Decision Tips for a Late Planting Season

June 11, 2010 at 10:31 am

The following post was written by OSU Extension Educator Greg LaBarge for the Northwest Ohio Crop Blog

As farmers wait for another planting window, there are a number of decisions that need to be made in order to be ready to finish planting. If you participate in the Federal Crop Insurance Program there are a set of decision to make that affect coverage for 2010. Other common questions are: If you do not have your entire corn crop planted do I stick with the plan or switch crops to soybeans? Do I need to change any production practices considering the later planting date?

From the crop insurance standpoint the best advice is to check with your agent before starting planting again. The last planting dates without affect crop insurance coverage were June 5th for corn and will be June 20th for soybeans. For many the last planting dates will affect decision for both crops. Many have both unplanted corn and up to 30% of their soybean crop unplanted. These unplanted fields are likely wetter fields and will take some time to dry.

After the June 5 and 20 dates are reached farmer have three options to consider.

First farmers can plant a crop but insurance coverage will be reduced by 1% per day for each day planting occurs after the final planting date for 25 days from the original coverage level. After 25 days coverage will be fixed at the 60% of the original coverage level.

The second option is to take a prevent planting payment which is 60% of the original coverage and plant no crop except a cover crop that could be grazed after November 1.

The third option is to take 35% of the prevented planting payment and plant an insured second crop after the late planting period for the first crop has passed. This becomes difficult if the crop we are talking about is soybeans since there are no viable alternative crops but soybeans could be an option to corn.

More information on:

Crop Insurance: Prevented Planting, Final Planting Dates, and the Late Planting Period

Crop Insurance/Cropping Decisions When No Crop Has Been Planted and a Farm-Level Crop Insurance has been Purchased

The description here provides an overall look at options but with several type of insurance available you need to check with your agents to know for sure what your coverage is.

The question of switching from corn to soybeans is an easier discussion. With a late June planting date we can expect approximately a 50% yield loss with corn over early May planting. Soybeans planted in late June will yield 65-75% of normal yield. Generally this information will lead us to switch to soybeans unless we are planting corn for silage.

Soybeans planted in late June do require a change of management strategy to maximize yields. Varieties of soybean plantings should be the longest season variety that will reach physiological maturity before the first killing frost. Generally, stay with the same planned maturity (unless it is earlier than 3.0). For northern Ohio, a 3.5 may be used until July 1. Planting rate should be increased when planting after June 15 to 225,000 to 250,000 in 6-7.5 inch rows. More details on planting decisions can be found in The Crop Observation and Recommendation Network (C.O.R.N.) Newsletter.

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