Agronomist warns “Don’t plant too early”

An agronomist is worried about farmers planting too early this spring.

Tony Lenz with Stine Seed says much of the Midwest has been warmer and dryer than normal as winter comes to an end.

“A lot of the time that’s what is going to dictate it. So what makes us nervous as a seed company is as we have those ideal (or close to) soil conditions, we still have to tie it back what is the temperature in the soil. That is really what matters.”

He tells Brownfield soil temperatures need to be at least 50 degrees.

“So that’s what I want to make sure people understand is yes, the air temperature might be warm, but what are we doing for our soils and can we hold our soils at that 50 degrees?”

And Lenz points out temps in March and April typically vary quite a bit.

“If we have a lot of up and down temperatures, that concerns us because that soil temperature can drop pretty quickly.”

He recommends checking soil temperatures mid to late morning every three or four days to make sure the ground is 50 degrees and holding.

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