Watch out; the forecast could lead to imbibitional chilling.

April 24, 2017 1:48 PM

Planter starting rolling this weekend across a good portion of Iowa. Based on the calendar, this is right on target to hit the ideal corn planting window. Now if only the weather would cooperate. In much of the state soil temperature have reached 50oF. However, the forecast may cause soil temperature to drop over the next couple of days, particularly Wednesday and Thursday. This is of concern because the impact from imbibitional chilling could have a big impact on corn yield potential. Imbibition is the process by which seeds absorb water to initiate germination. The critical time period is 24 to 36 hours after planting. For more information on imbibitional chilling, go to an ICM News article that Clarke McGrath and I wrote in 2014. Bottom line, be cautious about planting ahead of the cooler, wetter forecast. Below is a corn seedling prior to emergence exhibiting corkscrewing due to cold, wet soil after planting.

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Mark Licht Assistant Professor

Dr. Mark Licht is an assistant professor and extension cropping systems specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. His extension, research and teaching program is focused on how to holistically manage Iowa cropping systems to achieve productivity, profitability and en...