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Getting Your Crops Off to a Good Start

Getting Your Crops Off to a Good Start

If you’re looking to get your corn and soybeans off to a good start this year, the first step is to make sure you’re planting at the best time.

How do you determine when that is?

Well, because Mother Nature is often unpredictable, you can never be 100 percent sure, but there are a few things you should definitely consider as you head into your fields, including:

  • Soil temperature – For corn, the ideal soil temperature for planting is 50 degrees. For soybeans, it’s 54 degrees. If you plant in soil with temperatures below that, the seeds could remain dormant or be more vulnerable to diseases and insects.
  • Soil saturation – Flooded or ponded soils could also have a negative impact on corn and soybean germination – possibly leading to problems with root growth and yellowing leaves.
  • Planting depth – Planting at the right depth will protect the seed from frost and allow for strong root growth. While optimum depth may vary a little because of soil type and temperature, most experts recommend planting corn 1.5 – 2 inches deep and soybeans 1 – 1.5 inches deep. Be sure to check the depth frequently – each time you start a new day or switch fields.

One more thing to remember as you start to plant – be safe. Long days can lead to reduced sleep – and that’s when accidents occur!