2023 Corn Planting Guidance | March 31 Through April 4

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Some people say that “you shouldn’t start something new on Friday that you can’t finish”. There may be some truth to that old saying and if you’re thinking about planting some corn over the weekend have a look at the document below which outlines corn planting guidance for the areas around Bertie County including Askewville, Colerain, Lewiston-Woodville, Merry Hill, Powellsville, Republican, Roxobel, and Windsor.

Bertie Corn Planting Guidance (March 31 through April 4)

When Dr. Ron Heiniger was making his tour around the state this winter for corn production meetings he stressed successful seed germination and the value of uniform stand establishment. He mentioned the benefits of accumulating 40 to 50 growing degree units (GDUs) in the 4 days following planting. As a reminder corn GDUs are calculated using the following formula:

GDUs = 
[(Daily Maximum Temperature ºF + Daily Minimum Temperature ºF) ÷ 2] – 50

Keep in mind that you use a value of 86 ºF for any daily high temperature above 86 ºF. Likewise, for any minimum daily temperature below 50 ºF, you should use 50 ºF in the above equation.

Dr. Heiniger also reminded us that if your forecast is for more than 2 inches of precipitation in the first week following planting you may be hurting your germination and stand establishment.

Before heading to the field with the planter please check the upcoming weather forecast for your area. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do I have the proper GDU accumulation for successful corn seed germination?
  2. How much precipitation is forecasted in the first 7 days after planting?
  3. Are you running pop-up or starter fertilizer on your planter? If so maybe you can have successful germination with the lesser recommended amount of GDU accumulation.
  4. What is your current soil temperature? If your soil temperature is below 50 ºF then you might not be doing yourself any favors by letting the planter hit the field right now.

If you want to get a report for a particular field or any area in North Carolina check out the link below for the NC Climate Office which will take you to the tool used to generate reports for your area. Enter your location in the first section and then click “Search”. Input your intended planting date in the second section. Under the third section select any years you’d like to compare the current year to and then click “Update”.

Online Tool: NC Climate Office Corn Planting Considerations (GDU Forecast)

Lastly, as a reminder, forecasts change so I recommend that you go to the online tool for updated forecasts and planting guidance. If you have questions please reach out to us at theN.C. Cooperative Extension, Bertie County Center at (252)794-5317.