Some Farmers Facing Another Tough Decision
With all the rain last spring it was difficult for many farmers to get all their corn planted by the middle of May. For crop insurance farmers had to have their corn planted by May 31, 2019. If the corn was planted later each day the amount of crop insurance declined. The alternative for farmers was to file for the Prevented Plant clause in their crop insurance policy. That was not a real attractive alternative so many farmers gambled and planted some of their corn in late May or early June.
Farmers were hoping for a summer that was a little warmer than normal. The fall would be warmer than normal and the first frost date would be later than the normal. Plus, we needed many warm sunny days in October after the frost to dry the corn naturally in the field. It would be very high in moisture because it was planted late. That is a pretty long list of things that need to go our way. As it turned out nothing went our way!
Looking back, I guess you could say we did not make a good decision to plant corn late. Some farmers did take some Prevented Plant acres. But, the passion was there to plant a crop. That is who we are! No farmer wants to drive by one of their fields in the summer and not see a crop growing on it! Many farmers that did plant late anticipated much higher corn prices. Almost the entire Midwest was in the same situation of too much rain.
The USDA's Risk Management Agency reported that in the United States there were around 11 million corn and 5.5 million soybean acres that farmers filed a Prevented Plant claim on. However, in the June Acres Report the USDA said we still had 91 million acres of corn and 85 million of soybeans planted. That is almost the exact number of acres that the USDA projected in the Perspective Plantings Report the end of March!
All the other acres of other major crops were about unchanged too. So, where did all the extra acres come from? Things just do not add up! The end result is we have very low corn prices and some farmers are facing another tough decision. Some of the corn till left in the field is at 30 percent moisture or higher. If you took that corn to the elevator to have then dry it the cost would be around $1.30 a bushel. The cash price for corn is around $3.40 a bushel.
In addition the test weight is not 56 pounds a bushel but around 50 pounds. That means heavy price dockage at the elevator too! So, some farmers are thinking of just leaving the corn in the field through the winter. Maybe the deer and racoon will not eat and destroy too much, maybe there will not be any ice storms, maybe there will not be really high winds that will blow the corn down, maybe there will not be any really heavy snow storms?
Again, there are a lot of maybes pertaining to the weather that need to go the farmer's way. In addition maybe the "market" will figure out or the USDA will confirm we did not produce a great crop this year? Maybe, then corn prices will be higher in the spring?