Growers made a lot of progress on planting this week ahead of the rains that halted activity in many areas. How fast can we plant, and we are in danger of planting too fast?
According to Greg Matli, with the Indiana Ag Statistics Service, the record for fastest planting was set in 1955 when we planted 52% of the state’s corn crop in just 1 week, going from 10% to 62% complete in just 7 days. We tied that record in 1980 and came close in 2001 when we moved from 40% to 90% planted in a week.
Ryan Piel, with DuPont Pioneer, says the critical issue is not how fast you plant but making sure your soil is ready before you start, “It is important to plant well the first time because we really don’t have enough time to go back and replant.” As for how fast, Peil says that given the fact it is May, when your fields are ready, go for it, “There are some dangers of trying to plant too fast; but, given the calendar, I say when you are ready go all out.”
The record for the fastest planting of soybeans is 1966 when we put in 45% of the crop in one week. In 2001, we planted 42% and, in 2009, 40% of the soybean crop was planted in one week. Matli said records show that 2001 was an especially busy spring. That year Indiana farmers planted 50% of the corn and 40% of the soybeans in one week. We will find out how much we got planted this week on Monday, when the USDA releases planting progress for this week.