With spring just around the corner farmers could be enticed to plant a little too early. Imad Saab, Pioneer research scientist in crop genetics, research and development, warns – emergence can be delayed or reduced if planting conditions are less than ideal, and this commonly leads to yield loss for the grower. To maximize emergence, Saab recommends growers avoid planting until soil temperatures are 50 degrees or more, and preferably with a near-term warming trend. Studies have shown decreased emergence rates with cooler soils or when an extended cold front moves in right after planting.
It is widely accepted that heavy ground cover can keep soils as much as 10 degrees cooler than land without cover. This leads to delayed emergence and possible stand loss. And residue can create additional challenges to crop emergence and uniformity. Including: uneven germination and emergence, the promotion of seedling disease by harboring disease pathogens that are favored by excess water and colder soils, uneven planting depth and poor seed-to soil-contact, leading to uneven emergence and possible appearance of runt plants.
Saab says – good residue management can range from using row cleaners to clear the planting row of residue to possibly planting slightly deeper to overcome moisture and temperature variability while ensuring good seed-to-soil contact. In addition, Saab recommends planting well-drained, low-residue fields first as well as avoiding working the soil when wet to minimize compaction and sidewall smearing.
Source: NAFB News Service