2024 Bertie Corn Planting Guidance & Climate Dashboard

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Corn Planting Reminders

Corn planting time is upon us, and when Dr. Heiniger spoke at the 2024 Bertie Corn Production Meeting, he reminded us of value of successful seed germination and uniform stand establishment. He mentioned the benefits of accumulating 40 to 50 growing degree units (GDUs) in the 4 days following planting. He also forecasted that this may be one of those years to try to get the corn crop in early.

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.

Guidance for Your Part of Bertie

One of the tools available to us is the Climate Dashboard for NC Corn Growers, which provides North Carolina corn growers with climate-based information and predictions about seasonal corn development.

Click on the links below for your nearest region in Bertie County. When you do, the tool will default to the current date as a planting date. You can change the planting date in Section 2 and click “Update Chart”.






Merry Hill





Other Areas

If you want a report for a particular field or any area in North Carolina, check out the link below for the NC Climate Office.

Climate Dashboard for NC Corn Growers

  • 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”.
  • Once the chart has updated you will see planting guidance based on today’s date and estimation of crop stage timing for the year.

Lastly, forecasts change, so pay attention to your local conditions. If you have questions, please contact us at the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Bertie County Center, at (252)794-5317.