As we move from April into May, there is still very little corn in the ground across Indiana or about anywhere in the Midwest. Yet that is not as big a factor as it once was. Most Indiana growers like to start planting by April 15 and some even earlier, but improvements in genetics have produced hybrids that can be planted later and still yield well. Andrew Ferrel with DuPont Pioneer says, “It is better to plant early to take advantage of the longer growing season, but the weather in June and July has a much bigger impact on ultimate yields than the planting dates.”
Ferrel points to last year as a good example, “There were a lot of growers who planted corn last year in late May and early June, and we had some outstanding yields.” As a result, he says many growers are not as worried this year as they usually are, “Folks are being a little more patient and taking their time and getting equipment ready.” He hopes growers will not rush out and make mistakes just because the calendar says it is May and they have nothing planted.
Ferrel stresses that soil conditions and soil temperatures are more important factors than the calendar. The long range forecast indicates warming and drying conditions as we move into early May. Ferrel thinks that, if this occurs, fieldwork will get underway very quickly.