With the sudden start to spring in Ontario this week, everyone seems to have caught spring fever! There has been some stir here about trying to plant later this week with the warm temperatures and favourable soil conditions. However, it is still early, and we do not advise planting corn or soybeans especially given the local forecasts over the next week. We do encourage you to be as productive as you can. Spread fertilizer, plant spring grains, haul manure, or go fishing!

If you rebuilt your planter this winter, this could be an opportunity for a test run to get the first kinks worked through the system. Planting a couple passes now could save you a day of aggravation in the next planting window.

If you or someone you know is determined to be the first one out this spring, we would strongly suggest the following:

  • Consider planting soybeans before corn, as we continue to see quick, uniform emergence is much more important for corn than soybeans.
  • Consider the forecast ahead and the potential frost risk associated with early planting.
  • DO NOT plant more than 5–10% of your acres.
  • Plant Thursday or Friday afternoon. Allow for 24 hours of warm weather before rain. Do not plant late into Saturday!
  • Consider planting 5–10% higher population. If you normally plant 32,000 PPA, then consider planting 34,000–35,000 PPA.
  • Plant hybrids with above-average vigour.
  • Do not plant into clay-textured soils as the risk of crusting is high.
  • Make sure that your soil is fit.
From 14-day forecast for Woodstock, Ontario. source: theweathernetwork.com

No matter where you are in Canada, there is always that first window of warm weather in spring that gets every farmer wondering if it’s time to get the planter going. Remember to carefully consider the above points and longer-term forecasts. We wish you a safe and productive planting season—when it gets here! If you have any questions or concerns, please give us a call.

Adam Parker
Henry Prinzen