This planting season has been discouraging for farmers, to say the least. Across the country farmers have been watching the clock tick away as rain continued to come down. Late planting had a severe impact across several crops this season.
Late Plant for 2019
Farmers were finally able to get back in the fields last week as a spell of dry weather came through. As of June 10, the latest USDA Crop Progress report showed the nation’s corn crop is 83% planted. The previous week it was 67% and the five-year average boasts 99% planted. Ohio is currently the furthest behind with only about half of their crop in the ground.
With corn still in bags, some opted to plant soybeans instead. However, some are skeptical of this idea.
Mark Schultz, Northstar Commodity in Minneapolis, says most farmers would be better off taking prevented planting.
Schultz said soybean prices are still too low to see profit even if they are planted in time. He said soybeans would have to yield at least 45 bushels per acre and increase in price another 50 cents just to generate the same revenue as prevented planting coverage.
With late planting causing farmers to scratch their heads, many are wondering what is next? June 1 marked the time for farmers to begin making decisions on what their next move would be. Growers need to decide if they want to plant the seed already have, switch to earlier maturing corn hybrids or plant soybeans instead.
There is a small glimmer of hope for corn hybrids already in your hands. There is a small chance hybrids can mature before winter. According to Purdue’s Nielsen, hybrids mature in fewer Growing degree-days than predicted when planted late.
“Bottom line, if planting is delayed past June 1, make a realistic determination of remaining corn yield potential, possible soybean yield potential, and feasibility of delayed and preventative planting,” said Mark Licht, agronomist at Iowa State University. “Talk with crop advisers, Extension field agronomists, and insurance providers to gather information to make the best decision given the situation.”
Planting Late, Emotions High
A difficult planting season has taken its toll on growers across the country.
“This is the most difficult season that I’ve ever experienced,” said Dow Brantley, Arkansas farmer.
As of June 11, Brantley’s farm hadn’t had more than three consecutive days in the field. Though farmers have been pushing as much as they can, many have had to come to the difficult realization some acres may not get planted at all.
Farmers are doing all they can to get as much as they can in the ground. The sad reality is, it may not be enough for a lot of farms. Not only is it a painful year for farmers, but it creates a domino effect across several other industries.
“It’s more than just my family,” Brantley said. “We have 30 some odd employees who have families. We have crop consultants who depend on us who won’t get paid because acres are fallow. We have an aviation industry. They depend on us to have a crop. They need a crop, and we won’t have it.”
2019 planting has been brutal on farmers nationwide. As they hold on to everything they have left, they will be glad when this year is over.
Time in the fields this planting season has been few and far between. Planting is delayed and farmers are now forced to make the decision on what to do with the seed they have and what to put in the field. Planting has taken its toll on farmers everywhere.
Image courtesy of Hoosier Ag Today