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Battle for the Belt: Episode 7

Episode 7 of Battle for the Belt is now available:

In Episode 7, we get another weather update from Dr. Aaron Wilson. Will we plant this week? We have certainly seen plenty of warmth this spring, but temperatures have been a bit cooler as of late. This cooler than average pattern is expected to continue over the next 7-10 days with soaking rain expected again this weekend (See Spring Weather & Soil Conditions: Update 3 in this week’s newsletter).

As a reminder, our first set of planting dates occurred April 12-14 (Table 1). Between planting and April 24, average air temperatures were 52-58°F at the three trial locations. However, on April 19, the air temperature dipped down to 27-29°F. Although the minimum air temperature was below freezing, the 2-inch soil temperature minimum was 43-46°F. Fluctuations in soil temperature are less extreme compared to air temperatures, which is important as corn and soybean germinate and emerge.

Table 1. Study locations, planting dates, mean temperature, and minimum temperature in soil and air between planting and April 21. (Information from CFAES Weather System,


Planting date

2-inch soil temperature
(between planting-April 21)

Air Temperature

(between planting-April 21)


Wayne County

April 14th

Mean: 54°F

Minimum: 46°F (April 19)

Mean: 52°F

Minimum: 28°F (April 19)


Clark County

April 13th

Mean: 54°F
Minimum: 46°F (April 19)

Mean: 54°F

Minimum: 27°F (April 19)

Wood County

April 12th

Mean: 55°F
Minimum: 43

Mean: 58°F
Minimum: 29
°F (April 19)

Within 7 days of planting, we saw corn and soybean germinate and radicle (root) development (Figure 1). However, the plants have not yet emerged from the ground (Figure 2). Temperatures will need to warm up for these plants to emerge.

Figure 1. Corn and soybean germination 5-7 days after planting. (Photo credits: Matt Davis, Osler Ortez, and Taylor Dill)

Figure 2. No corn or soybean emergence at the Northwest Agricultural Research Station in Wood County. Photo taken 11 days after planting (April 23, 2023).

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. Weather permitting, the second planting (early) will occur this week.

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.