We are at the beginning of planting season. The biggest thing we need to look at now is soil temperatures.
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- [00:00:00.740]This is Amy Timmerman
with Nebraska Extension.
- [00:00:03.952]Holy Cow! It is hard
to believe that we in the
- [00:00:06.402]last week of March and
April is knocking on our door.
- [00:00:09.307]With April knocking on our door
that typically indicates
- [00:00:12.787]we are at the beginning
of planting season.
- [00:00:15.272]For some of our fields
we still have some snow
- [00:00:18.267]present depending
on where we are at.
- [00:00:20.672]But, before we start getting out onto
those fields and planting those seeds,
- [00:00:24.293]the biggest thing we need to look
at right now is soil temperatures.
- [00:00:27.843]Soil temperatures is the first starting
point for us to have a successful crop.
- [00:00:32.657]When the soil temperatures are at
optimal temperatures for the seeds
- [00:00:35.897]that we are planting, the seeds
are able to swell, germinate,
- [00:00:39.757]and start growing like
gang busters and give
- [00:00:42.112]us the optimal yield
that we are looking at.
- [00:00:44.557]So how do we determine what
our soil temperatures are?
- [00:00:48.087]We have a great resource at
- [00:00:53.467]This data on here is
from the Nebraska State
- [00:00:56.480]Climate office and from
- [00:00:59.493]This is updated daily.
- [00:01:01.513]If you go to the map
you are able to look
- [00:01:04.153]at various spots
in the state where
- [00:01:06.814]they're collecting data
and they will give you
- [00:01:09.002]daily average 4-inch
bare soil temperatures
- [00:01:12.053]and they will also
provide weekly average
- [00:01:14.153]4-inch bare
- [00:01:16.253]So, as we look in our area,
we are ranging on average
- [00:01:20.058]as of Wednesday,
- [00:01:24.166]anywhere from 32° to
about 39 to 40° F
- [00:01:29.454]depending on where
you are at in the state.
- [00:01:31.503]So this is a great
place to go - look at it.
- [00:01:34.453]However there are so
many things that
- [00:01:36.238]could impact your
- [00:01:38.023]Are you a no-till?
- [00:01:39.265]So how much coverage
do we have on that field
- [00:01:41.775]that is going
to slow down
- [00:01:43.335]that temperature
- [00:01:46.075]Do I till my fields? Do I still
have a lot of snow cover?
- [00:01:50.075]So one of the easiest
ways is for you to go
- [00:01:52.075]out and collect your
own soil temperatures.
- [00:01:54.075]You don't need to go out and
buy a special soil thermometer.
- [00:01:57.425]You can get away with using
a basic meat thermometer
- [00:02:00.515]that you can buy
from the grocery store.
- [00:02:02.375]All you are going to do is
take that thermometer out,
- [00:02:04.885]stick it down in that soil profile,
give it about 5 minutes to adjust
- [00:02:08.219]to the climate and to the soil and
to see what your temperatures are.
- [00:02:13.115]For me, I'm
located in O'Neill.
- [00:02:15.278]On Monday,
when I went out,
- [00:02:16.518]when I was looking
at bare tilled soil
- [00:02:19.133]I was running
about 37° F.
- [00:02:21.748]When I looked at a
no-till, that has
- [00:02:24.293]been grazed by cattle,
with some coverage yet,
- [00:02:28.683]I'm running
about 35° F.
- [00:02:30.853]And so it gave me a really
good idea where I'm at.
- [00:02:33.673]That soil temp is going
to give us an indication
- [00:02:36.033]of how soon we
are going to plant.
- [00:02:37.648]If you are looking at
spring planted forages
- [00:02:39.718]such as oats, spring barley,
spring wheat, spring triticale,
- [00:02:43.653]those plants are going to
germinate at 35° F.
- [00:02:46.878]So we are right on the edge of
getting those plants into the ground.
- [00:02:51.384]If you are looking at a
traditional corn and soybeans,
- [00:02:54.454]we want to wait until those soil
temperatures are about 50° F.
- [00:02:57.514]So we need to give
it a few more weeks
- [00:02:59.334]and depending on
what our weather cycles
- [00:03:01.214]are going to be that soil
may warm up very quickly
- [00:03:03.924]or we may need to delay
planting by a few days
- [00:03:07.164]to a week to allow
that soil to warm up
- [00:03:09.746]to where we need
to optimize that seed
- [00:03:12.929]to be able to germinate and
grow as quickly as possible.
- [00:03:15.866]If you have any questions
about soil temperatures,
- [00:03:18.756]please reach out to your
local extension educator.
- [00:03:21.596]This has been Amy Timmerman
with Nebraska Extension
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