Soil temperatures are a little behind schedule this year, as is everything else, but satellite mapping shows that the cool-down has begun. Areas north of the three "I" states are pretty much good to go, dipping down as far as the 30's in the northern fringes and ranging up to around 45°F south of the Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois borders.
As harvest winds down, strong yields will have sapped N from the soil and conditions are shaping up for nearly all of the Monitor's coverage area for anhydrous applications. A band of snow blew across the nation's midsection earlier this week and that urged soil temps lower. Later this week, much of the Corn Belt was blessed with idyllic weather which allowed for steady harvest progress, and steadily falling soil temps.
Anhydrous ammonia applications must take place after the soil has cooled below 50°F to avoid loss. With an unofficial goal of wrapping up fieldwork by Thanksgiving, the coming weekend includes a rainy forecast which may slow the white buffalo's migration across farm country for a few days. But soil temperatures signal NH3 applications will start making their way southward as arctic air regains the upper hand in the soil.
Click here to keep an eye on soil temperatures in your local area.
Soil temperature map from GreenCastOnline.com.