If weather issues pop up again before planting, you will still be better off staying with your chosen seed varieties, plus populations, until Memorial Day for corn and mid-June for soybeans. That's the advice of Justin Petrosino, an agronomist with Stewart Seeds, Greensburg.
While it may self-serving, since making a lot of switches on hybrids and varieties would mean scrambling for seed companies, the agronomist insists it's the best thing to do for your bottom line.
"The first part of having a successful planting season in May is to stick to your plan," he says. "Each hybrid and variety have strengths and weaknesses. When you built your plan with your seed dealer or rep, you matched these strengths and weaknesses with your individual fields.
"Taking a few extra days to plant may cause minor yield penalty, but planting the wrong product in a field can carry a major yield penalty," he adds.
That could happen if you panic and chuck your plan, he says. Most hybrids planted in Indiana that were recommended for your farm by a reputable dealer should be able to mature if planted in May through the 10% frost day. That's when the chance of a killing frost in the fall reaches 10%.
There could be a few exceptions. If you were planning on planting a 114-day hybrid, for example, which would work in your area planted May 1, it may not work so well planted May 25. That's because the odds of it maturing before the risk of a killing frost reaches 10% increases.
However, not many people plant such full-season hybrids, except in southern counties, where the first killing frost, or a 10% risk of it, are much later anyway. The bottom line is there is no need to panic and start switching to earlier hybrids at this point.