Data for Corn Planting in 2012

On 21 March 2012, the 1st day of spring, the Mississippi River temperature was reported at 61º F.  Generally in early spring, the river temperatures will be close to the morning 4-inch depth soil temperature.  For your consideration, I have included the data in Table 1 which reflects the average last 32º F temperature in the spring based on 1971–2000 NOAA data.

Table 1          Last 32º F Temperature in the Spring for Iowa____

County                                                Date
Franklin                                             1 May
Tama                                                 28 April
Scott                                                  22 April
Washington                                     19 April
Henry                                                 16 April
                                                                                                              Source:  NOAA



Table 2 gives you a general guide for starting corn planting.  Normally, it is important to know your bare 4-inch depth soil temperature in the morning and the short-term weather forecast for the next 2 to 4 days after planting.  But, your soil conditions need to be right. 


Table 2         Suggested Planting Date For Iowa______________


                                                                                        Planting Dates________ __

                        County                                  Normal                      Earliest Practical

                        Franklin                                 25 April                      20 April
                        Scott                                      20 April                      15 April
                        Washington                         15 April                      10 April


Reviewing data from Illinois for the two southern most districts, and having a 3 out of 4 year probability of the last 32º F frost, April 2 and April 3 were reported as the date for that last spring frost.


Today, I would direct my planting activities to seeding alfalfa and sowing grass waterways.