Planting Time Considerations

Ag producers may find the following “Planting Time Considerations” information provided by Dr. Emerson Nafziger, Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois, helpful.

Plant corn or plant soybeans? As we entered April above average temperatures appear to be giving way to more seasonal temperatures. Which crop will benefit when we return to the field? Dr. Emerson Nafziger addressed this question in his March 23rd article “Planting Time Considerations”. The article in its entirety can be found at

Should we start planting soybean or corn first?

The forecast is for warmer and a little drier conditions moving into April. If that holds, it makes little difference which crop gets planted first—the decision can simply be based on which fields are ready first. If it stays warm without heavy rainfall after planting, both crops will get off to a good start and benefit equally. Prolonged cool temperatures following very early planting of both corn and soybeans can limit yield potential, although this is rare. If the forecast changes to cooler and wetter, neither crop will have much advantage: corn emerges a little better than soybeans under such conditions, but this is offset by the need to have a higher percentage of corn seeds emerge. Planting date responses measured as percentage of maximum yield are similar for both crops, and, as we have seen in recent years, even late-planted crops can yield well if the growing season is favorable. Even though planting early helps crops get off to a good start if the weather cooperates, planting date has less influence on yields than the weather during the warm months of the growing season.

If you have questions or need more information, Russ Higgins, Extension Commercial Agriculture Educator, and Daryle Wragge, Agriculture Program Coordinator, can be reached by calling University of Illinois Extension- Bureau, LaSalle, Marshall, Putnam Unit Office at 815-224-0889.

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