After a lot of discussion, dirt kicking and etc, Joe and Dad made the decision to go plant soybeans about 3:30 this afternoon. It has been a tough day for farmers in the area. Do we or don't we plant? Is the ground fit? Sort of but not really - it's definitely not ideal conditions. But, the calendar reads May 24th. The weather forecast is for rain the next seven days. It is a tough decision to make and it can be emotional.
We have corn and soybeans left to plant just like every other farmer in the Midwest. Why not just set and wait for a better day? Well, take a look at this table by Iowa State University.
Corn Yield Response to Planting Date
Date Relative yield Potential
April 20 - May 5 100%
May 13 - May 19 99%
May 26 - June 1 90%
June 10 - June 16 68%
June 24 - June 28 52%
Basically the clock is ticking. Even if every variable is ideal from here on out until we harvest the corn, we are looking at only about 90% of our average yield because of late planting. That makes for narrow margins when trying to make a profit and raise a family. I sound pretty negative today and I am. But, this is reality on the farm.
One thing I was taught along the way is that we don't farm for just one year. We farm for the average. What I mean is that we have good years and we have bad years. We have really good years and really tough years. So we don't go wild spending and partying during the good years because we know there is going to be a tough year in some not too distant future. This is farming. This is what we signed up for. We will control what variables we can, stay calm, and carry on.
When I took this picture I thought is was kind
of neat. Now, it just reminds me of how wet