Hind sight is 20/20. Last Wednesday, we harvested the field that I discussed exercising the prevented planting clause in crop insurance. I wrote about it in my June 2 blog. If you recall, we planted 80 acres of the 104-acre farm on June 5. We were rained out before completion, and opted to leave the balance sit as the insurance planting date for corn had passed.
The results are in. The field squeaked in just above historical yield at 169 bpa, which was good considering the planting date. I planted a 102-day corn and it was still 30% moisture at harvest. That more than doubled my budgeted drying expense. Test weight was also poor, coming in around 52 pounds per bushel.
Combine the additional drying with price action of commodities, I didn't fare too well.
In fact, there will be a revenue claim on the farm. This will bring the return on the farm to the spring guarantee of $660. If you recall, that's the historical yield of 168 times the spring price of $4.62 times 85% coverage level.
Also recall the cost of growing the crop including P&I (or rent) was to be $716. However, the additional drying drives that cost to nearly $740. So, it appears I may be $80 in the hole unless I can market this grain above $3.96.
Will we have that opportunity? I don't know. It appears I made the right decision by not returning to plant the last 24 acres.
On the bright side, we did make it out of St. Joseph County, Ind., where they received record snowfall last week. We need about three days to finish up. It snowed here at home Sunday and stuck to the corn plants. That poses a problem as the snow will melt from the threshing and then re-freeze inside the combine due to the cold air blown through the combine to separate grain from fodder.
This plugs up sieves and then shelled corn just passes through the combine. It isn't much fun to thaw and un-plug a frozen combine. Though nobody is enjoying near-zero wind chills, the wind has blown most of the snow off the corn and we were able to resume harvest Tuesday.
It takes about and extra hour to get machinery warmed up and rolling in these conditions. We had one tractor freeze up on us Saturday. However, the snow has also done us a favor by keeping the frosty soils from freezing.
Many farms are taking this opportunity to sneak in some tillage, hoping to remedy some of the damage done in the mud this fall.
The opinions of Kyle Stackhouse are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or the Penton Farm Progress Group.