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Spring planting and picking the right date to begin

Photo courtesy of Scott Bauer, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture

by Ben Nuelle

Picking the right date to begin planting can be difficult. Soil temperatures, moisture and other factors like weather all play a major role so when is the right time to bring out the planter?

Jeff Hartz with Wyffels Hybrids says the first thing they tell people is to forget what happened last year and the year before.

“Every year it pays to approach [planting] from a risk mitigation standpoint. We recommend people plant about half their acres about half of their acres to their desired corn maturity. Then about 25% early and 25% later maturity to cover bases and mitigate a little bit of risk. It’s really easy to get tied up in what maybe happened a year ago and alter or deviate from that plan and it can be exposed to a little more risk,” Hartz says.

Hartz adds not too look at the calendar as much the conditions.

“Look at ground temperature. Make sure it’s warming up and continuing to warm up. We see a lot more trouble with people getting into the field when conditions aren’t right so I think it pays more to worry about conditions rather than a planting date,” Hartz says.

Hartz says planting when it’s too wet can get you in a lot of trouble and set you up for disease.