How Saturated Soils Affect Germination, Seedling Growth

Corn seedlings in flooded field
Figure 1. Corn seedlings growing in flooded field.

How Saturated Soils Affect Germination, Seedling Growth May 12, 2016

Similar to last year’s heavy rains in early May, rain on May 9 and May 10-11 in portions of Nebraska have caused ponding and flooding across some fields.  As of Sunday, May 8, USDA-NASS reported that 57% of Nebraska's corn was planted that is behind the 71% planting progress in 2015 but close to the 59% 2011-2015 average. We've had another challenging plantings season, however 15% of the corn crop has emerged and that is running in line with the 5-year average. USDA-NASS also reported that 13% of our soybeans were planted, behind of last year's and the five-year average of 21%.

How much will these saturated conditions affect germination and plant viability? See the May 7, 2015 CropWatch story, Corn and Soybean Survival in Saturated and Flooded Soils, for further information and a table of how corn is affected at different growth stages.