Farmer Perspective: A #plant19 update from Indiana

Our planting progress in northwest Indiana as of Friday, May 17, 2019 is that we planted one field of soybeans last Friday, one field of waxy corn two days ago, and put 137 of 200 contracted acres of popcorn in the ground yesterday before getting blasted by a white wall of rain.

Side note: Our new planter with electric meters does pretty well at 7.4mph to get that last pass of popcorn in before it’s too wet, so at least the field will be squared off in the middle if we don’t get to plant the rest. Allegedly, we’re not supposed to plant any more after Monday. As we sit today, just under 14% of our ground is planted. It’s something!

Brian Scott's planter, seed FBN plant19It is wet here, obviously. But we are not drowning like other parts of the Midwest—just consistently too wet for field work. No flooding or dams breaking like Nebraska and Iowa.

Our nitrogen program had to change to fit the current situation.

Normally, I’ll take about four days going around to every corn field preplant to do areas I can’t really side-dress later in the season. I got to do that for one day—that was 23 days ago. We have a low-disturbance anhydrous applicator that we love, but it can cause seedling damage with its shallow placement. We had hoped to try a liquid applicator to alleviate this on the field borders, but time and logistics just didn’t allow that to happen. We ended up having a fair amount of 28% blown on with a sprayer.

So our borders were all taken care of in good order, and we’ll get to see how that application method and timing pans out. The rain knocking me out of finishing popcorn was actually nice for soaking that liquid N into the soil. We rent out two test plots that also got a full rate of 28% applied (because the plotters would rather I not side-dress), and I don’t want to shallow place anhydrous right before they plant. The way things are going, those things may happen the same day.

FBN cover crop field after planting Brian Scott

The forecast for the next couple of weeks is calling for potential inches more rain to come.

I’m still confident we can get the crop in and not prevent plant. Prices rose quite a bit this week, and maybe we will shift into a weather-driven market now if problems persist. I want all that popcorn in the ground because it’s 100% priced already at a good price. If we get everything planted, I think we can still make good yield at this point. That hope was reinforced when my phone alerted me to the anniversary of some old photos... I found one of us filling the planter with soybeans on May 26, 2017. So of course I pulled up another app to see what that field yielded—64 bushels an acre.

Stay hopeful out there!


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