Agronomy Talk

Agronomy Talk: 10 Reasons Why You Should Stick To Your Planting Plan

Published on Tuesday, May 14, 2019

As the rain is delaying planting, many farmers are becoming concerned that their corn maturities are too long. In my opinion (based on facts), here are the Top 10 reasons why you should stick with your original plan.

10 | You are giving up too much yield in relation to the moisture content of the grain. According to the data below (from Ohio and Indiana), you are giving up an average of 19 Bu./A. of corn that is, on average, 2.1 points drier and 7 to 11 days earlier. 

9 | Corn requires fewer GDU’s to mature when planted after May 1. According to Bob Nielsen, on average, corn requires 6.8 fewer GDU’s per day planted after May 1. This means that a 112 RM product acts more like a 105 RM product.  Pioneer conducted the same research and found the same results.

8 | You are reducing the grain fill period. If you have fewer days to mature because the corn plant adjusts to sunlight, that means you want to have a longer grain fill period to pack in the starch and drive higher yields. This is typically why the longer season hybrids yield more.

7 | Killing frosts are happening later. Between 1981 and 1999, the average killing frost date in Bowling Green, Ohio was October 27. From 2000 to 2015, the average killing frost date is November 5, over one week later.

6 | Not all early products move south. They are not bred for the same disease and/or heat tolerance.

5 | Yield potential is not necessarily decreased - especially in Ohio! In 2009, the 50% planting date was May 22 and yield was 24 Bu./A. higher than the previous 5 years. In 2011, the 50% date was June 5 and the yield was identical to the previous 5 years (including 2009). In 2014 and 2016, the 50% planting dates was May 20, with average yields 20 Bu./A. and 4 Bu./A. higher respectively than the previous 5 years. How did the early planted 2012 crop work out? It was 38.6% below trend yield that year. Based on the summer forecast, it still looks like we have the potential for high yields! Click here for more information on how delayed planting effects corn yields.

4 | We are accumulating more GDU’s in September. According to data from the Northwest branch of Ohio State, we are accumulating over 100 GDD more in the month of September since before 2000!

3 | The chance of an El Nino lasting through the growing season is high! This puts the chance of a La Nina (drought) at <10% meaning we should have good growing conditions this summer.

2 | If you are determined that you need to switch to earlier maturities, make sure to switch on your poorest acres and not your highest yielding acres. You will be planting your poorly drained fields later and they don’t have the yield potential of your well-drained fields.

1 | What happened to the phrase “knee high by the 4th of July”? Even if we plant in June, we can still get to knee high by the fourth!

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