I think Brian Scott said it best about #Plant18…
We felt the same way as we watched farmers respond to our corn planting polls over the past few weeks. What started out as a slow, cold and wet planting season for corn really took off after the first week in May.
When we asked you, FBN network farmers, how your 2018 corn planting progress was coming along on April 18, you said, essentially, that it wasn’t. Sigh.
Farmers in the FBN network from more than 1,850 operations, representing more than 5.96 million acres, responded to our poll, indicating that they were behind where they expected to be for planting.
But farmers found other ways to occupy their time.
On April 25th, more than 2,300 farms and 7.8 million acres responded to our poll, and most farmers were still behind the USDA’s five-year average.
At that time, Kansas farmers were making some of the best progress; the same was true for farmers further South. However, Minnesota farmers indicated that they were still battling cold and undesirable planting conditions for corn and continued to be behind in planting progress.
If you jump ahead just one week to our poll from May 2, poll results show that the week of Easter suddenly became a busy one for farmers in Missouri, Illinois, Nebraska and Indiana. Farmers in these states experienced better weather and had gotten out to do some field work and were starting to make headway.
But jump ahead two weeks from a mostly red map on April 25 to May 9, and in that time, the 2018 planting sprint was fully underway. More than 2,400 farmers responded to that week’s corn planting progress poll (more than 7.94 million acres) that they were finally making some real progress, and a number of states were, by then, ahead of the USDA five-year average.
In that amount of time—almost exactly two weeks to the day between our planting progress polls—soil temperatures had warmed up enough from farmers to get corn seed in the ground.
Turkeys across the Midwest collectively rejoiced.
Finally, on May 17, the once brightly colored red map of a behind corn planting turned a vibrant and productive green.
In three weeks nearly to the day, most of the Midwest went from snow on the ground to almost all of their corn being planted.
If there’s anything to be learned from corn planting in 2018, it’s that in farming just about anything, sometimes everything, can change in only a matter of weeks.