Temperatures, Precipitation Factors in Early Spring Farm Work

 The unofficial start of spring planting for corn started last weekend, but soil temperatures and a bit of rain may have already slowed progress just a bit.

Mint crops are able to sustain cooler soil temperatures than seed crops, and have been in the ground for the longest period thus far. Recent quality weather has allowed some local farmers to till their fields and apply nitrogen, but soil temperatures may be still be too cool for some.

Purdue Extension Agricultural Educator Phil Woolery says the weather isn’t a big factor at this point in the spring.

“The temperature is not going to be too drastic so we’re not going to see any damage, but just a little slowdown and that’s kind of typical for this time of year,” says Woolery.

For corn, the minimum soil temperature is generally considered 50-degrees prior to planting. Planting in cooler temperatures slows the germination period and makes the seeds and plant susceptible to disease. Soybeans, similarly, require warmer soil temperatures than corn.

Mixed weather predicted for Northern Indiana next week may slow progress for corn planting, but according to Woolery the storms are not anticipated to create havoc like last year’s spring precipitation.

“We should have some good weather upcoming here for that,” says Woolery. “Not like last spring where we had a monsoon. So things right now are looking pretty good.”

Spring planting has only progressed for a handful of days in the local area, leaving plenty of time for fields to dry.

Numbers for the percentage of crops in the ground are minimal at this time.