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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Planting Time and Soil Temperatures - May 1, 2014

May 1, 2014

Planting Time and Soil Temperatures


                It is planting season again, time to get another season’s crop up and growing.  The best way of doing that is with a good start.  The first step in getting any summer crop started well is planting and planning for good soil temperatures, especially for cotton.  Even though environmental and soil moisture conditions are far below any desired level, we have been get the annual question again, “What is the soil temperature today?”

                Cotton gets off to its best start when planted in a recommended 69°F consistent temperature soil (roughly 64°F bare minimum with a week’s worth of warm weather on the way).  Sorghum requires a 57°F recommended consistent temperature (roughly 55°F bare minimum with a warming trend to follow).  Corn needs a minimum of 50°F and no freezing temperatures and a general warming trend following planting.

                So, where do we stand today following the latest cold front?  I took a soil temperature reading at 8:30 this morning at the Halfway Experiment Station in western Hale County.  The soil temperature was 52°F in a fairly dry, conventional till field situation. 

                With at least a week’s worth of warmer weather on the way, we should be in good shape to continue any corn and sorghum planting.  I would recommend we wait on those soil temperatures to raise ten more degrees before cotton is planted.  We will continue to post additional soil temperature readings here early next week.  IF the weather forecast can be believed, gaining ten degrees in soil temperature might not take but a few days.


Please call or come by with any questions,

Blayne Reed


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