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Veteran Advisor

Weather Key To Planting Rate

The corn market may respond to commentary on how much corn we can plant how fast as we try to get almost 93 million acres in the ground.

 

We here it said that the corn crop can be planted in just five days because of bigger planters, etc.  The University of Illinois says not so fast.  While you're trying to figure out your hedging position and considering how many acres have been planted, this recap of planting history might be useful.

 

https://farmdocdaily.illinois.edu/2019/04/here-we-go-again-how-many-days-does-it-take-to-plant-the-u...

 

"Conventional wisdom suggests that the U.S. corn crop can be planted in just a few days, perhaps as few as five suitable field days.  This thinking is spurred on by the large size of modern planters that can obviously plant many more acres than the smaller planters of the past. "

 

"Once again, the conventional wisdom is not borne out by historical data on planting progress for three states in the heart of the U.S. Corn Belt—Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa.  We show that maximum planting rates per suitable field day in the heart of the Corn Belt have increased very little over time and were not out of the ordinary in 2018.  "

 

"The reason for the timely planting is the exceptional window that opened up between April 25 and May 20, 2018 in many Corn Belt states.  For example, 22 out of the 26 days in 2018 for this period in Illinois were classified as suitable field days, approximately a 1 out 10 event.  This demonstrates that weather is the key determinant of timely planting of aggregate corn acreage in the U.S. not planting rate per day, which is surprisingly stable through time."

 

I hope the traders have read this report.  Smiley Happy

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7 Replies
Esteemed Advisor

Re: Weather Key To Planting Rate

FT92 surely will correct you and UofI Jim. 

 

Planters rolling in IA as we speak and we get flooded out this way, pretty normal actually.

 

Lots of things go in to these numbers through time, and I do think the UofI data is

likely not catching the fact that in a given county, in 8 dry field days (not the same thing

as "NASS suitable" days by a long shot, but in 8 good days, yes 80% can get planted

now. For our farm, we usually have one less day suitable a week than the nass data

suggests because you cannot plant an air dry field 3 days after a 2" rain. You can plant a

pattern tiled field 3 days after IF the wind is blowing and the sun shines however.

 

The old standard delevoped by Purdue back in the 80's still holds, in IN you have to be

able to plant 10% of your crop a day in the rough years, in OH it is more like 15%. We actually

won't plant more than 10% in one day as it never is the right day to plant historically :-)

 

 

 

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Honored Advisor

Re: Weather Key To Planting Rate

In NCIA, ironically it was AFTER May 20th that we got a "window" to START planting last year.  I know in the big scheme of things someone somewhere takes a hit for the team (we here always seem to be the tackling dummy though) but as evidenced by the 2 billion bu carry from last yr, we didn`t matter.  There`s a lot of factors that cancel each other out, on the "positive side" fencerows taken out, farmers don`t have chores just roll out of bed and if the weatherman gives them a 2 hour window they can plant a 80 before the next thunderstorm rolls through.  If the weatherman says "after Monday I see 2 soild weeks of rain" well they go 24hrs a day until the first 2" of rain puts `em out of commission.  

 

Then there the fear of early planting has been taken out, not that long ago around here, there were still farmers that thought you were crazy to plant corn before May 1st even if it was fit, now if they aren`t done with corn and beans by May 1 they feel disappointed.  And "now" there`s lack of help in some cases and off farm obligations.  A 4 row planter that is working will plant more than a 36 row that has wiring issues. 

 

But on the whole, getting that early jump of a couple weeks is insurance that there will be a crop over a couple decades ago.  And like one guy said "I never lost a crop planting too early".

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Veteran Contributor

Re: Weather Key To Planting Rate

Got a picture from a local elevator this morning of a 54 row planter, 

Said he could plant 111 acres an HOUR. 

Farmer out of Ohio. 

 

One way or another the crop gets put in. Human greed doesn't let fields sit idle unless absolutely necessary. 

One area will fall down, and one area will have a bumper crop and one way or another grain will be traded. 

The same conversation comes up every year, planting delays are just that delays. 

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Honored Advisor

Re: Weather Key To Planting Rate

In Ohio, every year there are only two days that are ideal to plant.........Yesterday and tomorrow.Smiley Wink

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Weather Key To Planting Rate

54-row planter -- I only have a couple of fields where you could even turn that thing around, and then you'd be planting over terraces instead of on the contour.

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Esteemed Advisor

Re: Weather Key To Planting Rate

Totally agree with you on those points FT...

of course, another area always is above average works only until it doesn't anymore, about every 6 years on average actually :-)

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Highlighted
Esteemed Advisor

Re: Weather Key To Planting Rate

wcmo, we looked at a 36 last time we upgraded a few years ago, with GPS maps

it was easy to calculate we wouldn't be able to plant 47 acres, thus we would need

another planter, just decided to drive the 24 a little harder :-)

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