CORN SCHOOL w BKGRND“You shouldn’t plant until your soil is fit.”

It’s a great quote, but what does “fit” soil look like? Well, it’s not just what it looks like, soil fit for planting corn also needs to be warm, though we use the term loosely here in Western Canada. The fact is, regardless of how dry or well prepared the seed bed may be, corn will only germinate around 8 degrees C to 10 degrees C. Planting prior to soil temperature reaching those (lowly) heights puts extra stress on the crop.

Related: Corn School: Tight Planting Window? Plant ASAP, Fertilize Later

In this Corn School video, Dieter Schwarz of Pride Seeds, takes us out to worked ground near Altona, Manitoba, to look at what soil temps are doing in late April. Schawarz explains when below ground growth begins, when above ground growth really gets going (it’s much warmer than 10 degrees C, I’m afraid) and why the weather forecast can play a monumental role in corn crop establishment.

(For the curious: Schwarz also gets a bead on how far down the frost still is as of April 24, following this year’s record cold winter. Hint: it’s not far).

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