Cold is the word for the western part of the Corn Belt the past seven days. Daytime highs in the 30s to low 50s with strong northwest winds cloudy conditions, and scattered rain and snow showers has been prevalent. Freezing temperatures have occurred on several nights. Through this, much corn planting proceeded in many areas.

Obviously, the soil temperatures have dropped and corn germination has slowed dramatically. The first planted corn in mid-April is starting to spike through the soil surface. Corn seed that has been in the ground the past 14 days has largely remained healthy. Many of the corn hybrids today have good cold tolerance and seed treatments that allow for early planting in cold soils. The soils have not been overly wet or moisture saturated which will help in keeping the seed healthy.

Most fields anymore have a seed treatment or other insecticide applied in the seed furrow for wireworm and other seedling insect control. Very little has been noted so far. Many times the wireworms do not start damaging seed until the soil temperatures warm and they become more active.

Many growers are finishing with corn planting in south central Nebraska. Soybean planting will proceed as soon as temperatures rise a bit.

Burndown herbicide treatments have been slow to kill the weeds with the cold conditions. Control may not be the best where applications were made in the cold temperatures. Getting applications on in a timely many has been extra challenging this spring what with the windy conditions when it has been warm and now the cold.

Alfalfa weevil damage continues to increase on the stem terminals, somewhat surprisingly high considering the cold temperatures.

Wheat diseases are doing well with these conditions. Fungicides applications should be profitable this year in the medium- to higher-yielding environments.

Source: Orvin Bontrager, CCA, CPAg, CropTalk