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Planting window coming?

A farmer works ground in McLean County last spring.

Expect soil temperatures to creep higher as we enter April. This allows farmers to better consider when to hit the fields with the planter.

“It’s going to come sooner than we think, I believe,” said Scot Benson of Weather Pulse.

After an unusual winter with mostly above-average temperatures and below average precipitation with the exception of a few rain events, growers are wondering when they may get in the field.

Looking out 11 to 15 days, Central Illinois should be passing that magical 50 degree point where soil temperatures work with the seed to germinate it. During the period of April 8-12, there is a possibility of having soil temperatures at 54 degrees.

The real issue for planting is not the date but rather if conditions are ideal to plant into. Growers have to ask themselves if they will be able to get corn out of the ground in 10 days or less.

“That’s the big question that needs to be answered,” adds Benson.

Benson is not sure if soil temperatures will warm beyond April 12 or stay at 54 degrees.

“If it’s going to stay at 54 degrees, stay out of the fields.”

Soils are not compatible to build production at that level and a loss in yield could result.

It appears Illinois will be on the wet side over the next couple of weeks, even though temperatures could warm. The precipitation outlooks have been bouncing up and down with amounts.

“Whether that actually manifests on the heavier side or not is kind of questionable but at this point it does look like we are going to stay on the wetter side,” explained Benson.


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