Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Corn Planting and Fluctuating Temperatures

Chad Lee, Extension Agronomist, University of Kentucky

Corn planting is a little behind in 2013, but that does not mean that we will have low yields. Corn planting was behind in 2011 and 2009, but overall statewide average yields were excellent both years. Corn planting was way ahead in 2012 and overall state yields were some of the worst in recent history.

An excellent article was written about the planting date conundrum in Indiana. Here in Kentucky, we see a similar conundrum. Recently, I asked producers across the state to send me planting date and corn yield data from their operations. They sent me corn planting dates and yields from 2003 through 2012 (Figure 1). The data would indicate that the best planting dates for Kentucky would be from about the last week of April through the third week in May. Who is going to believe that?!

Since 2012 was extremely early for planting and extremely poor for yields, we examined the data from 2003 through 2011 (Figure 2). The first thing to notice about the data from 2003 through 2011 is that the correlation between planting date and yield is very week, suggesting that there may be no relationship between planting date and yield for this data set. If there is a correlation, it would suggest that corn should be planted in May for Kentucky. Again, who is going to believe that?!

Corn planting dates and yields from producer fields in Kentucky from 2003 through 2012.

Corn planting dates and yields from producer fields in Kentucky from 2003 through 2011.

Perhaps the point with this exercise is that we do not need to be in as big of a rush as we think we do to finish corn planting.

Soil temperatures have fluctuated quite a bit over the last month. For Caldwell County in western Kentucky, soil temperatures ranged from 50 F to over 70 F (10 to over 21 C). Soil temperatures above 50 F are generally favorable for corn germination and emergence. But, Warren County soil temperatures ranged from about 45 F to 65 F (7 to 18 C), which is not ideal for germination and emergence. During that same period, air temperatures dipped as low as 27 F (-3 C) and frost-like conditions occurred over the previous weekend. Forecasts project air temperatures below 40 F (4.4 C) later this week. Depending the duration of those temperatures, soil temperatures in the upper 2 inches could decrease as well.

Corn planted the past week or so should begin emerge in about 7 to 14 days. If the young germinating plant experiences fluctuations in soil temperatures, it could deform the mesocotyl development, resulting in "corkscrew corn". Scouting planted fields for germination and emergence would be wise this season. Deformed plants most likely are not the fault of any seed company, or any chemical, but the result of the fluctuating temperatures.
Twisted mesocotyl or "corkscrew" corn most likely
resulting from fluctuating soil temperatures. 

We fully expect producers to plant corn as long as the sun shines and the soil moisture is suitable, because the calendar says it is time to plant corn. However, the experience of recent seasons suggests that we should not worry if corn is planted later than we would prefer.


  1. Very interesting to read this article. I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this awesome | | | | | | | | | |

  2. nike shoes, Cheap Jordans,Cheap Jordan Shoes,Cheap Air Max,Cheap Free Run Shoes,nike shoes,nike outlet,nike factory,nike store,nike factory outlet,nike outlet store,cheap nike shoes,nike sneakers, toms outlet, toms outlet,tom shoes,toms shoes outlet,tom shoes,toms wedges,cheap toms,, air jordan, air jordan,jordan shoes,cheap jordans,air jordans,jordan retro,air jordan shoes,jordans,jordan 11,jordan xx9,jordan 6,new jordans,retro jordans,jordan retro 11,jordan 5,air jordan 11,jordans for sale,jordan 4,jordan 1,jordan future,jordan 3,jordan 12,michael jordan shoes,air jordan retro, cheap jordans, cheap jordans,cheap jordan shoes,cheap jordan,cheap jordans for sale,jordans for cheap,jordan shoes,jordans,air jordan,jordan retro,jordan 11,jordan xx9,jordan 6,new jordans,air jordans,retro jordans,jordan retro 11,jordan 5,air jordan 11,jordans for sale,jordan 4,jordan 1,jordan future,jordan 3,jordan 12,michael jordan shoes,air jordan shoes,air jordan retro, jordan retro, jordan retro,jordan shoes,air jordan,air jordans,retro jordans,air jordan retro,jordans,jordan 11,jordan xx9,jordan 6,new jordans,cheap jordans,jordan retro 11,jordan 5,air jordan 11,jordans for sale,jordan 4,jordan 1,jordan future,jordan 3,jordan 12,michael jordan shoes,air jordan shoes, air max 90, air max 90,nike air max 90,air max 95,air max 2014,air max 2013,air max 1,nike air max,air max,nike air max 2014,airmax,nike air max 2013, air max 95, air max 95,nike air max 95,air max 90,nike air max 90,air max 2013,nike air max,air max,air max 2014,nike air max 2014,airmax,nike air max 2013, nike free 5.0, nike free 5.0, nike free trainer 5.0,nike free run 5.0,free running 2,nike free run,nike free,free running,nike running shoes,nike free trainer,free runs,free run 5.0, omega watches, omega watches,omega watch,replica watches,rolex watches,replica omega watches,rolex,watches for men,watches for women,rolex watches for sale,rolex replica,rolex watch,cartier watches,rolex submariner,fake rolex,rolex replica watches,replica rolex, ralph lauren outlet, ralph lauren outlet,ralph lauren outlet online,polo ralph lauren outlet,polo ralph lauren outlet online,polo ralph lauren,ralph lauren,polo ralph,polo shirts,,polo outlet,ralph lauren polo, oakley sunglass, swarovski crystal

  3. oakley sunglasses,cheap oakley,cheap oakley sunglasses,oakley sunglasses cheap,oakley outlet,oakley sunglasses outlet,oakley vault,oakleys,,sunglasses outlet,cheap sunglasses,oakley prescription glasses,fake oakleys,oakley glasses,oakley store,fake oakley,oakley sale,cheap oakleys,discount oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, Ray Ban Sunglasses,Ray Ban Outlet,Ray Ban Sale,Cheap Ray Bans,Cheap Ray Ban Sunglasses,ray ban sunglasses outlet,ray ban,rayban,ray bans,ray-ban,raybans,ray ban wayfarer,ray-ban sunglasses,,rayban sunglasses,cheap ray ban, burberry, burberry,burberry outlet,burberry outlet online,burberry factory outlet,burberry sale,burberry handbags, chanel bags, chanel bags,chanel handbags,chanel sunglasses,chanel outlet,chanel purses,chanel handbags official site, coach outlet store, coach outlet,coach outlet store,coach outlet store online,coach outlet stores,coach factory outlet,coach factory,coach factory online,coach factory outlet online,coach outlet online, chaussures louboutin, louboutin,louboutin pas cher,christian louboutin,louboutin chaussures,louboutin soldes,chaussure louboutin,chaussures louboutin,chaussure louboutin pas cher,louboutin france, sac michael kors, michael kors,sac michael kors,michael kors sac,michael kors pas cher,sac michael kors pas cher,michael kors france, north face outlet, north face outlet,the north face,north face,the north face outlet,north face jackets,north face jackets clearance,northface, yoga pants, yoga pants,lululemon,lululemon outlet,lululemon athletica,lululemon addict,lulu lemon,,, beats by dre, beats by dre,beats headphones,beats audio,beats by dr dre,beats by dre headphones,dr dre,dre beats,beats by dr,dr dre beats,dre headphones,beats by dr. dre,cheap beats, ferragamo, ferragamo,salvatore ferragamo,ferragamo shoes,ferragamo outlet,salvatore ferragamo outlet,ferragamo belts,ferragamo belt,ferragamo outlet, nike blazer, nike blazer,blazer nike,nike blazer pas cher,Chaussures Nike Blazer,Nike Blazer Femme, nike air force, swarovski