The Calendar Says It’s Go Time

A few areas across the Brodbeck sales territory were able to start planting 7 to 10 days ago.  The balance of the area is waiting on spring to decide if it is going to stay for an extended period. It goes without saying—it has been a little chilly this April.  

It is the third week of April and soils temperature are still cool. The calendar says plant, and Brodbeck agronomists would suggest the same. We are getting late enough that even if soil temperatures stay cool, it shouldn’t be for an extended period.  If your soil is fit to plant we would suggest get the crop in the ground. 

So why the concern with cool temperatures? As kernels take in water, they begin to swell. If they are too cold during this time, the kernels become less elastic and may rupture. These ruptured and/or swollen kernels are unable to successfully continue the germination process. This damage is referred to as imbibitional chilling injury.  There is no exact “trigger temperature” for this damage to occur, but the temperatures we are experiencing this week are low enough to expect some damage. 

Non-imbibitional chilling injury occurs during the emergence process, after germination. It causes physical damage, including deformed elongation of the mesocotyl (corkscrew symptom), stunting or death of the seminal root system, and complete emergence failure (leafing underground).

This time of year, we also watch for black cutworm moth flight. With the cool temperatures and limited storm front bringing in moths, the capture numbers have been low.  

Another item to consider this time of year is cover crop termination and winter annual control.  With the cool temperatures we may not have seen tremendous growth at this time.  However, just a few warm days and they will make up for lost time.

As always, do not hesitate to call should you have a question or need us to evaluate a field.

Terry, Dan, Rod and Denny