Tennessee Corn Planting is Well Underway

Warm temperatures in March had a lot of planters rolling early this year.  But, on my farm, we waited, because although soil temperature was adequate, it was not ideal and there was still a chance of frost and areas of excess field moisture. So I decided to hold off and hope for more ideal conditions. By the time those conditions came it was April 13th; and a couple days later, when I had 200 acres done, some farmers had 1,000+ acres behind them and were finished.

Planting end-rows where leaving a wide grass field border on a slope
Planting end-rows where leaving a wide grass field border on a slope

But I am happy with the way it has worked out. As of this hour, we have 400 acres planted, which puts us at 37%. If Zach gets as big of a day in the planter as he did yesterday we could be at 57% by the time rain comes tonight.

When planting is done at the ideal soil temperature of +60 degrees, seedlings germinate and emerge quickly and evenly, leading to a better stand and higher yields. Last year I learned a hard lesson by planting some ground that was too wet just to get 40 acres done the day before a rain. Those acres ended up with a poor stand, and yield dragged 30 bushels behind what I had hoped for. It also created compaction which had to be relieved by ripping 15 inches deep before planting a crop of canola.

In the picture below you can see unevenness in the stand of canola from ripping at diagonal lines.

canola shop bin top ripping marks
Picture taken from the top of a grain bin showing ripper lines at a diagonal

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A seventh generation farmer of good soils in Henry County Tennessee, I take seriously my responsibility to care for what has been entrusted to me for this life and to teach my children diligently.

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