Warm weather pushes corn planting

Abnormally warm temperatures are being celebrated throughout the state but have grain farmers changing standard spring planting dates, though another record corn crop is slated.

Farming this season is a complete reversal of 2011’s severely rain-delayed planting season. Above-average temperatures motivated some farmers to get a head start in their fields while others have been hesitant to plant early in fear of unpredictable Ohio weather. Word-of-mouth news is that some Buckeye farmers have more than half of their acreage planted while others are still waiting to begin.

April 15 was the average last-freeze date and crop insurance policies do not protect potential replanting costs if farmers plant before the earliest seeding date — April 6. April 20 is the unofficial planting start date being recognized by a majority of Ohio farmers.

“There will be a huge volume of corn in the ground regardless of differing planting timeframes,” said Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association (OCWGA) Executive Director Tadd Nicholson. “Thousands of wheat acres didn’t get planted as intended because of the wet fall and many acres will be used for corn instead. Some wheat acres that did get planted were damaged during the mild wet winter, which caused many farmers to convert these acres to corn to utilize existing fertilizer inputs.”

Nicholson notes that there’s no fear of a wheat shortage because of a large carryover supply to ensure wheat availability. Ohio and other corn states could set records this year, resulting from favorable spring weather and corn prices. If projected acres are realized, there will be a 4 million-acre increase from 2011.

Projected National Planting Highlights include:

  • 95.9 million acres of corn intended
  • 75-year-high corn acreage
  • Largest corn acreage in the United States since 1937

Projected Ohio Highlights include:

  • 3,800,000 intended acres of corn
  • 12 percent increase of corn acres from 2011

As of the April 23 USDA crop report, 34% Ohio corn is in the ground with 2% emerged, compared to 2011’s 1% at this time. Nationwide, 28 percent of the corn crop is planted compared to 2011’s 8% at this time.  

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