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
Eric SfiligojNo Alternative Facts: Dicamba Cropping System Applicato…
January 23, 2017
During President Donald Trump’s inauguration, much fuss was made over the use of the term “alternative facts” vs. some of Read More
Young Corn Plants
ManagementTimac Agro USA Acquires Michigan Ag Retailer
January 20, 2017
Timac Agro USA, an agriculture supply company specializing in high-efficiency plant and animal nutrition products, has acquired St. Louis,MI-based A&E Ag, Read More
Soybean field
Crop InputsNufarm Teams Up With John Deere Financial
January 19, 2017
Nufarm and John Deere Financial have teamed up to help farmers grow a better tomorrow. This program helps make purchases Read More
Sonny Perdue
LegislationTrump Formally Picks Perdue As Agriculture Secretary
January 19, 2017
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump officially announced Sonny Perdue as his choice for secretary of agriculture on Thursday, selecting a former Read More
ManagementPresident Trump, Wisconsin Review, and a Dow-DuPont Upd…
January 18, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj reflect on a new administration, a recent winter show, and crop protection company mergers. Read More
Industry NewsBayer, MS Technologies Get China Approval For Balance G…
January 18, 2017
MS Technologies and Bayer have received import approval from China for Balance GT soybeans. The new Balance GT Soybean Performance Read More
Werner Baumann, Bayer AG, and Hugh Grant, Monsanto
Industry NewsReport: Monsanto, Bayer CEOs Among Latest to Make Trump…
January 18, 2017
The chief executive officers of German chemical giant Bayer AG and U.S. seed behemoth Monsanto, Werner Baumann and Hugh Grant, Read More
Giant Ragweed
HerbicidesStudy: Focusing On Weed Seedbank Can Help Manage Herbic…
January 18, 2017
Researchers writing in the latest issue of the journal Weed Science provide important insights on the control of herbicide-resistant giant Read More
Management3 Financial Trends To Watch In Agriculture
January 17, 2017
I recently had the opportunity to attend a meeting of credit managers for Midwest ag supply and input companies, in part Read More
Andersons Retail Store
CropLife 100The Andersons To Close All Retail Stores; Shutdown Does…
January 16, 2017
In a stunning announcement to the Toledo area, The Andersons Inc. said on Sunday that it would close its two Read More
Trimble TMX-2050 In-Cab Display
Eric SfiligojPrecision To Lead Agriculture In 2017?
January 16, 2017
Another new year is upon us! And I’m certain I speak for many in the agricultural world when I say Read More
Corn
Eric SfiligojThe Mood From Madison? In A Holding Pattern
January 16, 2017
Last week, I had the chance to attend the annual Wisconsin AgriBusiness Classic show in Madison, WI. It’s been a Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsAccenture Helps Syngenta Transform Its Global Logistics
January 13, 2017
Syngenta, a leading agriculture company, has collaborated with Accenture to design and implement a new digital logistics operating model across Read More
Fall Creek Seth Harden The Nature Conservancy
StewardshipLocal Farmers’ Watershed Initiative: Continuous Improve…
January 13, 2017
The goal in the Big Pine Watershed Project is to more intentionally do what local farmers and responsible ag retailers Read More
HerbicidesEPA Expands Enlist Duo Herbicide Registration To 34 Sta…
January 13, 2017
The U.S. EPA has expanded the geography for application of Enlist Duo herbicide from 15 to 34 states. This means Read More
Olson Ag Enterprise
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Acquires Nebraska Seed Retailer
January 13, 2017
Wilbur-Ellis’ Agribusiness, a recognized leader in precision agriculture technology and the distribution and marketing of plant protection, seed and nutritional Read More
ManagementDeere-Precision Planting Update and the Ag Secretary Wa…
January 12, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj provide the latest on the court date for John Deere/Precision Planting and the quest Read More
Monsanto sign
Seed/BiotechMonsanto, NRGene Form Agreement For Big Data Genomic An…
January 12, 2017
Monsanto Co. and NRGene have announced that the companies have reached a non-exclusive, multi-year global licensing agreement on NRGene’s genome-analysis Read More