Between the Rows-May 23, 2011

“The big talk around here now is not planting, it’s crop insurance. We’ve got 5% of our corn and 2% of our beans planted. We’ve been able to spray for a burndown and that is about all we’ve been able to get done in terms of fieldwork. We’re mowing roadsides today. We’re just waiting to do something.

“We have to plant about 800 acres of corn for silage for the dairy, probably even up until June 15. We’re obligated to provide that silage. We will probably go to June 5 for the commercial corn. I am 100% sold on corn and beans, but that is not really driving any of my planting decisions. I was an optimist evidently. I can move some things around with the futures, and anything I’ve done with the elevator can be rolled out to the following year.

“Feeding the world is a concern and I’m not sure how this will work out. Ohio is the worst of anywhere it sounds like. It is just so wet here. There is even some concern about the crops that are in the ground. You really have to look hard to find a field of corn that is up in Defiance County. I have seen a field of beans up.

“We thought maybe we could spray tomorrow night and get in the field on Thursday, but there is rain forecasted between now and then. It really doesn’t look good for the rest of the month of May. We’ll do what we have to do at this point, though, because it is getting down to crunch time.

“Even with the challenges, we are still very blessed. There are many places where things are much worse than here. They say when it rains on Easter it rains for seven Sundays. We’ve had four wet ones now.”

“While the wet weather has been persistent, there have been some opportunities to get in the fields. “The majority of southern Darke County got a really good start. We got a little over 800 acres in on Thursday and Friday. I feel a lot better since we got something in. We were chasing the well-tiled fields, but we still had some wet spots.

“The corn we planted a week and a half ago is all up. It came up and is looking good. I am feeling better about the corn, but we are really worried about whether we’re even going to be able to get beans planted. It is wet. We sprayed some corn stalks yesterday and we were cutting tracks.”

The rain is back, though, and it looks like soggy conditions will persist through May. “We got no more than a quarter inch over night, but they’re calling for more tonight. That may keep us out of the field this week. Just north of here, they are quite a bit wetter than us and they haven’t gotten anything done there. Yesterday we dodged a bullet. A storm went north of us and a storm went south of us.”

When it does get dry, there is still a long way to go. “We got about another 1,000 acres of corn to go, and our plan is to plant corn up until about June 15 before we switch to soybeans. We’ll just be keeping after the corn until then.”

“We had another 2.5 inches of rain in the last two weeks and it is raining again today, but we got four days of planting in there. I think we started on a Tuesday afternoon working some ground to get things dried up a little bit and we were rained out by Sunday. We tried to mud a little in yesterday. We were going to run all night long but we were rained out by about 8 last night. I am right at 28% planted on corn. I’ve got around 50% of my nitrogen on, but we may shut down on that on account of switching to beans in the next 19 days. I would think that would be about our deadline. By about June 10, I think we would need to be shutting it down on corn.

“We can row some corn in our area. The corn that is coming up looks pretty good. There is a lot of corn that you can row that was planted in that second week of May. I haven’t heard of any cutworms yet or anything. There are a handful of farmers in this area that have 75% or 80% of their corn planted. But there are some to the east of me that are lucky to have 10% in. The rains just keep coming and as soon as we get close to being able to get in, it rains again. It really is pretty depressing.”

“When the next dry spell comes we need to do both corn and soybeans if we can get the manpower to do it. This week does not sound good at all. Hopefully we can get a good 10 days in June. I’m looking out my window and there is water standing in some of my fields from this rain already this morning.”

“We’re still tying to get caught up spraying. At this time last year, we were done with everything. We’re trying our darnedest to get things planted. That is all we can do. I do know that tile is really paying this year if you’ve got it every 50 feet.”

“The rain started this morning. We planted 60 acres of corn around the 13th and we got 60 acres of beans in before we got shut down by the rain. Those crops are both up and out of the ground. We got another chunk in after that, so we should be right around 180 acres of corn in, but we would sure like to have more in than that.”

The corn that was planted is doing well so far. “The corn popped up pretty nice. It is looking pretty good at this point. Once it does stop raining and warm up, it will really get going, depending on the slugs. Until then, I guess, we’ll sit here and watch the rain.
There are no plans to switch from corn to soybeans just yet, but the priorities may change when the fields finally dry out again. “We may have to switch and quit pulling the anhydrous tanks around and just plan on sidedressing the corn. With close to half our corn in, we have at least enough for feed, so I feel more comfortable now. I am pretty sure we’ll get a window to get some more corn in. We were going to try to take some hay off and go to corn, but we may switch that to beans. We would have liked to get some hay made but we ran out of time.”

“We have some ground worked up to plant oats and alfalfa that we haven’t gotten to yet either. I’m happy that we at least got some corn out. It has definitely been a challenging spring.”

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