Friday, April 29, 2011

Do Not Be Afraid!

I repeat - Do Not Be Afraid!  After researching into historical weather records I have discovered that the yellowish white orb in the sky is in fact the sun.

It's my dad's birthday today.  Happy 71st Birthday Dad!  The only thing my dad ever wants for his birthday is to be able to plant corn.  Unfortunately, this will be one of those rare birthdays where he will not be planting.  Two weeks ago the soil temps were running right around 47F - 48F.  Then after one or two snow/slush storms the soil temps fell to 37F.  Today, the 4 inch soil temp is 42F.  To top it all off it rained and sleeted all day yesterday so it will be a while before corn planting gets started in Northeast Iowa. 

Soil thermometer at the 4 inch depth.
The soil temperature is a very important piece of information that crop farmers in the northern part of the midwest follow closely in early spring.  Corn germinates at 50F.  We like to start planting corn when the soil temps are below 50F but are definately rising and the weather is in the warming mode.  If seed sets in cold and/or wet soils for too long, the seed looses it's vigor and may not germinate or emerge healthy due to the onset of diseases.

Since he can't plant today, Dad is driving around the yard rechecking and double rechecking monitors
and electronics to make sure all is ready for when the weather does break.

Seed customers have been calling and stopping in today to pick up seed and discuss the late start to planting.  Everyone is trying to remain calm but I can tell everyone is nervous.   Let's hope the weather straightens out soon.

Joe loading a customer's seed. 
He likes to load seed once in awhile so
his forklift skills don't get rusty. :-)
Our employee "D" helping me in the warehouse since he can't be in the field.


  1. It seems like all that farmers are talking about right now is the weather. My boyfriend is in Eastern Iowa and they are itching to get started as well. This might be a silly question, but is a soil thermometer any different and a meat therometer. From the top they look the same!

  2. They are the same. A soil thermometer doesn't go as high temp wise as a meat thermometer. If the soil temp gets up to 165F I afraid we will all be a little medium rare.