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Straight Stalk

Snow Day for Planting

We often start April with some corn already planted and we normally end April with about 50 percent of the corn planted, based upon state averages published by the National Agricultural Statistics Service. The latest planting start in the last 20 years was in 2013 when only 1 percent of the crop had been planted by May 1 but by mid-May we had recovered significantly with 75 percent planted. The slowest year was probably 2009, that year at mid-May we were only at 20 percent planted. Even with the slow starts back in in 2009 and 20013 we ended up with average trendline yields. So while it is still too early to worry, there is real concern that delayed planting could reduce the odds of another bumper crop.

Early planting seasons are not a guarantee of high yields. The recent year with the earliest planting season had 80 percent planted by May1. That year was 2012 and that did not turn out so well. The Great Drought of 2012 ended with a state corn yield of 105 bushel per acre.