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Agronomic Crops Network

Ohio State University Extension


Battle for the Belt: Episode 6

Corn planting at the Wooster site, April 14th

Episode 6 of Battle for the Belt is now available:

In Episode 6, we present a planting update. First, John Fulton from the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering shares recommendations for this planting season, as it pertains to planter settings before going to the field. Some highlights included 1) downforce pressure for consistent seed depth, 2) adjustments due to soil variability (e.g., wet, dry, marginal, optimum areas), 3) row-unit settings (e.g., gauge wheel, opening disk, good closure), and 4) comments on speed tubes (if available, to improve seed counts and actual seed drop).

Second, we present planting updates for corn and soybean from our research station managers across the state as our first planting date, ‘ultra-early’, went into the ground last week. Temperature conditions at planting were considered adequate, average soil temperatures at 2 inches of depth were in the range of 52 to 57°F while average air temperatures were in the range of 64 to 66 °F (Table 1).

Table 1. Study locations, planting dates, and mean soil and air temperatures for planting days.


Planting date

Soil temperature
at 2-inch depth, °F


Temperature, °F


Wayne County

April 14th


Mean: 64
Range: 46-79


Clark County

April 13th


Mean: 64
Range: 45-81

Wood County

April 12th


Mean: 66
Range: 52-80

As a recap, this research project includes five planting date windows, 1) Ultra early = late March to early April (reported here); 2) Early = mid to late April; 3) Normal = early to mid-May; 4) Late = late May-first week of June; and 5) Very late = mid to late June. Next, we will be planting the remaining four planting dates aiming at about two-week intervals of separation among each planting date.

With cooler temperatures (<50°F) in the forecast for this week, we will see what impact it may have on the early planted corn and soybeans last week. Patience is needed when checking early planted fields for emergence as cooler days will accumulate GDDs slower leading to emergence at later calendar dates than one may expect).

In addition to our field research, demonstration plots were planted at Farm Science Review last week. Be sure to check out the AgCrops Team demonstration area during Farm Science Review on September 19-21, 2023. Keep following the ‘Battle for the Belt’ this growing season to learn more and get further updates! You can find the full video playlist of Battle for the Belt on the Ohio State Agronomy YouTube channel.

Crop Observation and Recommendation Network

C.O.R.N. Newsletter is a summary of crop observations, related information, and appropriate recommendations for Ohio crop producers and industry. C.O.R.N. Newsletter is produced by the Ohio State University Extension Agronomy Team, state specialists at The Ohio State University and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). C.O.R.N. Newsletter questions are directed to Extension and OARDC state specialists and associates at Ohio State.