The combination of a wet April and record wet May have put Cornbelt farmers well behind their typical schedule of getting 2019 crops planted. Stu Ellis visited with a University of Illinois authority who has been computing the impact of the weather on the corn crop.
Ag economist Scott Irwin says the current scenario with unplanted acres and yield losses from late planting are in “uncharted territory.”
My calculations are, after this wet week, we’re still going to have 30 million acres of corn unplanted in the US as of June 2. Some of it is going to go to what we call prevent plant under crop insurance. Some of it will get planted, some people will roll the dice, and some people will switch to soybeans. I think the total of switching plus prevent plant will be at least 10 to 15 million acres. So we’re going to lose 10 to 15 million acres of corn.
And that compares to the 92—point—8 mil. acres of corn farmers told USDA they intended for this year. But he says there is a silver lining in that dark cloud for individual farmers…
But as long as they have the crop insurance coverage that covers prevented planting, and even if they are planting, and even if they decide to plant in less than good conditions, what we “mudding it in,” the higher prices, more than likely will result in higher incomes than if we had had really good weather, normal planting, farmers are feeling great about their fields, yet the bottom line was going to be really ugly,”
And Irwin urged farmers to take a long hard look at prevented planting checks before risking money on a low yielding late crop. That’s our report from the farm, I’m Stu Ellis with WCIA3 your local news leader.