All eyes are on the eastern Corn Belt, as many farmers struggle to get their crops planted despite wet conditions.
In Illinois, 62 percent of the corn crop had been planted as of this past Sunday, which is down from the previous five-year average of 96 percent planted by that time. In Indiana, only 55 percent of the corn crop had been planted.
By the end of May, it’s possible that 15 percent to 20 percent of the Illinois corn crop may yet to be planted, says Emerson Nafziger, crop specialist at the University of Illinois. “That’s a pretty long tail to the planting season,” he says. “So much of our crop planted so late puts us at risk for lower yields.”
Corn that waits to be planted until the first 10 days of May can lose about 1 bushel of yield potential per day; corn planted the second 10 days of May loses about 1.5 bushels per day, and corn planted the third 10 days of the May loses about 2 bushels per day, according to data from the University of Illinois.
Until the end of May, most people who intend to plant corn will probably do so, although once June hits, soybeans become more of an option.
Nafziger and his colleagues have addressed the question of switching to soybeans in the weekly University of Illinois IPM Bulletin. To read a recent article, click here.