4 Tips for Determining Optimal Planting Conditions

Apr 04, 2022

Jared Simmons

UFC Agronomy Sales, Lenox

As you prepare for spring planting, it’s a good idea to meet with your agronomist for a pre-plant meeting. This will allow you to become aligned with your agronomist on your production goals and give you a better understanding on what to expect from the ag industry for this season. This also is a time to make sure you and your agronomist know which trait platform you plan to plant in each field. This will ensure that we can follow the correct herbicide program and make a timely application correctly. More importantly, you can discuss planter performance and planting conditions to help you put the seed into the ground in a timely and precise manor. Below are 4 tips to follow so when mid-April comes around, you are confident that the soil conditions are ready to lay seed in.

  1. Monitor soil moisture: If soil is too wet, don’t push it. You can cause sidewall compaction from disk openers which will greatly restrict root development. If soil is too dry, consider increasing planting depth to reach adequate moisture.
  1. Keep track of soil temperature: Planting corn around 50 F at a 2-inch soil depth alleviates concerns of imbibitional chilling or cold injury. However, planting in the high 40s when the short-term forecast calls for warm days may be suitable as well.
  1. Select planting depth carefully: Planting corn around 2 inches in a no-till situation allows quick and maximum emergence rates. Planting too deep can delay emergence, while too shallow can cause uneven emergence. However, adjust planting depths based on soil conditions as needed.
  1. Ensure good seed-to-soil contact: This will provide adequate moisture held and maintained around the seed resulting in uniform germination. Cloddy seed beds, trash in the seed furrow, open seed furrows, and poor soil conditions can dimmish seed-to-soil contact.


Have any questions about planting? Contact your local UFC agronomist and they can help!


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