Planting Corn in April

“I never plant my corn until after April 25th or I never plant my corn until May” We have either heard these statements made by other farmers or even made them ourselves. Are the statements wrong? Not really as it comes down to more than just a date on the calendar. With all the data that has been generated on planting date in the past number of years the main conclusion is plant before May 10th. Syngenta Agronomy Research states that planting date has little influence on yield potential prior to May 10th (R2 = 0.0085), with all other agronomic and management factors (fertility, population, seed depth, weather, hybrid selection, etc.) playing a more critical role in determining yield potential. Research indicates that 46% (R2 = 0.4613) of the variation in yield potential after May 10th is due to planting date and that farmers should expect to lose on average a bushel a day for every day planting is delayed after May 10th.(See attached chart)

Will planting in mid April increase my yields over early May planting? Not significantly. April planting allows you to get this operation completed at a less stressful pace (remember rushing to plant corn last year) allowing you to manage all the above factors to the best of your ability.

Should I plant before April 25? If the field is fit and conditions are favourable for germination and growth and as Clare Kinlin Regional Manager in Eastern Ontario says “it won’t grow in the bag”. Plant the acres you feel comfortable planting at this time and have a safe planting season


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