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Contact Information

The points of contact between Rutgers Cooperative Extension Service and the grower & business communities are the NJ County Agricultural Agents. The agents are a tremendous source of information for both new and experienced growers.
Visit your local county extension office.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Cold, Wet Soils and Corn Planting

These conditions have delayed much of the early field corn planting in NJ, particularly on the heavier, more northern soils. A conventional rule of thumb has been not to plant corn until soil temps reach 50 degrees at 4" depth at 8 am. Even with a few days of warm temperatures we havent reached that level, especially in untilled heavier soils. One thing farmers can do to jump start corn planting once soils dry out sufficiently is to plant shallower than the conventional 2" depth. Planting 1 1/2" or even 1" where the soils are likely warmer, may be ok if the soil is moist and you can get good seed to soil contact (ie, closing the slot tightly and NOT driving the planter fast over rough seedbeds!). For those who no-till, soils will be slower to warm up but similar principles apply, IF, you can get good slot closure at these shallower depths.

Zane Helsel