How Many Prevent Plant Acres Will The Market Allow?

13:01PM May 30, 2019
Planting with starter fertilizer

“I think $4.50 is enough for next week,” he said. “But every week seems like it's about 25 to 30 cents more, that we need to keep planters rolling.”( Farm Journal )

While the rain continues to fall, the markets are making the decision to claim prevented plant more difficult. That’s how it should be, according Mark Feight with the International AgriBusiness Group. 

“It's really the markets role to make these decisions very hard,” he told AgDay host Clinton Griffiths. “There's a maximum number of acres that we can really prevent plant here in the U.S. to where we grow enough to get us through so we can hand the baton off to South America.”

Even if it’s July before fields are dry enough to plant, the soybean price will have to be high enough to encourage farmers to plant the minimum number of required acres, according to Feight. 

“We think that's somewhere 10 to 15 million acres of prevented plan is the max, we can do, and 15 probably on the high side,” he said. “We think we're probably already at 4 to 5 million acres of corn pretty easy.”

The 2019 growing season is frequently being compared to the seasons of 1993 and 1995, but according to Feight, in those years we didn’t know there was a real problem until harvest. This year is truly unlike any other, he said.

“This is going to be a great study, it's a case study and one we've never had before,” he said. 

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to deciding whether to plant corn late or take a prevent plant claim. 

“We've put together a matrix that helps. Yeah, but the response I get from every producer we work with has been different. It's individual for each one of them. What's my rent? What's my APH? What's the level of insurance? Have I applied anything to that field?” he said. “If you've put $100 plus into that field already, you're pretty fixed. You're going to have to plant it. If you haven't, it’s pretty easy decision.”

Among all the farmers Feight works with, there’s a 50 cent range from low to high that will keep them planting, he said. 

“I think $4.50 is enough for next week,” he said. “But every week seems like it's about 25 to 30 cents more, that we need to keep planters rolling.”

Still he said, it’s important for farmers to stay realistic about the planting window. 

“If you're a farmer, you got to be really careful because these prices are attractive,” he said. “You have to draw a line in the sand at some point on these.”

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