Farmers Not Overreacting Yet to Planting Delays


April 15th and May 20th are important dates each year for Tippecanoe, Indiana farmer Alan Kemper and many Midwest farmers. He would love to be planting by that mid-April date. Since the weather is forcing delays of the bulk of planting, he may have to consider some changes to the plan, but not until next month.

“I don’t think we’ll make any changes until about May 20th when we might shift some corn to more beans, but we’re pretty well balanced right now,” he said. “For us here on this farm we actually have some corn in the ground. Now that might be crazy, or it might be smart. We’ll find out later but at least we’re protected and got some in, and we’ve got some crop insurance to allow us to replant if we have to replant.”

In Clinton County, Mike Beard has always targeted April 15th as the perfect date to head for the fields, but that date has never worked out for him.

“We started out with some really great plans and haven’t had to change them an awful lot yet,” he said. “We’ll see how this weekend fares as far as temperatures and rainfall.” Beard added, “Fields are beginning to get green some. I planted cover crop and expected them to be green, but others I didn’t plant cover crop and I don’t know why those are so green!”

Those would be weeds, and Beard told HAT the first order of business in the fields is to get the sprayers in for burndown. In the meantime, he and Kemper don’t yet seem overly concerned about delays, so they’ll just remain flexible.

“I’m an Indiana farmer and you learn that your plans will change every spring. Farmers react to a lot of things. We react to our markets, our input costs, and we complain about all those, and then we react to the weather. I’ve complained about the weather since I started farming, but nobody listens.”

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