Corn planting in Kansas: Status as of early April

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Precipitation during the past week slowed down any initial progress in corn planting across the state. Soil temperatures for the week of March 31- April 6 remained similar as compared to the week before (March 26-31) – with temperatures slightly above to well below 55 F depending on the area of the state (Fig. 1). In addition, over the last week soil temperatures at the 2-inch depth decreased by 1 to 7 degrees F in many parts of the state (Fig. 2).

Figure 1. Average soil temperatures at 2-inch depth for the week of March 31-April 6, 2017.


Figure 2. Changes in weekly average soil temperatures at 2-inch depth for the week ending April 6 vs. the week ending March 31.


The past 2-week precipitation summary is presented in Figure 3. Cumulative precipitation for the last 2 weeks was heavily focused on the eastern central part of the state, with total precipitation values higher than 6-inches in some areas. Several parts of the state have received more than 1 inch of precipitation over the past 2 weeks, with lower precipitation amounts in NC and NW Kansas.


Figure 3. Weekly precipitation summary for the week of March 25-31 and March 31 - April 6, 2017.


The precipitation outlook for the medium-term outlook (8-14 day, April 14-20) calls for above-normal probabilities for precipitation for the entire state, as well as for most of the Corn Belt region (Fig. 4).



Figure 4. 8-14 Day Outlook Precipitation Probability from NOAA.


In the shorter term, next week’s outlook is still dry for many sections of the state but with some probabilities of precipitation by the middle of next week.

As a reminder, soil conditions at planting have a large impact on emergence uniformity and early-season growth of corn. Lack of uniformity in emergence can greatly impact corn potential yields.

It looks possible or even likely that wet conditions seem will be affecting early planting of corn in many areas of the state for a while yet. If possible, wait and plant under more uniform soil temperature and moisture conditions to guarantee a more uniform early-season stand of plants.

More information about planting status of summer row crops will be provided in upcoming issues of the Agronomy eUpdate. Stay tuned!


Ignacio Ciampitti, Crop Production and Cropping Systems Specialist

Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library