Margin Minute: Should Calendar Really Drive Planting Timing?

April 25, 2017 12:00 PM
 
 

Although the window for planting corn and soybeans might appear relatively broad on the calendar, in-field conditions sometimes dictate a narrower timeframe. That’s the assessment of two AgWeb.com commenters who recently weighed in on a Margin Minute video from Iowa producer and Ag View Solutions consultant Chris Barron.

Here’s what the readers said along with Barron’s responses.

Bill of St. Charles, Mo., wrote: “Come farm true gumbo in the Mississippi River bottoms and u might change some of your text book advice.”

Chris responds:

“I take that as a good comment from the standpoint of just pointing out that we all farm in different situations, and every farm is unique and different. Really, we all have to measure those cost-benefit ratios and ultimately we are the executive or the chief operating officer of our own farms. We have to make those decisions of, well, maybe the calendar isn’t as important on my particular farm.  … I understand fully well that that situation may be unique and different, but I still stand behind the idea that the calendar is one of the things that can cause us to emotionally make some decisions that sometimes aren’t really warranted if we can be a little bit more patient. What I’m getting at is a lot of times, there’s still a little bit more time. By pushing it too early on the front end, we can cause more damage than what the calendar’s going to hurt us, generally speaking.”

Mark R. Macpherson of Shedd, Ore., wrote: “So if I listen, it's OK to possibly delay planting up to 40 days on 118-day corn? What about harvest? It gets wet. I think a 1% to 2% decline in yield versus not getting a crop in or destroying you soil is well worth the hit. I agree with Bill. Sounds like it's right out of a textbook. Those who can, do … .”

Chris responds: “That’s really not what I was saying here, Mark. Basically what I’m pointing out is that we do have a really wide window of planting opportunities from the calendar perspective. Again, it’s a cost-benefit ratio that you’ve got to make on your own farm as to whether or not I want to go out and, for example, work some ground that’s a little wet. You may be in a situation where 10% to 15% of the field is really not fit but you are on the back end of that calendar. You may sacrifice some yield on 5% to 10% of the field just because 90% of it is ready to go.”

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