Soil is still too cold for most Iowa farmers to plant nearly a month into spring

Ames, Iowa – Many Iowa farmers are anxious to start their spring field work, but Mother Nature has other ideas, with recent snowfalls and continued cold weather. Iowa State University Extension crops specialist Joel DeJong says due to the frigid soil temperatures, farmers are limited on what they can do.

DeJong says soil temperatures need to be at least 50 degrees — and climbing — for suitable growing conditions for corn and soybeans, and we’re nowhere near that.

If we would start having outside air temperatures in the 60s for a period of about a week, we may begin to see the soil temperatures rise enough to germinate corn seeds. However, DeJong says farmers may be lacking in patience.

He notes, the good news farmers can take away about this year’s field conditions is that we do have either adequate — or surplus — levels of moisture.


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