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Honored Advisor

Emergence Not Planting Date

While I am not sure if this will pass the Ismael Test for relevance, I just

wanted to share something that we have found interesting.


Everyone watches planting dates, including all the competitive plot

trials. We have been led to believe the prices continue to decline

because we farmers will do whatever it takes to get it planted on time.


We have found that if we look at our yield and profitability maps

on Ag Leader SMS Advanced the real take away is NOT planting is EMERGENCE date. All farmers know that emergence

is very related to soil temps which are also related to moisture and Organic

Matter in the soil as a dark soil warms faster than the light.


Last year for example, record yields, 100% of our corn on all soil

types was emerged by 5/19 last year. (The earliest ever btw and we

plant no-till into some green covers fwiw)  Corn planted on April 24th might

emerge on May 8th and it yields the same or less than corn planted

on May 1st that emerges on May 10th days. Corn planted on April 12th

might emerge May 1st in many years, and yield less than corn planted

on May 1st. We had a serious drought last year in May which is always

a very good thing for yields in this area. Clearly, 2019 will not be

the same, we were 30% done on April 30th last year with 10 days of

hot dry weather in the forecast....not so much so far this year. 


On the other end of things, as long as the corn is emerged by 5/28

there is a very limited yield drag from planting in to dry warm soil on 5/20.

There is a huge yield drag if planting into wet Mud on 5/20, as it won't

emerge till 5/30 and then uneven and stressed.


Ultimately my point is that, while ignored by bubble masters, gurus, global

power traders, and most of the media, soil temps and emergence dates

are more important than planting date for  just about everyone, everywhere.....

so when I see the cold forecasted to continue up north on cold wet soils....

a smile creeps across my face. The bubble masters, and their media darlings,

might be a touch out of position on this one Smiley Surprised


This would also explain the huge long position by those who use the stuff,

and the abnormally tight basis bids for harvest shipment. 


And just for fun, there is no way in the world that IN is 2% planted on

corn....just hasn't happened....sorry NASS but no way. I only know of 420

acres down south on the sand it just got flooded 🙂

(Of course it doesn't matter! but it is still ok to point it out.!)

8 Replies
Honored Advisor

Re: Emergence Not Planting Date

One of the local elevator marketing daily updates claimed that planting progress shown

in todays report was only 13% behind the 5 year average. 


Doesn't anyone take math anymore.Yes, we have 13% less of the crop planted

than the 5 year average. This is 50% LESS THAN THE AVERAGE planted 27%, not 13%.


Kind of like going to "Science Behind" event on fungicides at the Nat Machinery Show

and getting to listen to 4 growers that use fungicides 100% of the time on both

corn and beans, all paid for by BASF the fungicide producer. Why the farmer's don't

even scout or leave untreated test strips cause it always works.

Trust me, there was no science to get behind in that room. 🙂



Veteran Advisor

Re: Emergence Not Planting Date

Like the guy in Anchorman says....100 percent of the time it works 60 percent of the time.


It is such a wet mess here in southern MN again that I feel like just asking for my prevented planting check and taking the year off. This will be the third abnormally wet year of the last four. 

0 Kudos

Re: Emergence Not Planting Date

Appreciate your post Time. The condition you plant into has almost as much importance as the date. Wet fall didn't allow for any fall prep and this spring is providing plenty of challenges. Locally only found one field of sandy bottom ground planted. Most people still have the majority of their burndown to do. Nothing is happening this week and should the 90% rain materializes Thursday that puts us into the middle of next week. Whatever kind of weather we get the middle of May is going to pivotal.
0 Kudos
Honored Advisor

Re: Emergence Not Planting Date

Agree with that SW.

Kind of in a ultra-contrarian move...if we get past

5/25 we will switch more acres to corn on corn and away from

beans. Corn on corn no-till planted in late May can do

extremely well sometimes, and with a bean:corn price

ratio this fall closer to 2:1 instead of 3:1, profit wise it is

a pretty easy call.


This is much closer that many think, we can plant it all

in 13 hot sunny days. That means our finish date is already

pushing 5/20 with the rain coming tomorrow. Closer to

5/25 than the trade thinks I'm guessing 🙂

0 Kudos
BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Re: Emergence Not Planting Date

"this" planting delay has gotten much more press than the previous I-90 corridor planting delays of years past.  Last year the rest of the cornbelt was high fiving each other on their big crop coming to notice that we were mudding corn in out of desperation on the 25th of May hoping to beat the crop insurance cut off dates.  


Taking prevent plant is no where as juicy as it was in years past, last year I inquired about it and my agent quickly explained you`re way better doing what you have to to drag the planter across the field and call it "planted" and let the chips fall and settle it in the fall.  Minnesota is tough, a lot of areas haven`t turned a wheel and the Dakotas and it sounds like parts of Indiana and Illinois.   But around Ames Iowa, they are basically done with the corn, NCIA could be 50% done, if it wasn`t so cold, many of us held off with it being too cold 53 degree soil temp and 45 degree daytime highs air temperature`d leaf  out underground.


Every year someone has their best crop ever and someone has a tough year, but the carryover builds. Maybe all this planting delay press coverage is justified and the lower yields in the fall will bear it out.  There is a chance to still get a very decent crop, tomorrow is only May 1st.   And I want $7 $8 corn again, if I could talk the market up, I would and I`ve tried to no avail in the past, the high fivers were bringing in record crops, while my soggy fields were inconsequential.  

0 Kudos
Senior Advisor

Re: Emergence Not Planting Date

Le Sueur County, MN = 3rd row of counties north if MN/IA border so we don't count.

Here it is May 1st and we have nothing planted.  Can't remember that happening in the last dozen years at least.

Looking at another week at least.  Ground is wet & cold.

At least the MN River has started to go down again.


0 Kudos
Veteran Advisor

Re: Emergence Not Planting Date

So what area(s) do matter? I’ve read on here that Indiana doesn’t count and now I see that southern MN doesn’t either. Here in SW KS we’re “fringe “ and the south east and delta areas are too. Is it only certain parts of Iowa that matter? Or what??
0 Kudos
Honored Advisor

Re: Emergence Not Planting Date

Clayton you are wise beyond your years....

no where counts......when you allow a VERY SMALL

market to go to unlimited money flows and unlimited

speculative participation, in reality no where

is all money flow.


Just for reference Corn is a VERY VERY SMALL 

market.....less than $60 Bil dollars total annual market value

(15bil bu x 4). To put that in perspective, total value of

the gold market cap is 7.7 Trillion. In corn, if using 

margin, or OTC repo agreements, you can buy the

entire annual production for around $6 Bil dollars.

Total money under mgmt in just the Hedge Fund

industry is over 2.8 TRIL. Futures only funds total

355 BIL. This does not count the Trillions in other

investment type funds, sovereign funds, etc etc etc......


This becomes counter-intuitive, because despite

umlimited information technology being applied to

the markets....and the smartest, best educated traders,

growers, and users in valuations

actually become almost 100% determined by mindless

emotion and algo driven trend following systems. So,

the smartest system in the history of the world actually

starts to resemble cave men counting on their fingers.


The hog market is just the most recent and obvious

to prove the point. China's hogs starting being killed

in early 2018, not March of 2019.


All of this is kind of funny in a way because ultimately

"Mary Poppins" growing seasons give way to chaotic

variability. At that time of course, the market algo worshippers

get to say well the weather took a turn. We were right but

a weather anomoly intervened, Act of God you know,

(As if God cares about the weather in IL today)