Pioneer Talks Crops: Spring Planting Issues


Insights To Help Growers Increase Yields Through Better Crop Management

   It appears that cool wet conditions continue to plague the Delta overall this spring. There have been some areas that have planted early or on time, but in most of the upper Delta, corn planting is behind. Soon it will get to the point where growers may need to plant several crops at the same time if current rain patterns persist. This makes for a hectic planting season.

   Corn seedlings are most susceptible to damage from cold and flooding stress during the first few hours to days after planting. If the seed imbibes cold water at this time it can cause physical damage to the seed and seedling, typically called “chilling injury.” Corn emergence requires 110 to 130 Growing Degree Units (GDUs) under ideal conditions. That can take from 5 to 20 days or more, depending on soil temperature and other conditions. 
   Ideal temperature for corn emergence is 80 to 90 F, and emergence is reduced or halted around 50 to 55 F. Soil temperatures have been pretty good this spring, but soils have been fairly saturated. The primary concern with delayed emergence is the potential for stand loss or uneven stand. Generally, I like to see corn seedlings emerge within 24 hours of each other for ideal yields.
   High-yield soybean production continues to gain a lot of attention. Unfortunately, many growers don’t put a lot of thought into soybean planting date for yield. However, if the R3 growth stage can be matched up to the summer solstice, then pod production and yield will be maximized. The yield improvement would be primarily due to taking advantage of maximum light at the proper stage of development to increase pod set and enhance yield. This would mean that growers in the north Delta may want to consider planting late group 3 to mid group 4 soybeans in late April. It would be wise to use insecticide and fungicide seed treatments and choose a variety that would be rated good for sudden death syndrome.
   The foregoing is provided for informational use only. Pioneer Premium Seed Treatment for soybeans is applied at a DuPont Pioneer production facility or by an independent sales representative of Pioneer. Not all sales representatives offer treatment services, and costs and other charges may vary. See your Pioneer sales representative for details. Seed treatment offering exclusive to DuPont Pioneer and its affiliates. The DuPont Oval Logo, DuPont™ and Pioneer® are trademarks or registered trademarks of DuPont or its affiliates. ®, ™, SM Trademarks and service marks of DuPont Pioneer or their respective owners. ∆
  GREG PFEFFER: Agronomist for Pioneer, Dexter, Missouri

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