It’s been a slow go of it to begin planting in Michigan. Beautiful conditions a couple of weeks back got some seed in the ground, but that’s been halted recently with below normal temperatures and some moisture.

Pioneer agronomist Josh Whelan has these tips for getting ready to plant.

“If the ground is fit, go ahead and work it up if you’ve got groundwork to do. We don’t have to necessarily wait for soil temperatures to rise to go field cultivate or run a disc over. The other thing I’d say is, if you’ve got preemergence with residuals that need to go on, not a bad time to do it.”

In the meantime, Whelan is scouting wheat fields across Michigan. Recent frosts had some growers concerned.

“Most of our wheat still has the growing point beneath the soil surface. We haven’t reached jointing yet, although I think guys would be surprised to see how far along some of their wheat is. Those warm temperatures two weeks ago really shot stuff up. But, yeah, we’re still before jointing as of right now. So, most of that frost damage is going to be superficial, your wheat is probably going to grow out of it.”

Whelan says if you do get a frost, you want to assess the damage 3-7 days later.

“It’s not going to be immediate. You’re not going to see it right away. One wheat field I just walked out of did have a little bit of frost damage today, but I don’t think it was enough to tear it up. If your tiller counts are still good, I say keep with your wheat, especially if you’ve got any contracted.”

If you have questions for your Pioneer field agronomist, visit