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Recent entries

Kevin Hahn

Food Plotting

Corn Planting Progress—Delayed Harvest?

Tue, May 21, 2013

On Monday May 13, only 17% of the Illinois corn had been planted which was well below the 5 year average for Illinois.  Just 7 days later, 74% of the Illinois corn crop is now planted per a USDA report on May 20th.  The 5 year average for May 20th is 77% of the corn planted in Illinois, so we are tracking very close to the average. I am always amazed and proud of our farmers and the Agricultural support businesses that can get the crop in so quickly and efficiently in this state. 

Perceived delayed planting and the potential for late harvest?

The reason for digging into the corn planting stats is because I recently had a question asking if I thought the delayed corn planting would mean a delayed harvest season.  The question came from a deer hunter who obviously remembered how the late corn harvest of 2009 impacted deer hunting—at least in his mind.  My answer to him was “no” before I even knew that corn planting was now tracking closely to the state 5 year average.  The reason I replied with a “no” is because corn develops and matures based on heat units.  In short, the warmer the growing season, the faster the corn crop will mature.  In 2009, we had one of the coolest summers and fall on record throughout the Midwest.  Though planting date can delay harvest somewhat, it is the temperature of the growing season that has more of an influence on corn maturity. I am not aware of any long-range forecasts for a cooler than normal summer here in the Midwest. Thus, I am anticipating a normal harvest time for our Illinois corn crop in most areas of the state. If you don’t get that trophy deer this season, I don’t think standing corn will be a viable excuse.


question = if I thought the delayed corn planting would mean a delayed harvest season.

My answer = YES !

I am not going to try to predict the weather for the next few months, but I can give you factual reasons that have already happened & pretty much guaranteed a late harvest….

Most all of IL’s corn AND beans will be planted weeks late.

Proof = Last Monday (May 13th) only 17% of the corn in IL was planted.

Over half of IL’s corn crop was just planted last week alone. Behind schedule.

As of Monday (may 20th) only 16% of the IL corn crop is emerged, compared to 52% on the 5 yr average. Less then 1/3 of where it should be.

Only 19% of IL beans are planted compared to 35% on 5yr average.

A LOT of farmers will be picking bean, before corn. It mature faster.

Most of IL has gotten good rain in the last couple days & more is expected, so look for IL’s corn & bean planting to lag behind even more so for at least a week.

BTW…. last year at this time, 98% of the corn & 86% of the beans were planted

Posted by Lynn on May 21

Last year and this year are complete opposites and last year I found mushrooms on the 21st of march so I am going to assume that last year is not much of a comparison, it probably throws the 5 yr average out of wack.  Kevin, I must say I am really enjoying your blogs, keep them coming.  Over the years I have had to deal with a farmer that was not overly ambitious to say the least, so hunting with standing corn has become an interesting and normal game to play.  I have taken some great bucks as they came from the corn “bedding” into the timber at last light to munch on some acorns.  It is not a doomsday ordeal if the corn is harvested slightly later than normal, just an added challenge.

Posted by callin yotes on May 22

I don’t really understand the complaints about standing corn during deer season.  The biggest buck I have taken with a bow has been with standing corn.  I honestly believe that they feel safer with the standing corn, because they are not standing out in open (picked) corn fields.

Posted by mossyoak on May 22

Does this mean you and I will be footing the bill for all those poor farmers to winter in Florida this January.
Yeah it does.
Can you say subsidy?

Posted by mohican on May 22

there is so much more to it than wet spring weather and the perception of a late start = late harvest.  Varieties of Hybrids only need a certain number of Growing Degree Days per variety, then they ripen on their own.  If it rains from Sept thru December the farmers will take their time waiting for the optimum day to harvest, but Spring plantings have hardly anything to do with when it happens.

Posted by william on May 23

Corn planted on May 20th needs more heat units to be ready to harvest by Oct 1 than corn planted April 20th. For each passing day a corn plant isnt planted it is loosing out on those heat units. So unless we have a warmer than normal summer you can expect it will be a later harvest.  Whether or not we have rain in sept oct or novber really has nohing to do with how the corn matures. Thats as simple as i can make it.

Posted by SpikeBuck on May 24

There are a lot of variables BUT, when the corn or beans are planted, is the biggest determining factor on it’s harvest.
Most farmers already have seed bought & there is not a lot of extra seed out there to be switching to a shorter growing day corn either.
Also remember that the after June 21 ( summer solstice ) the days start getting short. Less sun light/day, that is also a factor that lengths the amount of days needed.
Also corn that becomes matures & starts its drying process in Sept or Oct, take longer to dry then it would vs corn that dries in Aug. Cooler weather means more days to dry.
These are some of the many many reason why farmers want to get their corn planted during April to first week of May.
So yes we will have a late harvest throughout the mid-west & central states.
Worse yet, the yields will be down a lot too AND that is not good for our farmers !!!!
Now with all the wet fields, all the rain we are getting in IL today & predicted rain for the rest of the week, Il will probably see about 1/4 of it’s corn crop planted in June & 3/4 of IL’s beans planted in June

Posted by Lynn on May 25

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