What Percent of Your Corn Will You Plant Before April 25th?


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….

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