Weather Forces Farmers To Shift Plans

Weather problems caused farmers major headaches in 2009, and it looks like the hangover could last well into 2010. According to the latest Farm Futures survey of planting intentions, producers have been forced to revamp cropping choices significantly from their early plans.

Wet fields in the fall and historic harvest delays forced farmers to abandon efforts to plant millions of winter wheat acres, ground that likely will be shifted into corn and soybeans come spring. Farm Futures, which surveyed more than 1,000 growers in December, now puts 2010 corn intentions at 89.48 million acres, up more than 3 million acres from 2009 and 2 million more than suggested by farmers surveyed in August.

“Back in the summer, it appeared any increase in corn plantings would come at the expense of soybeans, with farmers ready to cut bean acres to realign crop rotations,” says Farm Futures senior editor Bryce Knorr, who directed the study. “But the latest Farm Futures survey shows farmers are ready to increase soybean plantings, too, with producers gearing up to put in almost 80 million acres of the crop, around 2.5 million more than the record they achieved in 2009.”

Huge cutbacks in winter wheat seedings are one reason for the shift to soybeans. But farmers could also be forced to plant beans for another reason. “In addition to harvest delays, unusual weather in 2009 meant farmers could not apply as much fertilizer as they normally do,” notes Farm Futures market analyst Arlan Suderman.

The Farm Futures survey shows farmers normally try to apply around 46% of their fertilizer in the fall, but were able to put down only 33% of their nutrient needs last fall before winter weather shut them out of the field. “With timeliness crucial for yields, some farmers may not have a long enough window for the fieldwork needed to plant corn,” Suderman says.

While a significant drop in winter wheat seedings was expected, the size of the decrease could be stunning when USDA releases its first estimate of plantings on Jan. 12. Farm Futures’ August survey revealed farmers were ready to increase seedings, especially on the Plains, where soil moisture was favorable. However, farmers were able to plant just 38.4 million acres of winter wheat, down more than 11% from the 43.1 million sown for harvest in 2009.

Soft red winter wheat seedings were hit especially hard by harvest delays in the eastern Corn Belt and disastrous flooding in the South. Total soft red winter wheat seedings could fall 30% as a result, to 5.9 million acres, with hard red winter wheat down 9% to 29 million acres. White wheat was the only winter class to show a small increase.

The Farm Futures survey also asked producers how they fared in 2009, with both corn and soybean yields likely to fall in USDA’s Jan. 12 report. Farm Futures puts the corn yield at 161 bu./a., for a crop of 12.77 billion bushels, with the soybean yield of 42.8 bu./a. producing a record 3.283 billion-bushel crop.

Farm Futures surveyed 1,044 farmers from Dec. 2 to Jan. 1 by e-mail.

Leave a Reply

Latest News
2016 ShowStopper | Case IH Patriot 4440 Sprayer
Equipment5 Show-stopping Products On Display At 2016 MAGIE
August 26, 2016
For 10 years now, visitors to the yearly Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) show have been tasked with voting for Read More
Crop InputsDuPont Pioneer: Corn Belt P and K Levels Lagging
August 24, 2016
A new DuPont Pioneer study conducted across 12 Corn Belt states demonstrates that growers may be leaving profit potential in Read More
Monsanto sign
Crop InputsCould a Monsanto-Bayer Union Be 2 Weeks from Fruition?
August 24, 2016
Via STLToday.com (The St. Louis Post-Dispatch): Merger talks between Monsanto Co. and Bayer AG are advancing after a series of Read More
EquipmentCase IH Debuts Nutri-Tiller 955 Strip-Till Applicator
August 24, 2016
With strip-till continuing to expand across new acres, Case IH designed the new Nutri-Tiller 955 strip-till applicator to help producers Read More
EquipmentCase Launches Aim Command FLEX, 25th Anniversary Patrio…
August 24, 2016
Case IH announces new AIM Command FLEX advanced spray technology for greater application accuracy, as well as special 25th Anniversary Read More
ASMARK 2016 Retailers Live! Tour - CPS
CropLife 100CPS Acquires Texas Retail Operation
August 23, 2016
Crop Production Services (CPS) has acquired the assets of Larry’s Chemical and Spray, Inc., for an undisclosed amount in an Read More
PrecisionAg Video Conference
Precision AgVideo: PrecisionAg Vision Conference
August 22, 2016
A Strategic Conference Focused on the Future of Farm Digitization and Precision Agriculture Visit precisionagvision.com and register today! Read More
Young Corn Plants
Industry NewsOABA Welcomes Nicole Wallace As Communication & Adm…
August 22, 2016
The Ohio AgriBusiness Association has hired Nicole Wallace as its communication and administrative coordinator. Wallace will help provide comprehensive communication Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsChemChina, Syngenta Receive Clearance From CFIUS
August 22, 2016
China National Chemical Corp. (ChemChina) and Syngenta have announced that the companies have received clearance on their proposed transaction from the Read More
ManagementAg Industry Shows and Rumors
August 18, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about the upcoming trade show schedule, crop protection merger updates, and content for Read More
MAGIE 2015
EquipmentMAGIE Takes The Pulse Of The Ag Retail Industry
August 18, 2016
Every year, one of the major highlights of my career as an ag journalist is attending the Midwest AG Industries Read More
MAGIE 2015 Overview
EquipmentPride In Professionalism On Display At MAGIE
August 18, 2016
The Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association (IFCA) is proud to partner with CropLife IRON and continue the tradition of bringing Read More
SprayersJenner Ag To Debut 25th Anniversary Edition Case IH Pat…
August 18, 2016
Visitors at the 2016 Midwest Ag Industries Exhibition (MAGIE) in Bloomington, IL, will have a unique photo opportunity, as Jenner Read More
Crop InputsEU Glyphosate Controversy Heating Up Yet Again
August 17, 2016
The battle over glyphosate rages on in Europe, creating a lot of question marks over whether the herbicide will continue Read More
Industry NewsNew Partnership Provides Improved Representation At Ohi…
August 16, 2016
The Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA) has retained Belinda Jones of Capitol Consulting Group, Inc. (CCG) for government relations work in Read More
Tissue testing
FertilizerMosaic: 6 Tips For Better Crop Nutrition In Corn
August 16, 2016
Late in the crop season is a good time to assess visual nutrient deficiencies and ensure early- and mid-season deficiencies Read More
WebinarsWebinar Schedule
August 14, 2016
Register for one of our upcoming Webinars or access our archive of past Webinars to view recordings of presentations that may be of interest to you. Read More
Dow DuPont
Crop InputsDowDuPont Update: EU Takes Closer Look at Merger
August 12, 2016
Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont Co. face months of haggling with European Union antitrust regulators who opened an in-depth probe Read More