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A Southern View

Crop Observations from Southern Illinois
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Will April Planted Corn Ever Emerge?

Posted by Robert Bellm -

We planted several corn research trials the week following Easter and have been waiting anxiously to see if any of them are going to emerge. Many producers in the region are doing likewise, and wondering if it is time to tear things up and replant. Fields that were ponded after receiving 3.5 inches of rain the weekend of April 14, as noted in my April 17 blog, are now finally drying out in the first picture above.

I went online and started calculating Modified Growing Degree Day accumulations, and find that Mother Nature seems to be confused this spring. How is it that average March temperatures can be greater than April temperatures? Based on data from the Vandalia weather station, modified GDD accumulations for the 17 days of March 15-31 totaled 260, while the accumulations for the 17 days of April 11-27 only totaled 147. Based upon those numbers, and allowing a little leeway for the couple of days the seed was actually under water, our corn planted on April 12 should be starting to emerge, and sure enough, it is as seen in the second picture above.

Take home message:  Don't write off corn planted in mid-April just yet. Good quality seed with today's fungicide/insecticide treatments may be more resilient than you realize!

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