Agronomic advice for hot temps


Ground is worked in Livingston County north of Pontiac in April.

BLOOMINGTON – Many fear this week’s hot and windy weather could turn soil out in the field into concrete.


“That is a big concern,” admits Cody Pettit, an agronomist for Pioneer covering a large chunk of north central Illinois.


After the ground has soaked in plenty of moisture during the past week, we are now dealing with heat and wind, pretty much feeling like summer. Since most growers around here don’t have irrigation, this is difficult to manage.


“Make sure your planter settings are right and gauging how that corn is coming up,” advises Pettit.


The corn planted over a week ago should be trying to push through the ground by the end this this week, based on growing degree units, or GDU’s.


Another concern Pettit has with the warm temperatures is seed sticking inside the planter. When cool seed is loaded into a planter box that is warm, condensation results.


“One of the biggest things you can have is a fluency agent like graphite and talc, which helps dry that seed down and avoid the condensation.”


This weather could result in larger seeds having a tough time flowing to the outside rows.


In Pettit’s territory, he estimates planting progress at about 20 percent for corn and 20 percent on soybeans, which is behind average for Central Illinois. Pettit notes we can catch up very quickly with today’s modern equipment.


For more information, reach out to your local Pioneer sales agent, or visit the Pioneer website which is a good resource for crop articles and the various topics Pettit addressed in this article.

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