How many GDD for Corn Emergence?

by Greg LaBarge, Fulton County

I have been asked several times when we will plant corn in 2011? The answer will be as soon as ground conditions allow planters to get across the field. The past several years we have taught us to take advantage of any part of April where soil conditions allow equipment on fields. Seed treatments, hybrid improvements and better planter placement have given a bigger window for planting. The fields we chose for early planting are going to be well drained andour better soils which added together reduce risk as well.

Our biggest risk of planting regardless of the calendar date is a big rainfall event after planting. With early April planting the greatest risk maybe frost (or actually several hours in the mid 20’s) after corn has emerged. Last year we had a cold temperatures near the end of April that had a risk for early planted beans but most had not yet emerged so we did not lose anything.

The GDD needed for emergence of corn is 110-120 GDD with a range of 90-150. With highs in the mid 60’s and low’s in the 40’s and 50’s we accumulate 10 GDD or less per day. With that type of GDD accumulation it will take 14-18 days for emergence.  Soybeans require a similar GDD accumulation for emergence with 100-150 GDD needed.


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