If it’s April it must be time to talk about planting speed. Indeed, many farmers are frustrated by the way corn traders seem to be ignoring the calendar. In turn, analysts and traders point out how fast modern equipment can get the seeds in the ground, so there is less to worry about as far as the date goes.
Mother Nature is finally cooperating enough to allow Missouri farmers to make a big dent in planting progress this past week. Area farmer Adam Casner says while corn planting is wrapped up on their farm, he's forced to plant more soybeans this year.
Fertilizer availability issues are creating a frenzy this spring. While various fertilizers are seeing limited availability, anhydrous ammonia is in the shortest supply, and supply issues for all fertilizer could linger through summer.
On May 1, the USDA Grain Crushing report will provide an estimate of corn used for ethanol production in March. An expectation of continued weakness is in place for ethanol-based corn consumption that led to the USDA’s reduction by 150 million bushels since the September WASDE report, according to University of Illinois agricultural economist Todd Hubbs.
The wet spring, combined with issues getting fertilizer this year, is creating a headache for many producers trying to plant this year. Ken Ferrie is fielding questions daily from farmers about what they should do if anhydrous ammonia isn’t a viable option, with many even abandoning it as their fertilizer of choice.