La Niňa to give us cooler temps through spring

Weather: “Plant in the dust and the bins will bust” will have to wait for another year. The overall weather pattern of generally cooler and wetter conditions is forecast to continue through April. La Niňa continues in the Pacific Ocean, which means our weather for March through May is forecast to be slighter cooler than normal. The first long range forecast is calling for above normal precipitation through spring and drier than normal summer months. The all-important low soil temperature, taken at 2 inches under bare soil at the MSU Enviroweather location at Deerfield/ Blissfield has been stuck at 37ºF earlier this week. 40ºF is the benchmark for small grains, 50ºF for corn and 55ºF for soybeans.

Spring Planting/ Nitrogen: The spring planting window may be tight this year due to continued wet weather and wet soil conditions. Wet soils means there is little to no appreciable soil nitrate nitrogen to help benefit crops and nitrogen budgets. The Corn N Rate Calculator (CNRC) is a very useful tool to estimate preplant N fertilization rate for corn because it provides the probability of cost-effective N rate for different scenarios of gran and N fertilizer prices and was just updated last week. This tool, along with the maximum dollar return to applied N (MRTN) can project a profitable rate of N for different nitrogen and corn prices and yield goals. The MSU Soil testing computer program also give these projections. MSU still offers the sidedress nitrate nitrogen soil test for farmers who have the ability to sidedress most of their nitrogen.

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