Our planting progress
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Started by mcfarmer - April 25, 2021, 9:39 a.m.

Reached the 50% done mark yesterday, close to it anyway. This area may not be that far along, since I no longer have livestock and hence have more planting capacity than typical for a crop only farmer of my size, I am probably a little ahead.

I have never planted in better conditions. Our ground is highly variable but this year I am going from end to end without spinning a wheel. The seed is going well into moisture and our black soil warms up fast.

The hay fields, oats and new seedlings all look very good.

Snowing as I write this, grassy areas are nearly white. Still snow geese around. No barn swallows here yet, my grandad would question my planting date.

The tiles really never ran this spring but we have moisture down there.

I‘ll probably finish emptying the bins tomorrow if we get enough moisture to keep us out of the fields.

By wglassfo - April 25, 2021, 11:47 a.m.
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Do you not get concerned about that snow melting and finding it's way to the planted seed

Around here a couple operations have seed in the ground but mostly we watch the forcast for cold moisture after planting unless the soil is warm

Our soil is still cold up here and wants to drizzle about every 3 days a 1/10"

Spell of warm coming, will probably put corn in the ground starting tomorrow. Warm temps coming

Had enough rain to wet the patio over nite

Tillage in full swing in preparation for Monday planting

We have almost 75 acres of sweet corn under plastic. Different cover crop system and not terminated last fall. Killed it in early April but this plastic planter does not like one spec of trash to work properly What should be a one man  sweet corn planting operation has been two man so far Once we get the plastic done then our planters can handle the trash

Not much happening up here due to cold rain every 3 days

 Calendar means very little in April but cold rain will stop us

Usually aim for April 25 as late May frost is a concern

All depends on where the growing point might be if it freezes

By mcfarmer - April 25, 2021, 1:11 p.m.
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It’s going to be in the eighties tomorrow and then the sixties and seventies from then on. 

I‘ve never seen a problem with the seed taking up cold water but I know it does happen.

Soil temps were in the fifties yesterday.

I’m going to plant about a quarter acre of sweet corn for the kids to try and sell. Any advice ?

By metmike - April 25, 2021, 2:48 p.m.
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mcfarmer should be in great shape.............barely and  is right about the heat coming to soil temps that are marginal right now.

Where are you at again in Iowa mcfarmer?

Temps will be heating up tomorrow..........above 80 many places to low 70's northeast, which will cause soil temps to LEAP higher and stay above 50 for the rest of the year. 

The soil temp map below is updated daily. Here on Sunday, it shows temps around 50 to low 50's almost everywhere in IA.

So the updates as the week goes on will be MUCH warmer. 



Take This to the Field

Concerning cool soils and corn planting dates, for best results, begin planting a more cold-tolerant corn hybrid when soil temperatures are in the high 40s and the short-term forecast calls for warm days that will continue pushing soil temperatures higher. If soil temperatures are in the high 40s and the weather forecast calls for cold wet conditions within the next 48 hours, soil temperatures will likely drop and planting should be delayed until temperatures warm.

Highs Monday Below

Weather Model

Highs Tuesday BelowWeather Model

By metmike - April 25, 2021, 2:50 p.m.
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Forecast lows and highs days 3-7.


By metmike - April 25, 2021, 3:03 p.m.
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Extended guidance looks warm too!


By wglassfo - April 25, 2021, 3:44 p.m.
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mcfarm sweet corn

Plant rr obsession if you have it or can get it

Many people will ask for peaches and cream which is a good seller

Stager planting so you have as long as possible for sales. More on the early plant

Plant early as early worm gets top dollar in sweet corn biz

Have a sample husked on display or every cob will have husks pulled back for inspection by buyers. Fix up the husks on cobs with husks pulled back. You may have to just throw some as nobody buys before some kind of inspection

Spray for worms and bugs. At least inspect daily for worms and bugs. Be ready to spray on a days notice. Husk some and inspect. A cob thrown away is worth it for full inspection

Have some sort of bird control bangers, screechers, flags, cloth anything for bird control. You may escape birds and be lucky. Tie cloth to plants just before harvest and move them as harvest goes along.

Birds will attack just prior to when you want to pull the cob Early morning jobs before busy with customers

We spray for bird control but that material probably not available at this late date

Do not plant close to trees as birds roost in trees

Make sure kids can do the math for change or else make up some cheat sheets

Example two dozen for 8.50 on special

Change for a 20.00??

