Frost and soil temperature swings after planting are two factors that can place corn under significant stress. The amount of stress experienced will vary based on whether the corn seed has imbibed (absorbed) water, started growth but not yet emerged, or if the seedling has emerged above the soil surface. Variable soil temperatures have little effect on the first phase of corn germination, water imbibition. Seed will absorb about 30 percent of its weight in water. The time required for radical emergence is directly related to temperature; it increases linearly if soil temperatures are between 46 and 90 °F.
Iowa State University
Elmore, Roger W.; Owen, Micheal D.; and Abendroth, Lori, "Did the recent cold weather affect corn germination and seedling growth?" (2006). Integrated Crop Management News. 1247.
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