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  • Writer's pictureRachel

Should I plant this week?

Should I plant this week?

We've been getting a lot of calls about whether or not to start planting this week. We've sent out an early edition of the Agronomy Advisor this week to provide some decision making tools regarding cold temps at and around planting. 

With the cool night time temperatures and forecasted temps for the weekend, its important to discuss the effects of cool temperatures on corn seed. 

Cool soil temperature can effect seed by two different methods. Imbibition and emergence.


1. What is imbibition? As the seed comes into contact with moisture, water moves into the dry seed to rehydrate the cells. This takes place within the first 48 hours. The seed will gain over a third of its weight in moisture.  2. Corn seeds are extremely sensitive to temps below 50 degrees, particularly during the first 48 hours as it is imbibing water. 3. If the process of imbibing moisture takes place below 50 degrees, the cells can rupture. This can result in swollen kernels that are non-viable or aborted shoot and root growth.  4. If temperatures remain above 50 for the first 48 hours, germination should be okay. If the temperatures dip after that period, it likely won't be an issue. However, germination could be delayed.


Even if we don't have imbibitional chilling injury, corn planted in cool soils can lead to delayed and uneven emergence

It takes somewhere between 90-120 GGD for emergence. We are forecasted to get 40-50 GDU in the next 10 days total. The longer the seeds sit in the ground, the greater stresses: chilling injury, disease, insect damage and uneven emergence. 

Take this into consideration as you begin planting. If you decide to plant this week, planting your highest germ hybrids, hybrids with high treatment, or with larger seed size can help reduce risk. 


We know this a complicated issue and tough decision to make. Call us with any questions you may have.  --Pederson Seed and Services

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