Ongoing Field Work/Planting Delays Forcing Some Farmers To Make Some Difficult Decisions

Wed 5-15-2019

(Spencer)-- There's growing concern over the late planting of crops across the region due to the ongoing wet conditions. Paul Kassel, a crops specialist with the Iowa State University Extension Service tells KUOO news planting progress varies a lot across the region he covers...Planting Delays03 

"In parts of Sac county there's corn that's emerged, you know, as of couple of days ago. And you think just three counties away you have places where nothing has been planted at all or no field work at all, so just a huge disparity there in progress."

For those who have not yet been able to get into the fields, Kassel says time is rapidly running out. And he says there's another factor coming into play...Planting Delays04 

"We do have the concern that there's an El Nino or El Nino conditions are predicted for this summer so that means cool, so that may mean corn that matures late and increased drying cost. That's always a wild card but you know drying costs can be you know, easily $20, $40 an acre so that can be pretty hard on your bottom line as well. That's simply an unknown, we simply don't know that, so the risk factor with corn goes up as every day goes on here. And of course too with soybeans, not as responsive to planting date but they also respond to early planting, not as much as corn, but none-the-less if that gets pushed into early June there's some yield potential lost there as well. So like you say there's going to be some hard questions answered from the standpoint of do we take prevent plant, do we change hybrid, do we change to soybean acres, that kind of thing. No easy answers but yeah, that's some of the things that people will be faced here in the next couple weeks." 

Meanwhile, farmers in Emmet and Kossuth counties are being urged to attend some delayed planting workshops that will be held May 29th. Three different sessions will be held including one at 9:30 that morning at Water's Edge Nature Center in Algona; at 1:30 pm at the Bancroft Service Center in Bancroft; and at 5:30 pm that day at the VFW post in Estherville. Experts in agronomy, farm management, crop insurance, and the Farm Service Agency will present information at each session.