Wet Weather Means Late Start for Planting Season

The month of May, an exciting transition of seasons for many, can be a stressful time for our local corn and soybean farmers. According to the USDA, soybean and corn crops are most actively planted between April 24 and May 30, meaning that now is the time that farmers should be planting the majority of these crops in the area known as the “Corn Belt.”

However, due to the frequent wet weather, cold/wet soil conditions are causing farmers to postpone their planting further into May, which could negatively affect crop yields all over the state. Later crops are often associated with lower yields, putting more pressure on farmers to get their crops in sooner rather than later.

A study by The Ohio State University reflects these concerns, pointing out the importance of planting date in correlation with crop yields, which is reflected in the chart below. 

Other reports about the current progress of these crops in Ohio are also a cause for concern among farmers in the area. The Columbus Dispatch reported that only 8 percent of corn had been planted as of Sunday, May 3, down from 17 percent from the five-year national average of 25 percent.  Soybean crops were down 9 percent, with only 3 percent of soybeans planted, down from the average of 12 percent. 

Luckily, farmers did not express much concern over the delay, pointing out that many of these set planting dates were based on times when the technology was not there to speed up the process. Still, according to the Agweb weekly crop report, on May 12 only 40 percent of Ohio’s corn crop and 13 percent of Ohio’s soybean crop had been planted, lower than the planting average of surrounding states. 



It will be interesting to see crop progression in the coming months, with all eyes on crop yields after the delays in planting. What are your predictions? Will technology make up for lost time?

Images courtesy of usgs.gov, corn.osu.edu and agweb.com.