Last updated: April 17. 2014 7:49PM - 330 Views
By Heather Meade hmeade@civitasmedia.com

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DARKE COUNTY - The dates for spring planting vary from crop to crop, but the “ideal planting” window for one of Darke County’s most plentiful crops, corn, is April 10 to May 10, said Sam Custer, Ohio State University Extension - Darke County, ag and natural resources educator.

“During the two to three weeks of optimal corn planting time, there is, on average, only one out of three days when field work can occur,” Custer stated, just one of the many challenges of planting. “…Mistakes made during crop establishment are usually irreversible, and can put a ‘ceiling’ on a crop’s yield potential before the plants have even emerged.”

However, the earlier the corn is planted, the sooner is will pollinate, and hopefully avoid the strong heat of summer, Custer said, sometimes, this results in as much as 30 bushels more per acre in yield, he added. Planting later for more ideal soil conditions could result in healthier soils, though, he said.

“We have a couple guys in the county who typically begin planting corn in late March. I spoke with one of them [recently] and he shared that he cannot remember the last time when they did not have anything planted at this time of the year,” Custer shared.

So far, no one in Darke County has any corn or soybeans planted, Custer noted. Soybeans typically go in later than corn, but in a good year, some Darke County farmers would have already planted both, Custer said.

Farmers will want soil moisture conditions at the proper level, such that they don’t cause soil compaction or soil health problems later in the season, Custer commented. They’ll want soil temperatures in the 50-degree range, also, he added.

The recommended planting dates for corn in northern Ohio is April 15-May 10; southern Ohio is April 10-May10, Custer said. With snow earlier in the week, it’s unlikely soil temperatures will have reached that mark by this weekend, he added.

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