Planting Decisions 2016: Three Key Considerations

November 20, 2015 12:00 PM

It’s the time of year when farmers are usually in a “Battle for Acres” but for the 2016 crop, that’s not the case. The low price of corn and soybeans and the steadily high cost of inputs have farmers thinking twice about what they should plant next year.

“A lot of markets are trying to give away acres,” Brian Split of Allendale, Inc. told “AgDay” host Clinton Griffiths. The corn is still near last year’s levels and the soybean market is substantially lower. Most farmers are undecided on what they will plant.

Watch Split on this AgriBusiness segment of “AgDay”:

He says this tough choice comes down to what’s important to you. Consider these three areas when deciding what to plant in 2016.

Margins – Are you looking to margins to try and make a profit? That is likely to be tough in 2016. “If you’re basing planting decisions on margins as they are now you need to protect them,” he says.

Costs – Do you aim for profits based on which crop will be the least expensive for you to plant? Inputs are part of the profit equation too and farmers can seek to secure profits by maintaining the lowest input costs possible. “If you’re in a cash flow environment where you don’t have the cash to plant corn maybe you look to soybeans,” he says.

Agronomics – What are you good at growing? Split says the number one thing producers he talks with consider is agronomics. “What gives you the best shot at growing the best crop you can?” he says. Most producers will plant acres based on their ability to grow a high yielding crop. For most of the farmers Split has discussed 2016 acres with he says, “Sticking to the general rotations seems to be the most important factor.”

What are you planting in 2016? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Spell Check

Joe Schmoe
Anywhere, NE
11/21/2015 09:22 AM

  Richy. Most of my great yields came following bean ground. I only put on 160# N on bean ground 200# on corn, and had one field run 270, one 240, one 225, and one with hail did 190. We got good rains this year pumped less than 8" on lot of ground. Some dry land ran close to 200. My OM in my soils are running 4% or better, so it's like planting in a garden. I always figure I get 30-50# N from mineralization, some from groundwater, and some from starter. I opted to not spray half my corn with fungicide after I seen it wasn't working well on other fields. So at most I saved $35 in seed and $60 in fertilizer. I don't apply any liquid so I usually save $30-50/A by using 82%. Believe me I keep my pencils sharp. I know what's best for my operation. I'm not going to pull those yields planting corn on corn I realize that, but I would take 225 bushel corn over 70bu beans any day. How bout when your beans are 12% one day and fall to 8-9% the next. You lose 5-7bu. there, not to mention loss from increase shatter. When pods are starting to pop you can't leave them to pick up moisture. For me to plant beans I need a 3.15 price ratio. Anything less they become a weed.

Moorhead , MN
11/20/2015 09:26 PM

  100 percent soybeans. All 15,000 acres I farm. I'm predicting a major event to Happen in South America and soybean prices will be at least $12 a bushel by next harvest. You watch!

sw, NE
11/20/2015 07:47 PM

  Wow I dont know how you figure cash flows but must not be very good I bet you cant average 245 across your farm on corn and have alot more money in corn if you cant make money at 70 bu beans you are farming wrong good luck next year