Posted 4/15/2019 09:35 (#7440503 - in reply to #7439992) Subject: RE: Anyone going to plant tomorrow in NC Iowa?
I drove from near Ellsworth to MN exit 4 on I-35 yesterday with a side trip to Manly. The only fields worked were worked late yesterday and within a mile of home, at the intersection of IA 175 and county R77 north bound. The field on the north side of IA 175 was getting the first trip around it at about 6:10 PM.
North I saw no fields being or had been worked, and several with standing water in the fields. Coming south from the Minnesota border I saw snow piles in the west I-35 ditch, sometimes nearly continuous made by a west wind with snow falling behind the west road ditch brush. Initially nearly continuous, then thinning to a few patches together and then a snow free gap for a couple miles down to mile 162. Then two more patches with thin snow piles in the ditch in the miles north and south of US20. Those snow piles from a few inches to a couple feed in depth say to me the soil temperature where they are is below 32F and the soil moisture is high. Too cold for getting seed to germinate (for sure corn and soybeans, maybe good for certain grass seeds that need to be soaked and frozen). And too wet for working. My farm's soil has a bit of clay in the topsoil so that working it wet makes concrete.
Used to be that corn required soil temperature 56F and beans 60F. 56F corresponded with the old timer's requirement that oak tree leaves be the size of squirrels ears. But I'm reading that planting beans earlier than corn which surely means cold soil makes for larger harvests. I don't know about that for sure.
Last I talked to my tenant at Ames he is waiting for warmer soil before planting corn this year.