All kinds of strategies go into planting corn. The wild card is the weather. And don't be surprised if it is unpredictable again this year. Already, parts of central Indiana were wet last week while parts of northern Indiana were much drier.
One question revolves around gearing up so you can plant all your acres quickly, either through increased planting speed with a planter that can handle it, or through adding planting capacity by upgrading to a larger planter. You wouldn't think there could be a drawback to getting all your corn planted within a matter of days. And some years there may not be. However, at least one agronomist notes that there could be situations where it's the most profitable option. As always, it depends upon the weather, which is nearly impossible to outguess in advance.
"While early –planted hybrids often have higher yields, planting 2,000 acres of corn in a small time window can be just as detrimental in some years as not finishing by June 1," asserts Traci Bultemeier, accounts manager for Pioneer Hi-Bred, Ft. Wayne. She is also a member of the Indiana Certified Crop Advisers group.
"Proper spread of risk is necessar , and that means taking your time and making wise decisions," she advises. "Every year we're able to point to a set of days that we should have just left the planter in the barn.
"Unfortunately, we don't know those days until after they have come and gone. So we have to use the information we have at the time to make good decisions. Planter speed and maintenance are just two factors of getting a good yield, but are something that we can control.
"You may not even be able to stat planting until May 5 because ground conditions aren't favorable. We only get to do this once a year, so we should optimize every factor that we have control over and let Mother Nature do as she pleases."