In most places in our trade territory we have been held out of doing much substantial work in the fields due to the cold wet conditions we’ve had up to this point.
The above chart from the University of MN WCROC does show that 2″ soil temps had been increasing some until the recent cold front came through. However it also shows that the 2″ has still been in the upper 30’s at nights until the worm weather we had last weekend. On our own farm we had a couple of fields that were almost fit, and if the temps were forecast to keep improving we would have likely planted them. Yet with the cool temps we decided to hold off.
If you get the chance to go in the field soon, keep a couple things in mind. Plant fairly deep. Especially when its cold going deeper provides a more stable soil temp. Look at the 8″ soil temps above and how much more stable they are than the 2″. I am not advocating a 8″ planting depth. I would be pushing for a 2.25″ depth rather than a 1.75″ depth. That little extra depth gives a little more temp stability and will still allow the corn to push through easily. Another thing to consider if it is going to stay cool is watching the amount of pre-emerge chemistry. I am a huge fan of the pre-emerges for early weed control and providing some weather insurance in case it stays wet. However if we continue to have cold wet conditions some pre-emerges can further stress the emerging corn plant. In some case it may be best to move a portion or all of that chemistry to the an early post application for the benefit of crop safety.
It is still far too early to consider any maturity changes in corn. Changing maturities should not be a major concern until we get past May 10th-15th timeframe.