Earlier this week I wrote about the real shortage of corn seed which has created no opportunity for corn replanting in 2012.

With soybeans seemingly rocking their way to $16, why would you be paranoid about getting started on your corn planting?  In talking to a couple Southern Ontario farmers today the thought seemed to be that why not start planting corn before the forecasted rain?  Get the kinks out of the planter on a small amount of acres possible reap some rewards from the super early planted corn if nothing goes wrong.  But how much do you try and plant before April 25th or May 1st?  

With the hard frost earlier this week in parts of the US, some Ontario farmers will back down and wait to after the safer date of May 1, 2012.As OMAFRA Corn Specialist Greg Stewart wrote in this weeks OMAFRA Field Report:

Early corn planting (before April 25) does not often out yield corn planted in the April 25 to May 10 window but it does reduce the risk of delayed planting and lower yields if weather conditions turn rainy in the optimum window. Producers are warned that supplies of hybrids is low and replant options may be limited if early planted corn gets taken out by frost. Early planting of corn should be restricted to only a portion of a producer’s intended acres. Early planted corn under cool conditions can take a significant amount of time to emerge, exposing the seed and young seedling to extended disease and insect pressure.

If you are committed to a certain % of corn in your rotation you may be better off to wait based on the information above from Greg Stewart.  For the farmers that luckily booked longer maturity corn this fall they may win with early planted corn.  Farmers that have already applied nitrogen are really cutting into profits if they are forced to re-plant and use soybeans.  Good profit potential does not mean you should be reckless but you can be calculated on a certain portion of acres.

With areas like London and Guelph facing a weekend of rain, the week of April 16-21 is going to be very interesting especially if the weather turns warm.  How much corn will you plant?

Taking all this into consideration maybe the best strategy is to just flip a coin…..

What’s your corn planting strategy?  Leave your comments below….

8 thoughts on “What Percent of Your Corn Will You Plant Before April 25th?

  1. If we get rain this weekend, then an extended period of good weather, I think most Ontario corn will be planted in April. As always, it depends on rains, but with our current seed treatments for seed corn, after April 15th or so, corn should be fine. In 2010 I started planting on April 19th, finished on April 23rd, most Ontario corn was planted that year in April. That was a good year. Last year, was completely different and surely 2012 will be too. So we’ll see. After last year, nothing scares me.

  2. Yesterday morning at Broadhagen, in worked land, the soil temperature at 2″ deep was 32F. I quite suspect that just might chill shock sprouted corn. I would be prepared to see distorted roots and hypocotyl. And look at our alfalfa. The growth point on 25-50% of the stems has been killed. Dairy farms are going to have one poor and miserable first cut.

  3. Corn seed was sprouted east of Lucan on Thursday April 12. Temps are warming up. The dandelions are flowering. Soil conditions are near perfect. Go Plant your Corn!

  4. It’s started to rain here this morning, so I am able to take pause and look at some of my emails. I have customers who are anywhere from completely finished planting corn to not even considering planting yet. I hate to tell growers not to plant when the ground is fit, so I have been mostly saying go if they want to with a few warnings. The soil was 8 degrees yesterday. I’m pretty comfortable with guys being 1/3 to 1/2 way through their planting, and after that I have told guys not to feel they need to rush to finish up. Spread that risk. Guess we won’t know what we should have done until December when the final numbers come in. Best of luck to everyone out there!

  5. Cold weather today kind of determines what I will be doing with my seed – waiting. Next week looks decent but still below 0′ weather in the forecast. Like Greg Stewart suggested – rain forecast in the first week of May – is that to be a sign of another wet May? Then we are into June. Last year the early planted corn in May did not out-yield properly planted corn in June. I’ll be waiting. Patiently.

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