Monday afternoon coming home from the State FFA Convention in St Paul, I did not see even one farmer out in the field. I did hear that there was a little bit of corn planting being done in other parts of our listening area. However field conditions are not exactly ideal. Because of the rain and cold weather, the soil temperatures at the 2-inch depth are hovering around 50 degrees. Corn needs a soil temperature of 50 degrees to germinate but the soils are also quite wet because of all the rain.

I did talk with a few other farmers who thought their fields were dry enough to plant corn, but they were holding off because of the very low temperatures in the forecast. They were concerned about cold inhibition injury or cold shocking the seed. Until a couple of years ago, I had never heard of cold shocking the seed. However, if the first moisture that the seed absorbs is very cold it can prevent it from germinating.

So, the difficult decision is do you plant and hope for the best or do you hold off for better weather? We all remember the 2013 planting season when the rain was so frequent a lot of corn never did get planted. Is this year a repeat of 2013? Is this our best chance of getting corn planted even if conditions are not ideal? This is the tough part of being a farmer, not knowing what the weather will be like in a couple of weeks or during the growing season.

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