I would not allow access to buyers in the field. Liability issues

It's a guess how much product on hand during the day.

make sure to have lots of free and safe parking. Signs help for in and out. Thinks of a drive thru. They direct you for a reason.

Make sure you have lots of change for 20.00 bills

Damaged ends can be cut off with a knife and offered as a special, or not

Keep some body bringing in small amounts of fresh, customers like to see fresh. Rotate 1st pick of the day with later picked when time and customers allow.

Have lots of shade and maybe sell water, juice, lemonade etc.

Sweet sugar lemonade is most always two glasses/customer 50-75 /glass . Have lots of large glass.  Disposable is hygiene friendly but depends on your preference. Have garbage cans. People will empty the car garbage on your property. Seriously. Pick up after sloppy people and keep neat and clean.

Have packages to carry corn or else they just buy what they can hold in the hands. Nobody wants to dirty up a car with corn husks

Polite, eager to please goes a long way for repeat biz.

That should get your kids started

They should learn a lot about different people

By ab - April 25, 2021, 8:17 p.m.
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Says on the bag to store in a cool dark place.

By Jim_M - April 25, 2021, 8:30 p.m.
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Based on grain prices tonight, the weather situation in SA must not be improving any.  Hold on kiddies, because I think we are going for quite a ride.  

By cutworm - April 25, 2021, 9:45 p.m.
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Started planting Friday . A little rain Saturday . Will start planting  again Monday here about 45 miles nw of Cincinnati. ,Almost NOTHING planted around here.

By Jim_M - April 25, 2021, 10:25 p.m.
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I'm n the Akron area.  Got just enough rain to settle the pollen.  That was about it.  

By mcfarmer - April 25, 2021, 10:40 p.m.
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Wow Wayne, thanks for the great tips.

What population should we plant ?

Lots to think about.

By wglassfo - April 26, 2021, 11:02 a.m.
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Try 26-28,000

Big ears sell most times better than small ear competition in the store, plus stores don't always keep fresh in stock at days end

Also two/plant is common but look at size for 2nd cob

Run a special if you have some good small second cobs. Sell the idea small but more cobs equal same amount corn and cheaper. Make small cobs equal more corn/dollar [specials work] Trick is, if the market is there, sell everything you can., for some money. Watch past mature corn as that is bad PR. Ask for customer preference. You will be surprised. Some want more mature for canning.. Tell them to wait and go get it. Do not destroy until sure plant is done. Maybe separate into maturity at stand. Morning job before too busy

3 cobs/plant can happen

If you get three small cobs increase population another yr or if good size then keep same population. Trial and error works best

Actually if you got the patience run you own population trials and then see which works out best

We plant 26-28,000 and irrigate with pond water

Kids will learn a lot about working with different personalities later in working career . In fact the people experience may be the most valuable

We made our youngsters work off farm before full time on farm. The experience learned by different co-workers is valuable. One son did not come back to the farm. Each to their own and no pressure choosing a career. But, you work if you want any money to spend.

We had a poor location for customers, so had to find alternative summer jobs. You have a good idea and different customers will teach the kids a lot about life. I never did learn to bite my lip and learn such lessons.

I worked for free around hoe and moved out at 17 yrs old to get away from everything. As soon as high school was done. I paid my own college expenses

Spend it any way you want if you earned it. Incentive is a great motivator. Telling the kids to save is almost like socialism. Why work. Somebody will feed me if I can't make my own choices

In our family we explained our money situation. We should have been more inclusive in hind sight.

Our kids worked for pocket spending money.

By metmike - April 26, 2021, 2:39 p.m.
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Replying to 


Historically, prices don't materially change farmers' planting decisions between March and June. Big changes aren't common but terrible weather is often the reason (mostly for soybeans). 2020 (covid) was the one time that prices did cause a major pullback in corn acres.


But we've almost never seen new-crop prices rally this much since early March when farmers were surveyed. So is this the year that the market buys a material amount of acres? Impossible to know right now but there's no good/recent analog for this - so I wouldn't rule it out.

