Getting Your Planting Game On

Farmer Iron

Planting progress may be lagging, but when the temps and conditions are right farmers definitely are on the move.

Published on: May 16, 2013

I write the crop condition report for our websites when I can and Monday's report showed that farmers are struggling to get corn in the ground - never mind soybeans (though that's going to change). One factor I noticed this week was that while only 28% of the crop was planted - versus 65% for the five-year average and 85% last year - there were some considerable week-over-week jumps.

It's clear to me that farmers are adequately "equipped" to move a lot of seed from bag (or big box) to soil quickly. Best example is Indiana, which has been plenty soggy of late. When the weather dried out last week planters were moving. The percent of planted acres in the state leaped from 8% the week before to 30% in the latest report. That's a three-fold increase in just a few days.

WONDERFUL SITE: I know this is a stock image, but this is a grand goal for everyone this time of year, a healthy corn crop.
WONDERFUL SITE: I know this is a stock image, but this is a grand goal for everyone this time of year, a healthy corn crop.

Illinois and Iowa doubled their planted acres in that time, and my guess is the May 20 report is going to show plenty of good news on that front. I even have it on good authority that the demo fields for the Farm Progress Show - long delayed - went in the ground on May 15! That super news for our big show for sure.

This is a fantastic business where those with a life-long link have been investing in their farms to keep up and manage production capacity. We have the ability to plant the U.S. corn crop in two to three weeks if we can string together enough days. That's a potent risk management tool, since the row crop farmer gets one payday a year - in the fall - and it all starts in the spring.

So keep on planting! Enjoy this weather - which in some cases became instant summer (really 98 degrees F in Minneapolis on Tuesday). Chances are you're reading this on your smart phone, just watch out for those end rows!