The Pace of Planting

Published on: 18:33PM May 01, 2012

I am not an expert on planting progress, but I thought I would share my observations from my trip last week from Kansas City to northern Wisconsin.

In northwestern Missouri and northeastern Kansas, most of the corn appeared to be planted or fairly close to being done. Some farmers were going to wait a few days before planting beans since they were still early compared to other years.

Heading into Iowa, the planting progress appeared to be much slower. In my travels around the Waterloo area for two days, I saw very few planters in the field and rain was expected by that weekend. With the newer, larger planters, farmers can plant many more acres than in years past, but Mother Nature still needs to cooperate.

In northern Illinois, corn planting appeared to be almost done and the farmers that I met with had just finished planting the night before I arrived.

With 2011 being a record year for farm income, you should be looking at your farm budget for this year to see if you can lock in prices that approach last year and at least cover your input costs. If the U.S. really ends up planting 96-million-plus acres of corn and harvests a 160-plus-bushel crop, prices will most likely go down, and this can materially affect your bottom line.

Also, if you are late getting in your corn, with bean prices near $15, you may want to consider switching to beans and locking in these good prices now.