Late Spring Crop Planting
A wet spring and late planting aren’t necessarily a cause for gloomy predictions in the Midwest, according to Dan Towery. “Last year, the corn and beans were planted even later than this year, and there was a record yield…Indiana farmers saw corn increases of 20 bu/ac over the previous record.” But 2013 was also a very cool summer with not stress on the corn during pollination.
As of mid May this year, he said that about 70% of the corn and 30% of the beans have been planted. With a predicted good patch of warm weather ahead, and improved efficiency in planting technology, the crops will be in the ground soon. The risk of late planting is the corn pollination will occur during a hot dry spell, which may then reduce yield significantly, as occurred in 2012.
In general, Dan said there are benefits to “staggering” the dates of planting a bit. He used the analogy of putting all your investment dollars into one stock versus diversifying. “While diversifying may not give you the big payout…if the stock happens to go through the roof…it will give you more chances of modest gains and less risk of losing it all.” So planting all of one’s corn in a week means the potential of the pollination occurring at the same time and if that coincides with a hot spell, then yield take a real hit.