While the sky literally has been falling in the form of rain for the past month, many farmers aren’t panicking about getting their corn into the ground.
“You have to keep it all in perspective,” said Delaware, Ohio, farmer and Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association (OCWGA) Chairman John Davis. “In 1995, for instance, we didn’t even plant soybeans until the third weekend in June.”
Davis is also a seed dealer for Pioneer. He said farmers are not yet calling him to say that they want to switch from planting soybeans to planting corn because the planting dates for corn extend into May.
“The optimum planting dates for corn in Ohio is April 20 until May10. If the corn is planted in that time period with good weather, most of the yields will be okay,” said Davis. “This is not the time to panic. If we get dry and hot weather, we can have the corn in the ground in eight days. Twenty years ago it would’ve taken a month.”
But, Plain City, Ohio, farmer and OCWGA Board Member Fred Yoder, who also sells seed for DeKalb, said that he’s fielded calls from farmers who want to know if they should switch corn varieties or plant soybeans.
“I tell them it’s too early. They could be giving up too much yield potential and they need to stay with the original,” said Yoder.
Davis said that if the weather changes and farmers need corn that can have a shorter growing season, their seed company would exchange seed at no cost.
“They could switch to corn hybrids that take 104 days for maturity instead of some that take 112 or more days. And so far, from what I know, no one has called to do that.”
He added that no one gets “into that boat” until the 5 or 8 of May.
As for corn pricing, Yoder said that it’s always about supply and demand and each market will get its share of corn.
“As the price of corn has increased, ethanol production has decreased for the past three or four months, so the market is working. The prices are starting to ration the amount of ethanol produced. There is plenty or corn for all markets.”
For now, farmers are just playing a waiting game and as they do every year, they’re keeping a close eye on the weather.”