Farm Progress

A corn planting checklist

Field Finds: 5 things to check before planting corn this year.

Kyle Allen

February 28, 2017

2 Min Read
READY TO ROLL: Before pulling the planter through the field, make sure conditions are right for corn planting. Sometimes being the first into the fields is not the best.

With the wonderful weather in east-central Missouri up and down the countryside, farmers are starting to take advantage of this wonderful weather we are having. You can see tractors hitting the fields laying down spring anhydrous or turning dirt, or even see fresh fertilizer buggy tracks across fields. Spring will be here before we know it.

With many of us starting to get thinking about the 2017 planting season, it is very important to lay out a game plan for the upcoming corn planting season. Below are five key things to think about when you are getting those planters ready to hit the field.

1. Check the long-range weather forecast. Early season vigor of corn seed is critical. That first drink a corn plant has needs to be a good one. Many times we are planting close to a rain. But if the conditions don’t look promising, press the pause button before you hit the field.
2. Don’t overlook seed size. Double-check your meters and make sure they are properly calibrated. Check those bag tags on your corn seed size. Take a coffee can of seed to your precision dealer to have them run it through your meters. We only get one shot a year; let's make sure we do it right.
3. Tackle those pests early. Scouting many acres early last year, I found early-season pests threw a curveball at us with the weather. If you have faced wireworms, cutworms or even grubs, upgrade seed treatment on your corn or throw an insecticide on early to tackle those pesky bugs
4. Know the ground temperature. Often, farmers use who starts planting first in the area to gauge ground temperature, which can be unreliable. If you are going to plant corn early, know that corn germination begins at over 50 degrees F, and take time to check that ground temperature before you plant.
5. Place corn hybrids. Take time to have a conversation with your seed dealer to re-evaluate where corn hybrids need to be placed. Lay out a game plan to make sure you have a successful planting season, and set yourself up for a great fall harvest.

Spring planting season is going to be here quicker than we know it. Take the time to establish a game plan and what steps you need to take to have successful planting season. Good luck in the upcoming weeks as you prepare for corn planting. Take some time to enjoy the wonderful spring weather.

Allen is owner of Allen Seed and Service, where he scouts 3,500 acres of corn and 10,000 acres of soybeans annually. He writes from Hawk Point.

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