Saturday, April 16, 2011

Game On !! (Weaver's words, not mine)

Every year, Don Weaver my Pioneer account manager, gets really excited when he sees the first corn planter in the field.  It does not take much to get Don excited. 
Yesterday 3 corn planters were moving in our neighbourhood.  Seedbeds were in good shape.  The wind made it a little nippy.  Standard wear was a snowmobile suit for getting out of the cab to load the planter. 

What do I think?
Well, planting early for the sake of planting early in unfit ground is really STUPID.  But, other than cold, field conditions were pretty good on these farms.  On Thursday one customer called and asked what I thought about planting corn.  Knowing his farm, I quickly told him to get going.  I have lost my fear of planting seed in cold ground because the seed treatments used today are far and away superior to what we used 10 years ago.  Snow in the forecast means nothing.  The media have developed a nasty habit of over reacting to the possibility of foul weather, especially on the weekend. 

Here is the 14 day temperature forecast.

Assuming this forecast is accurate (????), we can expect daily highs to approach 12 C and lows to approach 7 C.  These temperatures contribute 5-6 heat units per day.  By May 1 this corn will not be emerged because it takes 150 heat units to get seed out of the ground, but it will have accumulated 60 - 70 heat units toward its development.  By May 7 these fields will be in the spike stage and I predict them to be excellent stands.  If I am wrong I will let you know.

The message for the rest of us is to be ready to plant the last week in April.  Temperatures over the 30 year historic average mean heat unit accumulation will occur faster than normal.  It will still not feel like planting weather and the coffee crowd will warn us of the perils ahead.  Pay no attention.  If field conditions allow, get it done.  You will not be sorry.

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