Low Temperatures Could Impact Seed Germination

Clint Thompson Alabama, Cotton, Florida, Georgia, Peanuts

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File photo/Peanut planting is in full swing in the Southeast.

By Clint Thompson

Row crop farmers need to be wary of cooler temperatures this week, says Pam Knox, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Agricultural Climatologist. Producers are planting cotton and peanuts. But if temperatures drop into the 40s as weather.com predicts for Tifton, Georgia, they could impact seed germination.

“I’m not a seed specialist but I know that if you put seed into the ground and then it gets cold for a few days, the seed just sits there. There’s a higher chance of rotting especially because the soil’s been pretty moist,” Knox said. “If people plant today, the seed’s going to get out there in the soil and probably not going to do much for a few days. Now, it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily going to go bad. But it’ll slow down the initial growth until it gets warm again.”

Cold Temperatures Expected

According to weather.com, temperatures in Huntsville, Alabama are expected to drop into the 30s on Friday and Saturday, as is the case for Talladega, Alabama. These are less than ideal conditions for planting cotton and peanut seed.

“I think the preference is to pick a period you’re at the temperature you need, and you know it’s going to stay that way for at least a few days, if not longer,” Knox said.

Temperatures are expected to heat back up next week.

“The cold outbreak that we’re getting doesn’t happen every year. I’m glad that we didn’t get it in the winter. It would have been really cold if we had gotten it in the winter. We would have seen some pretty drastic temperatures. This time of year, it’s late enough in the year, I don’t think frost is going to be an issue. But we are going to get these cold soil temperatures for a few days,” Knox said.

About the Author

Clint Thompson

Multimedia Journalist for AgNet Media Inc.