What 2018 Can Tell You About the Right Time to Plant

With spring just a few days away, it’s easy to start feeling the pressure to get your corn in the ground and take advantage of every second of the growing season you can fit in.

Choosing the right planting date is a vital part of ensuring the success of your crop each year.

Planting early is said to encourage higher yield potential for many reasons, including an extended growing season, decreased early pest and disease pressure, and better conditions at pollination. So, if the window opens to plant early, it is important that you be ready to take advantage of it.

As you can see from data across Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, in 2018 earlier planting did consistently correlate with higher yields.

While early planting did correspond to higher yields in 2018, that is not the case every year. The most significant factors to consider when deciding if it’s time to plant are favorable soil conditions that are expected to remain that way in the weeks that follow.

Planting too early means a higher risk of frost or freeze, which could require replant. And planting too late can result in a shorter growing season and less-than-ideal weather at pollination. This often means we’re planting in mid- to late-April across much of the Midwest.

Analyzing how yields have varied in the past based on planting date and planting conditions can help you understand when is the right time to plant with the highest probability of success.

In FBN, you can see tens of millions of acres of data on yield by planting date and variety.

The planting data above is based on real-world farming data. I

nformation on seed hybrids has been aggregated across millions of acres of data 

from 2018. Maturity range includes 108-114 days in Illinois; 93-106 days in Minnesota; 83-98 days in North Dakota; and 93-105 in South Dakota.