Corn planting time in a “normal” spring
While it takes patience to wait until wet soils dry out before we can plant, remember that it’s still early, and we haven’t begun to lose yield potential from planting delays. It helps that soils were in reasonable shape (meaning they had warmed enough to dry out) in many parts of Illinois by at the end of the first week of April – this often means better chances of having them dry out after rain, though cool temperatures will slow that some.
While planting date responses do vary among years and sites in our research, we can for all practical purposes consider the planting date response to be flat for the month of April, with losses starting to pick up, slowly at first, starting in early May. It pays to remember during this time that it is easy to do more damage by working or planting into soils that are too wet than we could gain by planting a little earlier.
While we hope to get most of our crop planted by the end of April, what happens after planting remains a lot more important to the corn crop than the exact date we are able to plant. We need look back only one year to see that early planting does not guarantee high yields.
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