Corn planting date: Implications of planting in May
Can your equipment cover the required territory? Do you have extra hours of labor you can call on? Do you have the capacity to go all night long?
Some larger operations may already have a 24-hour schedule to cover tens of thousands of acres across many counties.
Good and Irwin say you are planting 15-20 percent more acres in a day than in the 1970’s. With their calculation that a suitable planting day will allow nearly 5 percent of the acreage to be planted, they figure by May 20 about 75 percent of the corn acreage will be planted.
With a quarter of the crop unplanted by May 20, that would equate to 2009, when yields hit a record high of nearly 165 bushels per acre.
At a higher rate of planting per day, Good and Irwin calculate that only 9 percent of the crop would be unplanted by May 20 and considered “late.”
So what are the implications of a late planted crop?
- They say to reach the average of 15 percent of the crop unplanted by May 20, a higher rate of acres planted per day than the 10 year average will have to be achieved. While some weather is expected to be good, there is also rain in the forecast and that may keep the planting rate behind average.
- The corn market has been softening for some weeks in reaction to recent USDA reports of large acreage, and new crop futures are as low as they were last June, prior to the onset of the drought. Good and Irwin suggest the market is not concerned because of the prospect for large acreage and plenty of corn with a trend yield. The economists say that near perfect corn production weather followed the late planting season in 2009.
Recent planting trends indicate that an average of 15 percent of the corn crop is planted after May 20. Based on the amount of corn planted to date, over 80 percent must be planted in the last 10 days of April and the first 20 days of May to take best advantage of higher yield opportunities. Also based on the typical amount of suitable field work days, that amount is cut to about 15, making the planting window smaller.
While increased acreage can be covered in a day with larger equipment, between 5 percent and 6 percent of the expected corn acreage must be planted per day between now and May 20, when yields taper off at a higher rate.
Source: FarmGate blog