When is it time to plant?

The mild late winter has many Illinois farmers anxious for planting season.

Pioneer agronomist Matt Montgomery says there are benefits to planting corn and soybeans early, if soil conditions are suitable…

“I want fairly decent tilth.”  He says, “I don’t want to feel like I have slots that aren’t closing; that I have so much moisture that the sides of the furrow are actually staying rather tight.”

Central Illinois farmer Dan Meyer tells Brownfield he wants to see soil temperatures close to 50-degrees…

“Especially for corn, I still like to see what the ground temperature is.”  He says, “Last year my son was planting soybeans on April 12th, and I didn’t start corn until April 19th. And even on that day we had 48°, at the two-inch soil level.”

Chris Hausman (How’s-man), who farms a half hour north of Meyer, says extended weather forecasts also play a factor…

“Because the last thing you want is cold, wet conditions right after the seed goes into the ground,” he says.

Montgomery says average last frost dates, which range through the month of April across Illinois, and crop insurance replant dates, also in April in Illinois, should also be considered into planting decisions. 

AUDIO: Matt Montgomery, Pioneer Agronomist on Planting Considerations

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