Five-percent of the Illinois corn crop was planted by April first this year and according to the Illinois Weather and & Crops report that’s only happened twice in the past 20 years – corn being planted by the first Sunday in April.
University of Illinois crop sciences professor Emerson Nafziger says there is that nagging concern, however, of a possible late frost that could damage those early emerging plants – adding that there are indications that temperatures might drop over the next week. Soil conditions now are pretty dry.
He says some growers are “getting serious” about planting this first week of April but others are waiting until the crop insurance date at the end of this week.
Over the last five years, Nafziger notes that planting corn on April 20th in Illinois produced the highest yield of 201 bushels an acre. He says – following the five-year pattern – corn planted on April first would yield seven bushels less and on April 10th would yield two bushels less than corn planted on the 20th.