Can't Plant? Put Your Empty Fields To Good Use

Iowa Farm Scene

Cover crops and conservation practice construction can be an option for farmers unable to plant corn or soybeans this spring.

Published on: June 17, 2013

It's mid-June and Iowa farmers are still trying to get their intended soybean acres planted, but time is running out. For corn, many have already thrown in the towel. Mother Nature hasn't been helping out as thunderstorms roll through again every time the remaining fields get almost dry enough to plant. As of June 9 statewide Iowa still had 40% of its intended 2013 soybean acreage yet to be planted.

The deadline to plant soybeans was June 15 to receive full crop insurance coverage. After that, the late planting period runs through July 10, which reduces the crop insurance guarantee by 1% per day until the crop is planted. If you want to take the "prevented planting" option offered by crop insurance, you'll get 60% of the crop insurance revenue guarantee. Prevented planting claims must be filed by July 10. For fields that average 50 bushels per acre, that's $328 per acre.

WASHED OUT: Planting plans have been washed out by continued wet weather for many farmers; theyve quit trying to plant corn as of mid-June. And a lot of acres that were going to be in soybeans will likely go to "prevented planting" as well if it doesnt quit raining soon. Whether you take the prevent planting option on crop insurance or if you go ahead and plant corn and soybeans late, there will be revenue shortfalls.
WASHED OUT: Planting plans have been washed out by continued wet weather for many farmers; they've quit trying to plant corn as of mid-June. And a lot of acres that were going to be in soybeans will likely go to "prevented planting" as well if it doesn't quit raining soon. Whether you take the prevent planting option on crop insurance or if you go ahead and plant corn and soybeans late, there will be revenue shortfalls.

Farmers are giving up planting corn after June 15; and we may see acres that were going into soybeans end up in "prevented planting" as well

As long as there are soybeans to plant, most farmers will try until the end of the month of June to get them planted before they make a prevented planting claim, says Terry Basol, an Iowa State University Extension field agronomist at Nashua in northeast Iowa. ISU research shows soybeans can still achieve 60% to 80% of their yield potential if planted in mid-June.