Is it too late for corn?

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Planting conditions still poor throughout area

By David Harrison

Although new crop corn and soybean prices are near record highs, planting conditions remain poor for some of the corn crop. About two-thirds of the corn crop has been planted in the state, but grain farmers are concerned whether they can get their entire corn crop out in a timely manner.
An associated question is when should a grower stop planting corn and switch to soybeans. In order to help answer this question, growers need to estimate potential yield losses for late planted corn and compare the associated profitability against soybeans.
UK Extension economist Greg Halich has developed some guidelines to help do this.
Halich uses various assumptions related to price of corn and soybeans, fertilizer costs for each crop, three different soil production levels, potential yield losses for corn and soybean and different areas of the state to reach his estimates. Changes in these assumptions will affect the results.
Generally, according to his assumptions, for our area, corn should be more profitable than soybeans until about June 4.
Another important factor that needs to be considered is preventative planting with crop insurance. The preventative planting date for corn is May 31. If producers are unable to get corn planted by this date (for legitimate reasons), they can choose not to plant and still get 60 percent of their crop insurance base guarantee.
 However, corn still cant be planted up to June 25 for “late planting” crop insurance purposes.
Given current corn profitability and the increase in corn prices from the March insurance price guarantee, planting beyond the May 31 date likely will be an attractive option. However, producers need to talk with their crop insurance agent to assess their specific situation and options.
Column space limits a full discussion of this topic for the complete article discussing this question, contact the Extension Service office.