Soil Temperature Matters

Corn Emergence Photo

Ideal temperature for planting occurs when soil temperatures are above 50℉  and temperatures are on a rising trajectory. At this temperature, seed will imbibe roughly 30 percent of its weight in water. Cool temperatures do not affect imbibition to a great extent, however root development is greatly challenged in cold soils below 50° F. Radicle and coleoptile growth are directly corelated with the temperature of the seedbed. When seed is placed in cold ground, it will absorb water but will not initiate root or shoot growth. These factors contribute to stress and resulting seed rots, disease, pest attraction, and poor emergence.

Another reason why the 50° F soil temperature is a seedbed target temperature is that Pythium species are most active in soils in the 40-50° F range. Emerging seedlings attacked by Pythium species experience undue stress and diminished survival rates. They may develop subsequent infection or become more attractive to pests as well. You wouldn’t take a newborn baby to the sick ward at the hospital. Don’t expose your crop to infection unnecessarily. AgVenture’s Security™ Seed Treatments offer a wide variety of specific protections against diseases and insects. These products protect seed from a host of vulnerabilities including pests and diseases in stressful environments. Talk with your AgVenture Yield Specialist about Security for your planting season.