Date of this Version


Document Type



Neild, R.E. and Seeley, M.W. (1977). Growing degree days predictions for corn and sorghum development and some applications to crop production in Nebraska (Research Bulletin No. 280)


ISSN 0161-3843


The concept of growing degree days (GDD) originated with observations by Reamur (1735) that plant development is more closely related to the temperature accumulated to a given stage than with time alone. It was not until nearly 200 years later, however, that Merriam (1894), Livingston (1916) and Klages (1942) began to use temperature accumulations in plant distribution studies and in crop geography. In the early 1950's, a system involving growing degree days became widely used in the canning industry to schedule plantings and thus control time of harvest of rapidly maturing vegetables. This system provided a more precise control of both quantity and maturity of produce delivered for processing. It had a profound effect on processing efficiency and the cost and quality of canned vegetables, particularly peas and sweet corn. This study concerns GDD requirement for the series of consecutive phenological stages of field corn (Zea mays L.) and grain sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) from emergence to physiological maturity. Such data are important for crop management decisions throughout the growing season.