By metmike - April 29, 2021, 12:41 p.m.
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U.S. drought monitor now versus 1, 6 and 12 months ago. Last year there were hardly any dry areas across the #Corn Belt. There have been recent areas of improvement (Minn, Kansas, Nebraska), but North Dakota has gotten worse. Some dryness still lingers in Iowa and points east.


By Jim_M - April 29, 2021, 5:44 p.m.
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Are spring rains going to be enough this year to replenish moisture for those hot summer July and August days.  Doubtful.

By metmike - April 29, 2021, 8:10 p.m.
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I agree Jim!

But every year is different.

By mcfarmer - April 30, 2021, 8:05 a.m.
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Folks here are going directly to soybeans, some running corn and beans planters at the same time.

I‘m done with corn but a little hesitant to start beans this early. I’ve got some more hay ground to seed, some acres that didn’t get accepted into the set aside program.

I don’t know if guys are thinking they’ll just put those beans into dry soil so they will be there when the rain does come or what. We still have two weeks of frost danger ahead.

By Jim_M - April 30, 2021, 11 a.m.
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ADM's CEO thinks farmers are going to plant 5 million more acres than the USDA has posted.  The CEO thinks the high prices will incentivize farmers to plant more.  Opinions?  

By metmike - April 30, 2021, 11:06 a.m.
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I totally agree but its the farmers that count.

What do you guys think?

By mcfarmer - April 30, 2021, 11:52 a.m.
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I would plant more if I had a place to plant it.

Everything around is planted if it is fit to farm.

Aren't most commodities expected to be up in acreage? Hard to see a lot of increase.

The CRP isn’t taking much away, not at the rates they offer currently, I think that will change.

I‘m planting more hay but that can’t be a widespread deal.

By Jim_M - April 30, 2021, 4:33 p.m.
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His one caveat was if the weather cooperates.  

By buck1400 - April 30, 2021, 6:12 p.m.
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I'm in western Ohio and have finished corn planting and, like McFarmer am waiting on the the calendar and temperature to plant the soybeans. 

No real fringe acres in this part of Ohio so no change in total planted acres although some shifting between corn/beans does happen.

The real question as always for 2021 production is yield.  In this area we are having one of the driest springs I can remember.  (They were predicting >1" for Wed/Thurs this week.  I received 0.4")  If this pattern continues the yields will definitely be reduced.

By metmike - April 30, 2021, 8:22 p.m.
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Thanks buck!

By cutworm - May 1, 2021, 6:53 a.m.
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No incentive to change crops from prices here. Most will stay with rotation. Weather could change that but looking less likely


By metmike - May 1, 2021, 6:07 p.m.
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Thanks cutworm!

With both corn and beans both near historical highs, I would think the price differential is not that big of a deal.

I would assume that marginal producing acres and, if it turned out that way, marginal planting conditions were present, that producers would be doing everything possible to maximize the massive profit potential being offered this year.

This is totally unprecedented.

Yes, we've had higher prices on a few occasions for brief periods but they have almost ALWAYS happened when the crop was being seriously threatened or damaged in a major way!

Droughts and floods in the US almost every time.

Other than the Spring Wheat crop in ND which has its worst drought in history for this time or year............the amount of drought, though concerning is NOT whats propping up the market.

Massive demand from China, in a large part because their crop was obliterated by 3 major typhoons last Aug/Sept. They gobbled up the global supplies of corn and beans and are working on wheat(some of it used as feed grain?)


By wglassfo - May 2, 2021, 5:21 p.m.
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A pleasant surprise this morning

I had to take the back hoe back to push some downed trees into the bush. I travelled the ditch bank as we did some major damage last fall with clean out and excavators tracks

As I was driving along the ditch bank. all tile drains were running water, not much but that means water table is down to tile. I was surprised but we will have water to start the crop with really good chance of 1/2 inch tomorrow some time. Have been getting 1/10th a couple times so 1/2 inch would be welcome

Still not confident enough about growing a crop or how the yield will be to forward contract for next yr delivery

I guess SA Safrina crop isn't so good in most places

By metmike - May 2, 2021, 5:38 p.m.
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Thanks Wayne!

Glad to read that things should start off well for you this year.

By Jim_M - May 3, 2021, 9:53 a.m.
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By metmike - May 3, 2021, 11:46 a.m.
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Thanks Jim!

We're having a potential key reversal down day today, partially based on good planting progress and partially from a pattern change to wetter that will help with how soil moisture.