Mother Nature gets ugly; corn planters race
The planting window flew open to an almost record tune last week. Then, the weather took another turn for the cool & damp as storms battered parts of the country this week. Mother Nature's mood swings top a busy week in ag this week.
While it wasn't quite a record in key corn states, planting made mammoth strides last week, USDA reported earlier this week. Corn planting's approaching the normal pace, and that quick burst of progress sent the corn market tumbling earlier this week only to bounce back later.
A massive line of storms moved through the central U.S. Monday, spawning devastating tornadoes in parts of Oklahoma, Kansas and Iowa. The system marked the start of a week of virtually non-existent planting progress in much of the nation's center again, with as much as 5 inches of rain falling in the Plains and Midwest.
So, does this spring's dominant cool, wet weather have the corn you've planted in bad shape? Are you considering replanting? If you're having trouble with the decision, here are a few tips, both for plants that have emerged already and those that are still struggling to break through the soil.
Seed treatments can be a way to help avoid damage from planting in difficult conditions. Sort of an insurance policy of sorts for seed corn that continues to rocket in prices. Check out this feature from Successful Farming's Gil Gullickson in which he lays out 12 tips for getting the most bang from your seed treatment buck.
Regardless of your seed and seed treatment choices, the corn you're planting right now is front-and-center in the marketplace right now. There are a lot of variables in the equation today: Large, swift planters can make major strides, but weather can also stomp down any progress in a second. So, what's the state of the 'planter-ruled' market?
Another market that got more attention this week: Farmland, particularly how its prices are influenced by interest rates. A study released this week shows clear trends from the last few decades about how each variable influences the other. But, insert Federal Reserve policy into the mix and it has a huge effect. See how here.
The farm bill's on its way toward becoming law. This week, the Senate took up a few issues that, while they're not the most influential to many farmers, they have a huge role in the bill's potential for passage, which could come as early as the end of this week.
So, besides planting, what's keeping you busy this spring? Check out a few snapshots from members of Farmersforthefuture.com documenting what they've got going on this spring besides getting their crops planted. What else are you working on these days?
Some volatile weather swings and major corn planting strides top this week's big stories in ag.