By RF Myer 

Extension Column

Cold soils and corn


Optimum soil temperatures for corn germination and plant progress begins at 50 degrees F. Soil temperatures lower than 50 F can cause corn seed to lay dormant, exposing the seed to disease and insect damage.

When corn seed is planted into soils that are too cold to allow adequate germination a condition called imbibitional chilling can occur. Seed imbibition is a two step process; water is absorbed by the seed and the seed swells. When seed swelling occurs, imbibition begins which activates enzymatic processes in the seed, including increased seed respiration and cell duplication....

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