Should You Have Waited For the Ideal Soil Temperature Before Starting Planting?

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It definitely seems to be one of those springs that will get referred to as, “remember the spring of 2014?”

It isn’t too late yet, but frustration is really settling in as farmers just want to get #plant14 really going or, for many, just started. No matter if you are in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba or Ontario winter seems to want to linger and not let summer shine.

Rain or shine every hour counts as you can see in this tweet.

For those that have planted some crop before the latest rounds of blizzards in Western Canada (and treated their seed), their early work will show yield benefits.  For those that couldn’t start due to wet ground or were waiting for the ideal soil temperature the wait continues.

It really does beg the question, should you wait for the ideal soil temperature or just get planting started and hope for this late snowy wet weather in May?  Many people still wait for the grass to get green and the trees to show buds while other farmers say just get ‘er done. To me it does seem that more farmers are pushing the soil temperature envelope instead of waiting for the IDEAL situation. For many IDEAL is not worth waiting for.




Shaun Haney

Shaun Haney is the founder of He creates content regularly and hosts RealAg Radio on Rural Radio 147 every weekday at 4PM est.



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In this episode of The Word, host Peter No-Till takes us through Ontario's wet conditions, zeroes in on soil health, discusses tillage, and answers some specific questions. Have a question you’d like Johnson to address? Or some yield results to send in? Leave him a message at 1-844-540-2014, send him a tweet (@wheatpete), or email…Read more »


One Comment

Kevin Serfas

There are 2 days in the calendar that I pay antt attention to. Last day of March for cereals and April 20 for canola. Anything after those days is game when it comes to seeding. Now I realize that different areas have different “days” so to speak but we have never had out first crops yeild poorer than out last crops. Even if you end up batting .600 , are you still not further ahead in the long run? You tare putting yourself at a better chance to not seeding in June. Having seed in the dirt will at least give you a chance of getting a crop. Having it in the bin will get you nowhere. I know if we hasn’t taken advantage of out few open days that we have had this spring, I would be sweating right now. We are far better off seeding into 4 degree soil and leaving 2 acres per quarter because of wet spots than waiting in my opinion. I’m just a big believer of seeding to the calendar as opposed to ideal conditions.


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