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The latest Farm Progress PANEL gets a look at how respondents are geared up for a perfect planting season

Willie Vogt

March 11, 2021

2 Min Read
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PLANTERS ROLL: How fast could you plant your crop if weather, and equipment, cooperated? Our Farm Progress PANEL shows you can cover the acres when needed. Willie Vogt

Planters are rolling in Texas – finally – and soon they will be farther north. We've seen a few teases on Twitter already. But we wondered how geared up we really are for planting, and the short answer is on the whole farmers have the tools they need.

There's a kind of rule of thumb for planting. If you had perfect weather, the equipment in your shed should be able to get your whole crop planted in two weeks. That's a rule of thumb, and it appears for nearly half of the respondents to this latest Farm Progress PANEL, they have that target in mind.

The question we asked? If you had perfect weather for planting and nothing breaks down, how much time would it take you to finish? We know perfect won't happen, but work with us.

We had a solid response to this PANEL and the "two week" group hit 48%. The next group – three weeks – accounted for 28% of respondents. Which means that nearly 70% of those responding feel they could get that crop in the ground – under perfect conditions – in no more than three weeks.

They're ready if a week of rain keeps them out of the field another week, to turn quickly and still get that crop in the ground quickly to catch up and capture the best growing conditions.

Considering how fast farmers can catch up when weather turns in their favor it appears those planter investments are paying off. Add in that more variable weather may be driving you to raise you planting game, and this survey seems to demonstrate that.

The four-week group, at 16%, makes sense. How much do you want to have tied up in planting equipment? We didn't break this down by demographics and some smaller farms may be geared to take a little longer.

Just 8% say they're in the five-week group. One respondent noted that the five week window helps spread risk.

The investment farmers have made into a key part of their cash crop business – planting tools – is keeping them ahead of the more extreme weather everyone has seen in the last few years.

We thank our respondents for taking part in every PANEL we send.

Be a part of the PANEL

The Farm Progress PANEL is your chance to share your thoughts on key issues. To take part, start by signing up for our daily mobile text service Farm Progress NOW. Just text FARM to 20505, then respond to the text you get back. Later in one of our daily texts we'll provide information about how to sign up for the PANEL. And thanks to the respondents for helping us out.

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About the Author(s)

Willie Vogt

Willie Vogt has been covering agricultural technology for more than 40 years, with most of that time as editorial director for Farm Progress. He is passionate about helping farmers better understand how technology can help them succeed, when appropriately applied.

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