Knox County Soil Temperatures

Wait to plant until the soil temperature is right?



In general, corn should be planted when soil temperatures are near 50 °F.

  • Seed will absorb about 30 percent of its weight in water, and temperature does not affect water imbibition much.
    • This is different than radicle (root) and coleoptile (shoot) growth; their growth is correlated with soil temperature.
  • In cold soil conditions (below 50 °F), seeds will readily absorb water but not initiate root or shoot growth; this leads to seed rots and poor emergence if poor seedbed conditions are prolonged.
  • Recommendations are to begin planting when soils are near 50 °F or are quickly increasing to 50 °F.
  • Cool soil conditions early in the season is one reason there is more variability in final stands relative to seeding rate.

Plant when able, given good seedbed conditions

  • Yields are reduced more when planted too late rather than too early.
  • Research has shown a small yield loss with very early planting dates and larger yield losses with significantly delayed planting dates.

Throughout the growing season I will provide DAILY soil temperature readings from different locations within Knox County.

* Be sure to check back daily! 

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