How Does Your Seed Hit the Ground Running?

We all want to see our seed come up quickly and evenly.  However, in Minnesota we face challenges such as soil temperature, wet soil, compaction, and differences in daily temperatures.  Here are the factors for seed germination and what it takes to ensure your seed hits the ground running.

Important Planting Factors:

  • Soil temperature – Corn germinates when soil temperatures are 50 degrees F or above.
  • Soil conditions – soil type may affect corn germination.  Side wall compaction and surface compaction may slow down germination and early season growth.
  • Seeding depth – Optimal seeding depth is 1.5 to 2 inches.  Corn planted too shallow may be susceptible to freezing temperatures due to its growing point being above ground.  Planting deeper will give the seed more available moisture but moisture is dependent on soil type.  Extremely deep planting depth may result in slower and uneven emergence.

4 Factors to Corn Germination:

  • Gibberellic Acid – It codes RNA for Amylase Enzyme
  • Phosphorus - It is in most starter fertilizers.  Why?  Phosphorus supplies energy for plant growth at germination.
  • Zinc – This micronutrient is not needed in large amounts.  However, a small amount of zinc provides the source for cell division and differentiation.
  • Cytokinin – It extends coleoptile (the sheath of an emerging shoot in a corn plant), cell division, and differentiation. 

You will see quick and equal emergence when these conditions are met.  Planting early and quick emergence will give you best chance for maximum yield potential.  Contact your Centra Sota Crop Advisor to discuss how to ensure your seed hits the ground running.

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