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Three Week Delay in Planting Hurts Yields in This Trial

Three Week Delay in Planting Hurts Yields in This Trial
About a 40-bushel penalty for delaying planting into early June in this case.

If the 2011 crop season was anything in Indiana, it was inconsistent. It wouldn't be hard to find someone, probably some of you, who had better corn planted in early to mid-June that corn that you planted in mid to late May. In fact, if you did, email us at: [email protected] and let us know. Include as many details about planting dates and weather conditions as you can. As it turns out, when you planted in relation to rain storms had a significant effect on outcome, especially on some May plantings.

For several, May 21 to May 23 were reported as last year's wrong days to plant. They exist every year, except they vary from location to location, and you never know until you see them in the rear view mirror, after the corn is already planted. What happened to some people, particularly in central Indiana, in 2011 that planted around May 20 into 'sticky buy I'll go anyway ' conditions, since it was May 20, not April 20, was that a beating rain came within a couple of days. In some cases the resulting conditions was enough to impact the stand and force the corn off to a slow start.

At the Throckmorton Research Center near Romney in Tippecanoe County, the Precision Planting. Indiana Prairie Farmer plot included planting dates of May 20 and June 8. The intent was to plant earlier this year, with the goal of a late April planting, but weather conditions prevented the plot from going in earlier.

At this location, however, there was not a beating rain after the May 20 planting. Emergence went reasonably well. In the end, the May planting vs. the June planting, averaged across the different treatments in the trial, was about 40 bushels better.

At $6 corn, that's about $240 more income per acre for planting in May vs. June. However, in anecdotal reports from other areas in Indiana, particularly in east-central Indiana where there was a large amount of June planting, the June corn out yielded the May corn in some situations.

Experts still pay attention to 2011 data, but most haven't changed their mind about early planting. If conditions are right in your area and it's the last week of April or alter, they still would plant corn. More times than not the odds of higher yields for earlier -planted corn are higher.
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