I am a strong proponent of early planting. This year early planting may not have helped but it did not hurt either. Why is earlier planting so important and how does it work?
• The easiest and least expensive way to make greater use of the free solar energy, without too much extra cost in machinery and with the currently available hybrids, is by planting early.
• It is an established fact that in most situations, early planting produces higher yields. However, the reason for higher yields is not explained. It has to do with the sunlight!
• We know that the longest day of the year in northern hemisphere is June 21st. During the two months period, from May 21 to July 21, we get more sunlight than any other duration of this length in the year. We can capture the greatest amount of sunlight if we plant early enough to have a full canopy by May 21. Sunlight is free; no cost and no taxes!
• Our studies over the years have shown that early planting generally produces shorter plants with less root and stalk lodging and better quality grain that is drier at harvest. So, not only you are trapping more energy from the sun, you are saving energy after harvest but reducing drying costs.
• We all know that farming is a gamble but you will have higher yields by planting too early than too late nine times out of ten, and with odds like that you could make a lot of money!