I-80 Planting Tour Central Iowa: Corn Acres Climb

I-80 Planting Tour Iowa 041719

According to the latest information from USDA, Iowa has yet to plant. Typically at least 2 percent of the crop is in the ground by now.

For farmers in Central Iowa, it may be a while. Rolland Schnell, a farmer in Jasper County, Iowa, just finished up some spring field work. However, he says farmers in the county still have fall field work left to do.

“I would say approximately 40 to 50 percent of the anhydrous ammonia is on, which means over half of the anhydrous needs to be applied [in the area],” said Schnell.

Because of that, some farmers have late minute acreage decisions to make. Schnell decided to plant more corn and it’s all due to price.

“I personally don’t see much of a future in the soybean market as of the 2019 crop,” said Schnell.

Economists say he’s not alone with his thought. “There’s a big difference on what’s going to happen with global trade,” said Sam Funk, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation Economist. “If we are going to have those markets jeopardized out there in the United States, that is going to back up a lot of marketplace here into Iowa. When you think of some of the basis levels, it’s not just talking about the price of the board of trade, it’s also about talking about the [the basis] level.”

However, Schnell believes the market will come back eventually. “The next year or two might be kind of tough but it’s going to come back,” said Schnell. He hopes to plant shortly after the Easter holiday.