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RSS By: Chris Barron

Chris BarronHave a margins question? Through this blog, you will gain insight into improving your bottom line, as a margins expert answers questions and provides farm business advice.


Profitability and Later Planting Dates

May 07, 2012

Much of the planting this spring got off to a fast start. Some areas have been able to plant the entire corn crop with virtually no delays.
On the other hand, there are some portions of the Corn Belt with producers who have yet to plant a kernel of corn or who have been delayed midway through their planting window. The longer these delays last and as the calendar marches forward many producers begin to question whether their initial hi bred choices will fit with later planting dates.
If you're planting some full season-hi breds for your area you may begin to question whether or not it's too late to maximize your profitability on a full season hi bred. Another concern may be grain moisture and harvest timeliness. While these concerns are valid, it's critical to make your decisions with statistical information as opposed to emotional concerns and frustration, which we all deal with when we’d like to see our crop planted.
If you're starting to get concerned about planting your full season hi breds, be sure to have a conversation with your seed professional.  Remember, there is a reason you chose your original hi breds. It's important to understand that if you do make changes midstream, there could be additional costs/risks. The seed supply for many of the top hi breds is obviously very tight this year. 
Making a switch could easily result in a product with less yield potential. Hi bred technology and plant characteristics can have a more dramatic impact on profitability than Crop Relative Maturity in many cases. There is also research which indicates later planted corn tends to mature faster due to daylight and heat sensitivity.
Ask your seed professional for report which indicates the "latest suggested planting dates for corn in your area". This information should give you peace of mind that you’re planting the best hi breds at the appropriate times.
The bottom line is to do your homework before you make any decisions. The one variable which impacts margins the quickest is yield. If you're going to make a change to gain on one end make sure you understand what you're giving up on the other!
See this PDF from Pioneer Hi-Bred which provides additional information on this topic.

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