ReachOut: Stay Patient for Root’s Sake

Mike Zwingman

Mike Zwingman

I know, I get it!  It’s been a long few weeks with very few “good” planting days and it is now May, but I want you to consider just a few things before we get back out and plant again.  The forecast for the next week finally looks like it should be better planting weather; that is why I am cautioning you to PLEASE consider waiting that extra day or two before getting back out into the field.

In some areas of UFC country, it is going to be deceivingly dry on top and unsettlingly wet underneath. You add that to cooler than normal soil temperatures and we have a potential mess on our hands.  Believe me, if you started planting again on Saturday (which in my personal opinion you shouldn’t) or you waited until Monday, your corn would more than likely emerge at the same time.  The difference is – by waiting until Monday you will reduce your risk of sidewall compaction, have a better conditioned seed bed, and it will be easier to get your planter placing seed at the right depth.  You will more than likely have better stands and less stress on you and potentially improve your bottom line.Sidewall Compaction

Sidewall compaction will cause a conglomeration of headaches throughout the growing season: poor root development, stand issues at harvest, plus nutrient and water uptake issues all leading to potentially lower yields.  From a straight mathematical standpoint, in theory you could lose 1.5% of your yield potential per day from here on out. Sidewall compaction potentially could ding you 10-15% of your total yield potential at harvest.  Which would you prefer?

I’m not telling you what to do friends, just simply laying out your options and potential effects.  I leave the rest to you.Header1