Integrated Crop Management News

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Dry conditions and lack of soil moisture availability, especially during planting time this spring, can create water stress resulting in delayed germination, a reduction in plant stands or may prevent seed germination. When a corn seed absorbs 30 percent of its weight in water the germination process commences. For comparison, soybeans absorb half of their weight in water before they germinate. Therefore, the level of soil moisture in the soil seedbed at planting dictates this critical process. For successful seed germination, ideally soil moisture should be at or close to field capacity. At field capacity the soil retains the maximum amount of moisture. Field capacity is influenced by soil texture; for example, fine-textured soils, such as clay or loam soils, have larger moisture holding field capacity than coarse-textured soils such as sandy-textured soils.

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Iowa State University



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