crop is mature before fall frosts.
Cooler soil temperatures can delay the crop’s emergence. Wet conditions added to cold soil temperatures can favor soil pathogen development, increasing seedling disease risks in both germinating seeds and young seedlings. When planting early in the season or when the soil is cold, a planting rate 10% higher than the desired final stand should be considered to compensate for possible increased seedling mortality. As well, when planting into cool soils, other seeding management becomes important, such as good seedbed condition (good soil to seed contact) and planting operations (including planting depth).
For more complete information, visit Manitoba Corn Growers website at http://manitobacorn.ca/plant-corn-wait-warmer-soils/